Saturday, June 25, 2011
The Cellar by A. J. Whitten
Published: May 2011
Copy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Meredith Willis is suspicious of Adrien, the new guy next door. When she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.
But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up in the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?
Ok, The Cellar was a seriously creepy book. As regular readers will know I have no problem with the living dead, but this book was just gruesome. I think Adrien will be sitting at the top of my nasty 'bad guy' list for quite some time. There was nothing to like about him at all, and I kept wondering, like Meredith, why Heather would fall for such an obnoxious person, but he has charisma. The reason that Meredith doesn't fall under his spell the same way everyone else does was nicely hidden for a good part of the book - the reader is kept wondering why, and this definitely added to the mystery vibe. One thing I had a little problem with was the alternating POV's, I was never quite sure who was talking.
Horror fans are going to love this book - for me it rated about a 9 on the nasty scale, I'd love to tell you why, but that would just be giving you spoilers, and I hate to do that! Let's just say I wasn't very hungry when I finished the book :p The family dynamics with Meredith, Heather and their mother and relatives worked well for me and I just adored their cousins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, or Tod and Tad if you prefer. I kept getting visions of Fred and George from Harry Potter, without quite so much humour. Sam, the romantic interest was kinda cute too, and a real 'nice' guy.
Interesting storyline, interesting characters and some serious nastiness. My advice - if you can't stand the heat, don't look in your neighbours' basement windows - definitely not a good idea. Remember that movie with Shia Lebeuf where his neighbour is a killer, what was it called? Disturbia, that was it (thank you IMDB). Anyway this book reminded me a little of that, with the creepy cellar thing going on, but this book is much, much creepier. Enough creepiness already, read it yourselves and find out.