Published September 2nd, 2008 by Simon Pulse
Be thankful you are free.
As Amazon's summary says, the prose is sparse, which leaves the reader to imagine a lot of things. Sometimes, what you don't see is worse than what you do. A line as simple as "he touched me" had me envisioning all sorts of horrific things, and made me even angrier with Ray. Which I didn't think was possible. But my hate for him grew as the story went on, until by the end, I wished I could get rid of him myself. I felt as though he was a real person. And in a way, he is. There are Rays all over the world, living their sordid lives undetected. And the thought of that makes me sick, and makes me hate this Ray even more. I think it's a sign of superb writing when you can make a reader feel that strongly about a character you only see for the length of one book. Even after I finished, I couldn't get him out of my head.
Besides the story itself, the writing is incredible. The tiny details Alice notices stick with you. The way things are described are not your standard combination of adjectives, but the phrases are so beautiful and evocative that you know exactly what the words mean. A flower isn’t just a flower. Silence isn’t just silence. There’s always something more behind it. Alice’s thoughts flow from one to the next with ease, and you really get the sense that this damaged, vulnerable, ruined girl is talking to you. I cried while reading it because I felt so connected to what was going on within the story. And though I won't give away the ending, I can't decide whether my tears at the end were happy or sad. Maybe a mixture of both.
There really are no limits to what can be written about, but I especially applaud people like Elizabeth Scott, who tackle subjects like this one. Lucy Christopher did it, too, with her book, STOLEN. People always ask things like, "Why didn't they try to escape?" "Why didn't they fight back?" But how could you possibly understand if you haven't been in the situation? I feel as though this particular piece really answers that question. Or at least offers one possibility.