Source: complimentary review copy


Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

June 29, 2010 Book Review, reviews 12

Still Missing by Chevy StevensStill Missing by Chevy Stevens
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 6th, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 352
Source: complimentary review copy

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel.
Appropriate for Adults due to violence and strong sexual content

Have you ever had that nightmare where you’re in a seemingly public place and then wham!

someone has a gun held to you and your forced into a van and taken away just like that?

 Annie is a realtor struggling to reach the top and finally gain a moment of respect and acceptance from her mother.  On a seemingly normal, slow day at an open house a man pulls up just as she is about to lock up to go meet her boyfriend for dinner.  This man looks respectable and like a good potential buyer. Unfortunately, he’s not.

The next year of Annie’s life is spent in hell in a remote mountain cabin.  We understand her life through Annie’s telling of it to her psychiatrist, only the thousandth one she’s visited since her harrowing escape. I could not put this book down.  While Annie is telling us about her life in the cabin there is also the police investigation to find out who was behind the kidnapping.  This book had me on pins and needles the whole time I was reading it! I was terrified for Annie; I was terrified for me! I was in the house alone at the time, with the windows wide open! And I was too scared to move to close them! Now isn’t that something? Has a book ever done that to you or am I the only fradey-cat?
The emotional roller-coaster that Annie goes through upon her return is so real, so volatile and just gut-wrenching! I wanted to reach inside the book and hold her tight. I wanted to hold all of those around her who had to watch Annie’s suffering but could not help her. She felt abandoned. She felt violated, betrayed. There’s so much that happens in this book that I want to throw open the pages for you, but then you’d miss guessing for yourself the plot that thickens and the “what happens next” feeling! Oh, you must read this book! It is simply a tour de force in mysteries! A fantastic debut! And come back here and tell me what you think! Please! I’d love to know.
Plot ~ 5+
Setting ~ 5
Characters ~ 5
Dialogue ~ 5
5 Quills! 

So many thanks to St Martin’s Press for the Advanced Reader’s Copy to review. It in no way influenced my opinion of this book.  This is my honest review.


Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

March 8, 2010 Book Review, reviews 9

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren OliverBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 25th, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Source: complimentary review copy

It always takes me awhile to digest a book. I have to let it whirl around in my head and my heart for some time before I can come to a conclusion as to what my true thoughts are, but now that I’m blogging in the book world I’m thinking I should speed up the process a bit. Maybe do some thinking out loud per se.

I have to be honest, with Before I Fall, I had to stop crying before I could sit down to write to this. You’ll figure out about me soon enough, I’m sure, I feel a great empathy with the characters of the books I read. I jump into the pages with them, walk the high school halls or the Quantico fields….whatever genre I’m reading, I’m fully committed and tonight during those last few chapters I was there with Sam as she relived the last day of her life for the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th time.

What was even more eerie is I was telling my high school daughter the book today, encouraging her to read it once I was finished. I have two daughters, one is a senior, one is a sophomore. OH, if I could just tell you the whole story! but that would take away from your experience in reading the book…and what an experience it is.

We learn about life in the “IT” crowd or the “IN” group, Lindsay, THE IT girl, Sam, her best friend, Elody, and Ally. These 4 girls are the most 4 popular girls in school and are seniors this year. One word from any of these 4 girls and another student would instantly be shunned.

There’s one line in the book that just about tears at my soul every time I go back and read it. The four girls have been drinking vodka since the afternoon and throughout the evening at a party. They leave the party with Lindsay driving, Sam shotgun as always with the other two in the back. You know what happens next.

But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that?
Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does?
Is it really so much worse than what you do?
Think about it.

Whew. That was tough. Because I did, think about it. And I haven’t stopped thinking about it. But then the book goes on to where Sam relives the day, 7 times. She gets 7 chances to get it right. How many of us get 7 do-overs? And if we had the chance to do-it-over-again, would we do it right? When someone says to us “It’s too late” would we tell them “It’s never too late” and care enough to make sure the actions speak louder than the words.

Please, if you don’t read another book this year, read this one. It’s not the easiest of reads in that Sam has to wake up every day on February 12th for 7 days and some of the high school angst is a little hard to handle if you’re a parent of teenagers; however, the message is important and not just for young adults. The last two pages, I think, are my favorites.