Summer. 16, in love with her boyfriend Lewis, living a completely normal life in a boring small England town. That is, until she gets kidnapped. And s...moreSummer. 16, in love with her boyfriend Lewis, living a completely normal life in a boring small England town. That is, until she gets kidnapped. And shoved down in a cellar to find three other girls already there. Instead of them cowering in fear of their kidnapper, or hopped up on drugs to survive being his sex slaves, they're Stepford wife-like individuals who explain Summer's new way of life. Summer is no longer Summer. She has been renamed Lily, and she is now one of Clover's (their kidnapper) "Flowers." Each of the girls has been renamed-- Rose, Violet, and Poppy, respectively. Clover expects them to be members of his family, cooking for him, cleaning to meet his OCD expectations, and most importantly, clean up after his murders. Because, as "Lily" soon finds out, it's Clover's mission to rid the world prostitutes. He picks them up, brings them to the cellar, stabs them with their trusty knife, and leaves the girls to clean up mess before he drops the bodies in the canal. But more importantly, when one of his Flowers is acting up, he kills them off and finds replacements.
Now, this book is not for the faint-hearted. It's intense. Ridiculously good, but intense. I'm not one who gets frightened by books easily, but this one certainly freaked me out. Why? Because this is something that truly does happen in real. There are real people who do these sorts of things. And the idea of it happening to me or someone in my life is what's so intensely scary.
Anyway. The book is told in alternating perspectives, between Summer's POV, detailing what's happening with the girls in the cellar, Lewis's POV, telling what's happening with the 7-month long search for Summer, and Clover's POV, where he talks about his creepy past, how he started collecting girls, various versions of the Flowers, and his current "normal" life outside the cellar.
Have you ever read Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher? How about Rotters by Daniel Kraus? I think The Cellar combines the story content of Stolen, and the utter WRONGNESS of Rotters. Only, in The Cellar, Clover does all the actual killing, while in Rotters, they just dug up all the graves. But still. You get the idea.
That said, man it was a good book. Totally not uplifting in any way, so if you're not looking for something to totally depress/freak you out for a few days, then this probably isn't for you. But if you are looking for an intense psychological horror, kidnapping story, I recommend this one.(less)
My only real thought: I liked Benji, and I was sad to see he used like that. Although Trip was the obvious (eventual) love interest, I'm sad Benji was...moreMy only real thought: I liked Benji, and I was sad to see he used like that. Although Trip was the obvious (eventual) love interest, I'm sad Benji was written to change so drastically when in an actual (at least on his part) relationship. I'm sad he's not in some rockin relationship, because he's funny and nice and a good friend and can treat a girl well.
Also: after all that waiting, we don't even see Trip and Charlotte make up/make out? After ALL THAT?! All we get is the allusion through the notebook, and a short thirty second conversation right as Charlotte's going up on stage? We'll now, that's disappointing.(less)
I liked this one so much better than the first! Finally, finally, the girls are starting to work together, and they feel like a group, rather than ran...moreI liked this one so much better than the first! Finally, finally, the girls are starting to work together, and they feel like a group, rather than random individuals who don't have anything to do with each other.
A few thoughts: Nicolaus. He just sort of disappeared. And why, exactly, did they have to keep everything a secret? Like, why couldn't Principal what's-her-bucket know about the demons? She's on their side, after all. Even more so in this book. And although I like understanding more about "The Council" and everything, they just make everything more complicated, right? Why are they such haters? Who don't KNOW ANYTHING? Also, I was disappointed by Viktor's character. I thought he might be a pseudo-Elias, or that he would be more involved (positively involved) with the Circle. Perhaps the next book.
The Most Surprising goes to: Ida. Which in and of itself is surprising. Halfway through the book, I was so incredibly frustrated, because IDA. WASN'T. CHANGING. She was just as an awful person as she was all through The Circle. What's the point in having such an angry, peevish character, IF THEY AREN'T GOING TO CHANGE. But, then, without you really knowing when or how, she does. Slowly, she starts thinking about others besides herself. She starts to realize that she's been doing wrong, and that she needs to be a team player. And then... then...... that ending. That ending... I was just starting to like her!
