Author: A. J. Whitten
Release Date: May 2011
Published By: Graphia
Goodreads Rating: 3.00 stars
Review: Adrien is the new kid in town, but Meredith can tell something is off about him. He moved next door, and at night, she sees and hears things from his house that hint at him being dangerous. Her sister Heather doesn't share these feelings at all and throws herself in a romance with him, and it feels like fate when they're cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet. No matter how hard Meredith tries, she can't convince Heather that Adrien is bad for her... and that he might be a monster.
I found this book to be really hard to get into. The narration jumped around, varying from first-person with Meredith to close third-person with Heather and Adrien, and it sometimes made things hard to follow. The writing didn't really pull me in either, and I just felt detached from the main characters. It was hard for me to care for them even with their back story, which would normally have made me sympathetic towards them.
Writing aside, there were many things that bothered me about THE CELLAR. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but character intentions and reactions didn't match up for me and often felt unrealistic. Meredith's eye disease, for instance, wasn't researched well because it didn't line up with what the reader is told. This bothered me while I was reading and made it even harder for me to relate.
What probably bugged me most of all were the graphic descriptions of the violent acts Adrien does to people. I'm not generally too squeamish when it comes to violence in books, and I'm okay with it if it works for the story. However, the gruesome scenes here just felt utterly unnecessary and honestly didn't do much of anything for the plot. I used to read adult thrillers when I was eleven so really, it takes a lot to make me cringe, but trust me, I was shuddering while reading this book.
This review is pretty negative, but I don't want it to sound like I completely disliked it. THE CELLAR did have suspenseful parts and I felt that these were the best written of the novel. This wasn't the book for me, and I was quite put off by the plot holes and unrelatable characters. I don't want to completely condemn this novel, though, because I have read good reviews of it so some people like it. If the summary sounds appealing to you, by all means, give it a try!
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher. This is no way affected my review, which is 100% honest.