A while ago, I had a student that recommended this book to me by Chevy Stevens. I had never heard of her before, but I decided to give it a read since he talked so highly about it. I also wanted to read more suspenseful novels. Well, I picked up the book from the library and DEVOURED the book. From the moment you start reading, you are sucked into Annie’s living hell and what happened to her. It’s bone-chilling and terrifying at the same time. Some parts were hard to read, but I couldn’t stop! I stayed up late into the night reading this book. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with Chevy’s writing. She is phenomenal! Here’s why:
- Annie is believable because we can feel her emotions as we are thrown in the roller coaster that Annie has to live through, day-by-day. Annie’s frustrations, anger, and even sadness are raw and real. Her desperation in the events that follow make our heart pound and even feel sick. Her logical response to the situations presented also make her strong and made me think: if I’m ever in a position like this, I hope I’m smart like Annie.
- Chevy’s words flow. That’s almost enough said right there. From the moment you read the first word on the page, you’ll find that everything flows together. There’s nothing in this book that ever made me feel like I wanted to hurl the book across the room or wonder how a character could be so stupid. Chevy has a talent at making her characters believable as well as their surroundings, fictitious or not. Chevy is also incredibly gifted at telling a story without giving us unnecessary information that does nothing for the plot. Everything is delivered in a nicely written package, from start to finish. I’m not even joking. It’s been a very long time since I’ve raved about someone’s ability to tell a story that’s so real, I often forget everything else around me. Chevy’s words are captivating, gripping, chilling…the list is endless.
- The endings are realistic. Not just with this book, but all the other ones that she has written (which, I have read, of course). The characters start out one way, go through a series of situations that transforms them into someone completely different. We see it with every story, but Chevy has a unique way of letting us see that change. We don’t just see it, but we feel it. The fact that her characters are realistic enough to transform into what they are at the end makes reading the ending more satisfying. It’s not always a happy ending, but there’s always something that’s been accomplished or some sort of realization that the character comes to that helps propel them in the direction they need to go.
- The suspense is real. By that, I mean that everything that happens in her books has made my heart pound and my palms sweat. When I read books, I usually don’t get so worked up because I find that it’s easy to distinguish myself from the characters as well as their fictitious worlds. However, Chevy creates such suspense that continues to build throughout the story that I hardly realized that I was tense in anticipation. There were a couple of night where I couldn’t even sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen to Annie next. There are a couple of chapters that made me feel so tormented that I had to keep reading because I knew I couldn’t end the chapter there. THAT’S suspense. I read a lot, but not even Diana Gabaldon’s books make me want to read the whole thing in one sitting. (That’s what I mean by unnecessary writing. Diana’s got a bunch of stuff that I would have edited out, whereas Chevy manages to keep everything we need to know and never strays once from this formula).
- Do you really need more reasons to pick up this diamond of a book? It only took this ONE book to have me hooked on her writing, craving more. I went to the bookstore and bought ALL the books she has ever written. She also has a new book coming out this year and you can pre-order it. Are you kidding me? I’m all over that stuff.
My recommendation: stop reading my blog and go get the book. I guarantee you won’t regret it! Just be prepared for some sleepless nights and to experience suspense like you’ve never experienced it before! If I could, I’d give this book a 100/10 because she’s that amazing. She’s Canadian to boot. Yay for us Canadian writers.