Mar 4, 2014

Review: The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Title: The Cellar
Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Source-books Fire
Publishing Date: March 1, 2014
Pages/Format: 368, eARC

When sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson goes missing one night, her family, friends and boyfriend are devastated. Nothing ever happens in Long Thorpe, so the disappearance of a school girl shocks the whole community. The police waste no time in launching a search and investigation, but with nothing to go on and no trace of Summer, hopes of finding her quickly fade.

Colin Brown, is a thirty-year-old solicitor living alone after the death of his mother. He suffered a traumatic and abusive childhood, and is left with no sense of right or wrong. Desperate for the perfect family, Colin, referring to himself as Clover, turns to drastic measures to get what he wants.

Book in One Word: MUGH.*

*A combination of meh and ugh.

The Cellar interested me because it's about a kidnapped girl, and I like kidnappings. (I know, I'm weird.) I was hoping for a book that was a thriller, kind of dark and creepy, and, well, good. (And I'd just watched Prisoners before reading this, so I was kind of excited.) However, I wasn't even 5% into the book before I had this sort of annoyed, ragey feeling coursing through me and wanted to put the book down. And yet, I kind of liked this book. And I don't know why.

I don't want to sound rude or anything, but really, the problem here is the writing. It did several things to make this book not work. Now the concept, that was great. A girl is kidnapped by a man who wants this group of girls locked up in his cellar (with furnishings and all that) to be his family, he names them all after flowers, they have certain duties, there's murder, etc. It could be a good thriller movie. But the writing gave the story a lack of thrills and suspense; it took away those feelings you should get with a novel of this concept.

But what REALLY annoyed me (and I was able to bear it and not feel so UGH over time, but still, it was THERE) was just the writing in general. All three POVs--Summer, who's kidnapped; Lewis, her boyfriend; and Clover, the kidnapper--sounded pretty much the same. Their voices/internal dialogue/whatever you want to call it were, in short, annoying. They explained everything, overexplained, questioned, and did so multiple times. (I tend to notice repeat information, and it drives me crazy.) I rolled my eyes a lot, and I kind of wanted to wring the characters' necks. Like, No shit, Sherlock. It's not that I disliked the characters; the writing just did not give this story proper execution. Some flashbacks were unnecessary to the story. And the flashbacks were kind of spotty, and then at one point the present just jumped ahead five months. Really, it was frustrating.

And even though I have a dislike and annoyance toward the writing, I don't find myself hating this book. I pushed through my very strong desire to just STOP READING it and finished the book, mainly because I wanted to see how the story would play out. I found myself actually wanting to read the book. I don't know why, because I had lots of issues with The Cellar, and it's nothing--I don't know how to say this nicely--spectacular. If it was written differently, this could be a very good, thrilling, suspenseful book. But it wasn't. Yet I still kind of liked it or something. You know, I just DON'T KNOW.

I don't do star ratings, but I think I see myself giving this book...three stars? And I know that doesn't make sense given this review, but I don't know. This book frustrates me. I didn't feel anything while reading it (nothing good, anyway), but anything below three stars just doesn't seem fitting. Maybe 2.5? I just--I liked the concept, and that helped me to keep reading. It was interesting to see the story three ways: through Summer, who's stuck in the cellar; Clover, the crazy-yet-not-crazy person keeping her there; and Lewis, the boyfriend who's desperately searching for his girlfriend. Like I said, there's something I liked about The Cellar, which doesn't seem right. (I think all the problems may lead to the writing.) But at the same time, I may have said some not nice things to my Kindle while reading/when I finished it, so...

Did I like it? Despite everything, I kind of liked this?
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? I'm going to say no...
Would I purchase it? No.
Who would I recommend it to? If you like books where people are kidnapped, then maybe this is for you?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.


  1. Darn, I really liked the cover too. Simple but eye catching. I always stop wanting to read a book when it involves 30 something guy solving crimes but he can't be normal he has to have FEELS EVERYWHERE. Nah, sorry, not for me. Put your feels somewhere else.

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

  2. I am in love with this book! After I read the first page I cannot put the book down. This is the first book I could ever get into reading.

  3. This is the best book I have ever read and I'm about to read the sequel You'll Always Be Mine! Can't wait!!

  4. I bought the book and read it, and I agree, it is annoying how the POV's are written. The review was nice to see that I wasn't the only one who thought the book wasn't amazing. My friends and I read it for a book project and I was the only one who didn't enjoy it. The plot was very intriguing, but the way that it was written was not executed as well as it could have been.

  5. I thought the book was AMAZING, the plot was great and the fact that it ended with a happy ending made me love it even more. And I thought that the (very LITTLE) repeativness was good because it refreshed your memory (especially for the people with a life who can't sit down all day reading). I thought the back stories were good, so we could understand how she was feeling and why she wanted to get back to her family so badly. Also up top where you said " and then at one point the present just jumped ahead five months" WHAT DO YOU WANT THE AUTHOR TO DO? Make the book extremely long and boring so you get the pleasure of reading through those five months, maybe the author was running out of things to write about, maybe she didn't want her readers dying of boredom, or I don't know, maybe it's more realistic for someone to be kidnapped for eight months rather than two (because if it were two, then Summer wouldn't really have anything to be complaining about. She's supposed to be living in a so called hell, how can it be hell if she was only there for two months. People in the book were there for two years some were killed, some were never found. So how exactly was Summer supposed to be living in "hell" if she was perfectly fine. Then found after two months, also how was she supposed to be feeling all those emotions when she was found in the end, IF SHE WAS ONLY THERE FOR TWO MONTHS. Two months can't really make a change to your mental state/health). And for the people that didn't like the book, try writing one yourself and we'll see how well it turns out. Then let's hope that there some mean, rude and annoying people out there like you who will rate you book badly (and just so you know I'll be one of them)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    1. PREACH!!!!!!!

    2. Ya! I second that, that book was AMAZING!!! So you should just shut down this pretty little website of yours! BECAUSE YOUR WRONG!!!!! Also this book is a '#1 New York Times Bestseller, so on behalf of all the people in New York that liked this book, again YOUR WRONG. Also the cellar is a 'Wattpad Sensation'. Missed that did you? I guess you were too busy writing a bad review, you didn't have time to read the front page!!! Well lets hope you know for next time. :) Toodles!

    3. I said it the first time and I will say it again PREACH!!!!!!!!


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