Also: I totally called the lesbian action back in the beginning of Book 1.
First off: POTTY MOUTH ALERT! This book had an incredible amount of F-bombs. I don't know how swear words are treated when books are translated, if th...moreFirst off: POTTY MOUTH ALERT! This book had an incredible amount of F-bombs. I don't know how swear words are treated when books are translated, if the just turn everything into the F word whether the real word is of the same severity or not, but maaaaaaan. Be warned.
You know, I liked this book. It wasn't exactly what I thought it as going to be, but I liked it.
The Circle (the English version) is about a group of teenage girls living in a small town in Sweden. They come from all walks of life, from the "average" Minoo with her doctor mother and newspaper editor father, to the bullied Anna-Karin, to the risqué Vanessa and everything in between. After a murder staged as the suicide of Linnea's (one of the girls) best friend, Elias, the girls are drawn to an abandoned theme park on the night of a mystic, blood-red moon. There, with the confused school janitor, they find out that they are the Chosen Ones: witches with the power to stop demons from bringing about the apocalypse. No pressure. Their mission? To find Elias's murderer, who is a human the demons have blessed with power to act for them, and vanquish him/her. Only, the killer has no plans to go quietly, and tries, through telepathy, to kill three more of the girls. Also, the girls must try to figure out their each individual powers-- at least, those who appear to have them. The book is told in the alternating views of Four of the original Six: Minoo, Anna-Karin, Rebecka, and Vanessa.
Now, in both that description, and the one found on the back of the book, you'd think it'd be a book about magic, right? But it's not, not really. It's more of a story about six separate girls, living six separate lives, with a little magic thrown in. Doesn't sound all that "Circle"y, right? They seem to really form a group together, at least not in this volume.
And, I must say.... (Spoiler Alert) but Rebecka's death totally didn't make sense to me during most of the book. I mean, a great part of the book had been in her point of view up until that point, so what was the point of all that character building and investing time in her and her issues if she's going to be killed off? I thought she had to be coming back somewhere later in the book, because the timing, I guess, just didn't feel right to me. And I guess, through Ida and Anna-Karin's vision later on, she does appear again, which felt a little better. It just felt very... Off-kilter to me.
However, having said that, I did enjoy the book. Enough to immediately download the sequel, which I ADORED. So if you're feeling so-so on the first book, just try the second! It gets even better :)(less)
I think because I loved Nameless so incredibly much, Wayfarer fell a little flat for me. There were a few little things that went wrong for me: I didn...moreI think because I loved Nameless so incredibly much, Wayfarer fell a little flat for me. There were a few little things that went wrong for me: I didn't enjoy Ellie's character, I didn't find her love interest/their attraction to each other believable, and there was often bits of foreshadowing that went uncompleted, which I found frustrating beyond belief. Ellie would have a random thought, start going to some vague, foreshadowing, unrelated thought, and stop herself before we understood what in the world she was actually talking about.
But mostly, I missed the world building magic that lived in Nameless but wasn't apparent in Wayfarer. One thing I adored so much about Nameless was that the absurd and inappropriate and insane could happen, but St. Crow had built a world in which it was acceptable. I didn't feel that in Wayfarer. I felt like we had reverted back to the social customs of our own world, and that's not what makes stories exciting, you know? I missed it. I was just impressed with the way St. Crow has pulled it off in Nameless, and I was excited to see how she would do it again in Wayfarer.
I still love the world these books are based it. It's creatively different without being all dystopian.
But my favorite part of the whole book? THE EPILOGUE. That's where I felt the acceptable absurd of fairytales come in to play, and I loved it. It makes me wonder... now there are unsatisfied, secondary characters for TWO books that have disappeared at the end of the story... will they reappear in another book? Or is this the last we've seen of Rita, the Scarecrow, and Cami's brother, Tor? Somehow I don't think so.
I'm a little hesitant for Ruby's story. Characterwise, Ruby is much more like Ellie (in my opinion) than Cami, and I'm worried at the end of it all, I'll have enjoyed Nameless, but feel indifferent about the other two. We'll see, I suppose.(less)