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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

"Lily?" My stomach dropped as a tall, dark-haired man stepped into view. Had he been hiding between the trees? "No. Sorry." Gulping, I took a step back. "I'm not Lily." He shook his head, a satisfied grin on his face. "No. You are Lily." "I'm Summer. You have the wrong person." You utter freak! I could hear my pulse crashing in my ears. How stupid to give him my real name. He continued to stare at me, smiling. It made me feel sick. "You are Lily," he repeated. Before I could blink, he threw his arms forward and grabbed me. I tried to shout, but he clasped his hand over my mouth, muffling my screams. My heart raced. I'm going to die. For months Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her—and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family. But flowers can't survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out...…

The Cellar

by Natasha Preston

Overall Book Review:

I saw this book several years ago and was intrigued by what I read on the back cover. I kept my eye out for it, but didn’t get my hands on it until recently when I received a review copy. This is a story of a teen who is innocently living her life, who has a wonderful and loving boyfriend and home life, and who loses it all in the course of a few seconds. I’m glad I don’t live in a town bigger than I do, or I might be afraid to go out at night–or even during the day!

The story of Summer started out at a fast pace, and pulled me in quickly. There were a few times while reading the first chapters where I was not sure if I would like this book; it seemed at first a little cheesy and implausible at times, but I forged on. I am glad I did, as the story became better and better until the end when I was left wanting more. (Fortunately, there is a second book.) Thinking back on the story, I get chills. The fact that scary things go on right under our noses, how girls can be taken off the streets and be shut away and no one knows where they went, is a frightening reality, and one that I would usually rather push to the back of my mind. Although this book is fiction, I think it is an accurate description of a scenario that could happen, has happened, and it helps raise our awareness. This book is technically a teen book, but I would only recommend it for the very mature teen or an adult, because of the subject matter and some of the graphic content.

Review of an Advance Reader Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sourcebooks, Inc.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations; 12 mild obscenities; 8 derogatory names; 8 scatological words; 4 anatomical terms; 14 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A man is mentioned to sexually abuse girls, several scenes of this are described in detail; a man stabs and kills a girl in two different scenes, some blood and gore is described; a man is verbally and physically abusive to a group of minor females, this abuse occurs throughout the book in detail; abductions of multiple minor girls is mentioned, and their lives in captivity described in detail.

Sex/Nudity:  Minors kiss several times; an adult man kisses minor girls on the cheek; prostitutes are referred to; a man threatens to rape a group of girls; sexual abuse is mentioned two times with one brief scene of girls observing the abuse of another minor girl; a man is mentioned to cheat on his wife; nudity with sexual innuendo is mentioned, the instance occurs with an adult man and a minor girl.

Mature Subject Matter:

Abduction, personal crises, sexual and physical abuse, murder.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.