This is like the Young Adult version of Stephen King’s Misery – a plot I still do not want to read as an adult. I began this novel with some reluctance, but as it’s up for the Arkansas Teen Book Award (and I must read it as I’m on the committee), I remembered I am an adult and I can handle a sort of scary plot. So here we go –
When a rich, beautiful YA author (17 years old) crashes her car on the way to a conference she is rescued(??) by a young girl and her mother and Livvy assumes she will get to go home. Not only is that not true, but she is locked in a basement and told that she must remember what she has done that would warrant this treatment. As if that weren’t scary enough, the child that is 50% responsible for Livvy’s captive state, is a bit sadistic as well. Known simply as “flute girl” since she was playing the flute on the side of the road which led to Livvy’s car crash, the pain she inflicts is sometimes worse than the mental games of her mother. [Are we sure this is a young adult novel? I’m still not feeling safe with that classification choice]
Peg keeps blaming Livvy for something that she destroyed. Although Livvy has no idea what she has done, she begins to plan ways she can escape. It seems each ray of hope she finds or hope she has for being rescued (they will find her car, right?) is quickly shattered by the cold Peg, evil “Flute Girl”, or a perverted cousin trying to get into Livvy’s room. While Livvy spends her day napping and planning, she also flashbacks to her rough childhood of mean girls who teased, of hair pulling she inflicted upon herself, and the dread that her private journal in her car will be found by Peg – who can use words just as violently as her hands.
This is an insane story – but so fabulous! There are twists, surprises, and I was shocked many times. Well worth the read and one of my votes for sure. Teens and adults will enjoy it, but I wonder if we will get more of “Flute Girl” …. that girl is crazy.