Friday, October 13, 2017

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN! Review: The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Title: The Cellar
Series: The Cellar #1
Author: Natasha Preston
Format: Paperback, 347 pages
Pub. Date: March 1st 2014
Source: Half Price Books

Book Description:

Nothing ever happens in the town of Long Thorpe – that is, until sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson disappears without a trace. No family or police investigation can track her down. Spending months inside the cellar of her kidnapper with several other girls, Summer learns of Colin’s abusive past, and his thoughts of his victims being his family…his perfect, pure flowers. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out….



Note: I didn't read it while it was on wattpad, so I will have no comparisons.

I'm really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I was sucked into the story from the beginning, and it held my interest until the end. I did have some issues with it, but overall I'm glad that I read it.

I'll start with the positives. It was creepy. It wasn't very realistic feeling, but it was still a creepy story. The life described in the cellar was unsettling to say the least, and the fact that Clover (the captor) was so non-chalant and kind of white bread was what made him creepier to me. He could just be some guy. Anyone on the street. And that's worse.

I'm not generally a fan of when books split into alternate POVs, but it served its purpose well in this book. It rotates between three characters. The first is Summer/Lily, who is the main character and the girl who is kidnapped. The second is Lewis, her boyfriend. And the third is Clover/Collin, the captor. It's interesting to see how each person is reacting to this event, and I think the voices were distinguished well from one another.

The story telling was pretty good. Preston kept me interested in the story with some mild twists and turns along the way, and the cellar and the other girls who are in there just get more disturbing the longer she's in there. The book feels haunting and hollow.

But there's some negatives. My biggest issue was the main character, Summer. She has what I call "Piper Syndrome"- that is, she's the least interesting character in the cast, despite the fact that she's the main character. I wanted so much more about Clover. I wanted more about the cellar and the other girls and the hows and the whys. She's just kind of blah in comparison to all the other things going on in the story.

I didn't care for her personality much either. She's kinda dumb. She does things even though she knows she shouldn't, and then is surprised that there's consequences. You walk alone at night even though people told you not you and bad things happened. The girls in the cellar said "he'll be pissed if you do that", she does the thing, and then is surprised when he is in fact pissed. There's also a lot of crying. A lot of it. I was sympathetic for a while (I mean hello, I'd cry if I were locked in a weird murder chamber too), but it was mentioned tooooo much and it grated on my nerves.

Her boyfriend really annoyed me at times too. Keep in mind that these characters are all teenagers. He gets angry at her parents and her brother and the police for not doing enough, that he can do it himself, he can find her. I understand feeling angry and out of control, but if some teenage dude hinted that he cared more about my daughter/sister missing than I did, I'd be furious and he'd no longer be in my house.

The ending was also a bit of a let down. It all kind of fell flat *insert sad trombone music*. I just learned from reading book info on here that apparently there's a part two to the story, maybe it gets cleared up there.

The Cellar isn't my favorite story about locking girls in a room. (Is that a weird sentence? I feel like that's a weird sentence.) But, it was an entertaining enough read that kept me wondering what was going on until the end.

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