Cynthia's Reviews > The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
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May 26, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: horror, favorites
Read in May, 2012

I honestly didn't know if this review was ever going to happen. Why? Because I didn't know if I had the cajones to make it through this book. However, I'm proud to say I made it (barely).

If you know anything about Jack Ketchum, you know that his stories are not necessarily scary, but very disturbing and uncomfortable. The Girl Next Door is probably his most disturbing, horrific, stomach-churning, in-your-face-story to date.

You've read the synopsis above, so you kinda have a gist of what the story is about. What you don't get from the synopsis is the depth of abuse and torture these two girls (Meg, 14 & Susan, 9) endure. It's just unimaginable. What is even worse is this story is loosely based on actual events (if you are curious, google the name Sylvia Likens). I'm not going to even begin to go into any kind of detail about the abuse...it's really that terrible. There were certain points in the story I had to put down the book because it affected so much I had to have a moment to shed some tears.

You are probably wondering why on Earth I would give a book like this 5 stars. Well, it's a tricky thing. The Girl Next Door is hard to rate and review because of the subject matter. The way Ketchum wrote this story, he put me, as the reader, on the front lines of what was happening. This story is told from the POV of David, the next door neighbor and he seen first hand what happened to these girls. The way the story reads, it's like I was David. I was seeing all of this, and I felt helpless. Ketchum PUT ME THERE. I wanted to yell and scream at the characters in the story, I wanted to hurt the abusers--wanted them DEAD, just so these little girls could get away. Honestly, I have never been so involved in a story. I've never felt such strong (at times unbearable) emotions reading a story before. After the last page, I was drained.

Would I recommend this book? Only if you think you can handle it.
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Reading Progress

02/23 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily i haven't read the book & I'm not sure if I will...I watched about half of "The Girl Next Door" with my fiance last night and I shut it about half way through. It's so sick and I found myself getting uncomfortable and almost guilty while watching it. Strange...it definitely had me feeling weird after watching it...and usually books are worse ! So idk


Cynthia Emily wrote: "i haven't read the book & I'm not sure if I will...I watched about half of "The Girl Next Door" with my fiance last night and I shut it about half way through. It's so sick and I found myself getti..."

It's a VERY hard book to get through. I can't even begin to describe the emotions I experienced reading this book. To this day, I have never read a more disturbing and heartbreaking book than this one. I wouldn't dare watch the movie. I had enough of it playing in my head while reading this book. If you do decide to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.


message 3: by Emily (last edited Jan 17, 2013 07:10AM) (new)

Emily i think im going to suck it up and read it. What's crazy is I remember researching the actual events and murder that it is based on about 5 years ago long before I even knew there was a book or movie based on it. The woman who actually killed the girl is so freaking scary looking omg. she just scares me by looking at her. And as for the movie, the whole time the mom is just the worst, she's talking about sex, masturbating, and all types of uncomfortable things with the kids throughout the entire movie...i don't know if they touch upon that in the book but I felt like I was an uncomfortable kid while watching so well done to the actress Blanche Baker for completely freaking me the hell out !!


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