Published: September 8th 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
The thing is, you can get used to anything. You think you can't, you want to die, but you don't. You won't. You just are. This is Alice. She was taken by Ray five years ago. She thought she knew how her story would end. She was wrong.
Is it possible to write a poetic book about kidnapping and imprisonment of a child? I
guess the answer here is yes. This is a really hauntingly, disturbingly beautiful short
novel which features a horrific crime.
“I have been smashed and put back together so many times nothing works right.
Nothing is where it should be, heavy thumping in my shoulder where my heart now
15 year old “Alice” was lured into Ray’s car when she was ten, taken from a field trip into
Shady Pines where she was conditioned to become another person. The horrific physical
and emotional abuse was flowing through the book without having to be spelt out and
shouted at the reader. Although the pain that is endured by the character isn’t explicit
It’s still a hard story to read. The fact that there have been and are children that are
being put through this right now is horrifying and this book shows you a slight insight.
To say that Elizabeth Scott managed to capture the horror of the characters capture in a
rather beautiful way is an understatement. I didn’t think that a story could leave scars,
but this book certainly has. I haven’t stopped thinking about it for weeks.
“She became a story, one I have mostly forgotten. One I can't end because she died a
long time ago.”
Scott manages to draw you in with her unique writing, the fact that the chapters start
with “Once Upon a Time” when reciting what happened to “Alice” when she was
younger is unforgettable, it plays on the fact that it’s telling a atrocious thing that
happened to a young girl while starting it off with a popular fairy tale opening.
I wasn’t expecting this book to cover all the basics, the characters back stories were
detailed in the small amount of words that this book required. For a second I felt sorry
for the monster and for what Ray was doing, knowing his loveless upbringing and the
abuse that he received from his mother was enough for me to know why he became the
monster he is, it was enough for me to sympathise with him. I didn’t even think that I
would have been able to image the horror and the experience of someone that was so
much abused. I didn’t think it was possible for an author to even describe such a thing in
a book; I felt as if I was right there with Alice throughout her torture, throughout the
control he had over her. I felt trapped in this character and felt as if I was living her
This was labelled as a young adult novel, I know so many bloggers have already
mentioned the fact that it shouldn’t have but I disagree. This is exactly what mature
teenagers need to read. Everyone should read this. I am now carrying this story around
with me everywhere I go.