tl;dr |✭✭✭✭✩| This book is disturbing. It most definitely will trigger someone, and its very hard to read. But it was written well, and I think the story is an important one.
Description: Alice was taken by Ray when she was 10. But Alice isn't her real name, it was given to her. And it was the name of the girl that came before her. Now that Alice is getting older, and no longer looks like the child she was when she was abducted by Ray, she knows her time is short lived. So when Ray asks her to help him find a new girl, Alice knows she has to do everything just right or he'll kill her
This book. Oh man. I started this book on my commute to work and got a little over half way through the story. I cant lie, I was really glad when I had to stop reading to get off the bus and go into work.
Don't get me wrong. This story is engaging. Its well written. But it is brutal. It is real, and it is absolutely terrifying. The important thing this story brings to attention, and even addresses through Alice (her thoughts), is the problem of victim shaming. It happens far too often, particularly to women, but really it happens to anyone who becomes a victim. People who don't understand how someone could "let themselves" be threatened, beat, and raped. People don't understand why its so hard to stand up and fight back, and to escape such a horrific setting and treatment. Even Alice addresses this at one point. She talks about how she used to think it was as easy as just leaving, but she learned through Ray that it wasn't as easy as that.
This story isn't full on graphic in the depiction of what happens to Alice, what Ray does to her. But it most definitely does not "fade to black" either. You very clearly, as the reader, know what she is going through without it being written in an overly explicit or eroticized way. It makes it way more horrific, and far more real. And I think thats where the power in this story lies. Its horrible to have to picture what happens, but when an author glosses over it... you can kind of forget. Or you can kind of, pretend its not as bad as it is. But in this story, you're forced to see what Alice is put through. You don't get to look away unless you stop reading the book.
This book definitely isn't for everyone. Its disturbing and will stay with you for a long time. But I think its important to read, so you can understand the life of the victim. How they survive what they go through day to day, and why they aren't able to simply fight back and leave. It will also be a huge trigger for some people. And for those people, I would give extreme caution before heading forward with this book.