David's Reviews > The Cellar

The Cellar by A.J. Whitten
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's review
Jul 17, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: teen, fiction, romance, horror
Read from June 28 to July 05, 2011

The literary world is currently festering with a slew of teen horror romance novels, each extolling the virtues of chastity -- yet apparently endorsing necrophilia. The most recent addition to this line up is The Cellar, by A.J. Whitten, which, as the back cover indicates, is the pseudonym for tag team writers Shirley Jump and her teenage daughter Amanda. Um, cute.

At 280 pages, consisting of small page sizes and large font type, The Cellar is really more of a novella than a novel, clearly marketed to teens with short attention spans, and who prefer information delivered in chunks of 140 characters or less. The story focuses on high school student Meredith Willis and yer younger sister, Heather. Their father has recently died, their mother copes by spending countless hours shopping online, and their aunt and twin boy cousins are staying with the family for an indefinite time period.

Out of the blue, new neighbors move next door, in a previously abandoned, decrepit house. Are you getting chills yet? Their curiosities piqued, the Willis sisters meet their new neighbor the following day at school: teen hunk Adrien, with movie star hair and a penchant for sunglasses. As the female student body fawn over the dreamy Adrien, Meredith suspects something is not quite right with Mc Steamy. Heather, however, is smitten with the new kid on the block, and her crush is the first bright ray in her life since the death of her father.

Soon, however, things start to unravel. Persons go missing, Adrien's activity is suspicious, especially his choosing Heather as the object of his affection, and Meredith stumbles across dark secrets concerning the boy wonder, but nobody will listen! And why does Adrien not let anyone meet his mother, who never leaves their mysterious home? And what does Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet have to do with it all? You'll have to read to find out!

The Cellar is a very quick read and will likely pacify most teens for a few hours, providing a modicum of entertainment. It will unlikely be as popular as books from the Twilight series, which is ironic, considering the writing quality between them is equally mediocre at best. Still, The Cellar is a better time-wasting alternative than Angry Birds, as it gets teens away from electronic devices and into the world of books, dusting the cobwebs off imagination and critical thinking.

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