Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review: The Cellar

Everyone at school can’t stop talking about how hot Meredith Willis’s new next-door neighbor, Adrien, is. But Meredith can’t help but think there’s something strange about the cool, sophisticated new guy, and those sunglasses he constantly wears are the least of it. Every time he’s around, Meredith sees things—terrifying things that nobody else seems to notice. And 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 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?

I always hate giving a bad review. Ninety-eight percent of the time, if I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. But this one was short, seemed like an easy read, and I wanted to know how it all ended (although, I should’ve just skipped ahead to find out). Plus, I love zombies.

Following the death of their father, sisters Meredith and Heather barely speak to each other. Heather blames herself, since she was driving the night of the wreck, and Meredith can’t seem to reach out to her sister like she used to. Everything changes when the new guy, Adrien, arrives. All the girls swoon over him, except Meredith; she knows something about him is off. And she has every right to trust her gut. Between witnessing Adrien burying a suitcase in his backyard, and finding a businessman’s shoe underneath the front porch, Meredith believes there’s something else going on. So, when Heather suddenly becomes Adrien’s fiancĂ©e, Meredith decides to intervene. Will Adrien destroy anyone who stands in his way of being with Heather, or will Meredith send Adrien back to the grave?

I wanted to connect with at least one of these characters, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I feel like I barely touched the surface of this story. Everything seemed so flat, and the constant switch between several different points of view was jarring. 

A couple of things bothered me while reading this, too: nobody stopped and questioned why Adrien never took off his sunglasses (he had maggots, worms, etc. crawling in and out of his empty sockets). I think this might be due to his supernatural “influence” mumbo jumbo, where everyone is under his spell, but still, it annoyed me. 

Another part that was never fully explained was Meredith’s immunity to Adrien’s charms. Why was she the exception? And why did she constantly get whiffs of her father’s Old Spice cologne/deodorant? Was this the author’s way of saying her father was protecting her? If so, why didn’t he protect Heather, too? 

As an aside, I’m sure a lot of readers will find the content slightly graphic, with plenty of blood and gore, but it didn’t bother me at all. So, if you do buy this, you’ve been warned. 

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless you want a mindless read. If you enjoy zombies, or the paranormal, then this might be the book for you. Sadly, it wasn’t for me.

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