Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson


Having escaped from her kidnapper six years after she and her cousin, Dee, were taken, Amy returns home to a family that is broken in the wake losing her. Though pressured to disclose the horrors of her captivity (namely the whereabouts of Dee), Amy is silent about the experience. But Amy can only maintain her silence for so long. Soon, she is wrapped up in terrifying flashbacks of her ordeal, her mind focused on protecting the dark secrets of the last six years. Somehow, Amy must find a way to find her way back to her old life before she’s lost forever in memory.

Warning: this one is HEAVY. Though written for a YA audience, the themes in this book are extremely adult. It contains many triggers (see the full analysis) and even I needed to take breaks from it now and then. That said, the book is very well-written and packed with emotion. There are some hopeful feelings that float up through the end as well, so it’s not all heart-wrenching. But mostly it is. If you liked Room, or if you like serious tearjerkers, you make like this one. But be warned (again), it’s not an easy read.

Rating: 4/5 

For full analysis (including SPOILERS) click here. 


Hidden by Helen Frost

As an eight-year-old, Wren Abbott is unknowingly kidnapped by a man who steals her mother’s car while Wren is hiding in the backseat. Wren spends several days trapped in the man’s garage, secretly aided by his daughter, Darra. Wren escapes, and believes the ordeal is behind her; however, six years later, Darra and Wren re-enter each other’s lives at a summer camp. Through Frost’s powerful verse, the two must confront their shared past, and discover that long-believed “truths” may not be exactly as them seem.

This book was incredible! Frost’s verse is flowing and powerful, sucking you in from the very first page. Plus, the plot-line is amazing — girl is kidnapped and then happens to run into the daughter of her kidnapper at summer camp? Very dramatic. I especially like that Frost lets you see how things unfold from both characters’ points of view — there is no clear “right” or “wrong”. It’s all gray matter. You’re free to interpret every detail exactly as you’d like.

The novel is short. Too short, in my opinion. I definitely wanted more — more back-story, more about what happens after the “ending”, more poems! However, it’s short length does make for an extremely quick read, so if you’re not a fan of long books, this one is definitely for you. You’ll read it in one sitting!

*VOYA “Perfect 10’s” List, 2012

Rating: 4/5

For full analysis, including flags and SPOILERS, click here.