Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 2008
Pages: 170
Format: eBook
TW/CW: Kidnap, rape, drug use, food restriction, pedophilia, murder.
Rating: 3/5

FROM GOODREADS: When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

Whew, what a painful punch this tiny book packs.

If you’re looking for something that starts off awful but has a happy ending… this probably isn’t for you. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I went in but I had hope that at some point, this bleak, disturbing story was going to take an up turn but no. It never happened.

The book follows ‘Alice’, a now 15 year old girl who was snatched from a field trip when she was 10 by a pedophile named Ray. For the last 5 years, Alice has been living in the Shady Pines Apartment complex with her captor. The descriptions in this book are bleak. Alice is a shell of a person. After five years of rape, torture, and being forced to stay small and childlike through starvation, Alice has become a nightmare version of herself- ready and willing to help Ray capture another child on the off chance that he might let her go… or kill her. Either way, Alice starts trying to woo a child. When that doesn’t work, she has sex with the girl’s older brother (who is supposed to be watching her) in order to provide a way for Ray to snatch the little girl. The ending was heartbreaking and the book left me feeling unsettled, uncomfortable, and dirty.

This isn’t a great book. The plot is very point blank and the character’s are flat. Ray is the abuser (we only know that his mother abused him when he was a child), Alice is the victim who turns towards sociopathic behavior in order to survive, Lucy (Annabel) is the next victim, and Jake is the stoner who just wants sex. I’m still trying to figure out why Jake wouldn’t have gone to the authorities, or you know, tell his parents what was going on.

However, this book touches on how abuse perpetuates abuse and how dire situations can make people do things they never thought they would do. Alice knows what she’s trying to do to Lucy is wrong but she’s tired.

This is a deeply disturbing book. If you decide to read it, please take precautions and maybe read a few other reviews to make sure this is something you can handle.


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