2nd March 2017, Chicken House, 336 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: childbirth (not detailed), inappropriate adult relations, kidnapping, tissues needed
Summary from Chicken House
Cousins Amy and Dee were kidnapped by a stranger as children.
Now, sixteen-year-old Amy is back with her parents. Dressed in purple and clutching a plastic doll, she refuses to answer questions. As Amy struggles towards a normal teenage life, her family – and the police – press her for information. Unable to escape her past, Amy realizes she has to confront the truth. How did she survive? How did she escape? And what happened to Dee?
I confess to peeking at the end soon after I started reading this. Please don't judge me for that-I needed to know if it ended horribly, because at the moment super heavy books aren't my cup of tea. Thankfully I coped fine with the horrific story of Amy's return with flashbacks to her kidnapped years.
I was devastared for how her and Dee's life changed.For anyone to endure such acts is hard on an adult, let alone a teen who repeatedly endured them. Their kidnapper definitely had a screw or 2000 missing, which made him unpredictable. I've read a fair few return from being kidnapped tales recently and this like the others stands out brilliantly on it's own. I had no clue what was going to happen to Amy, and cried for her lost innocence.
I loved how her family treat her, both with love and hate. Dee's sister is brilliantly portrayed, being there for Amy even when emotional baggage pained them both. I loved Amy's therapist who got nothing from her for ages, but because Amy was socialising and becoming friends with old acquaintances she kept slipping snippets of in of her life which her friends began joining the dots, making Amy face what she was trying to bury.
The reason for her silence and the mysterious doll is heartbreaking, but I promise there's a happy end. It's a tale that will stay with me a while, and one day I will reread it, but not for a while. This kind of read makes me dwell on those who go through what Amy and Dee went through, which is brilliant and a good way of explaining people's plight but it's a hard read emotionally and I need fluffy reads for a while after.
Find out more on Mary's website.
Another hard hitting read is Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield (Young Adult, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)