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Review: The Cellar by A. J. Whitten


The Cellar will be published in May of 2011.

Meredith and Heather Willis are sisters dealing with the recent death of their father, and with the new kid who has moved in next door. Check it out on goodreads. Or read my review, and then decide whether you want to bother or not.

What is good about this book... hmmm. Well, there exists this genre of horror for people who don't like horror. This is one of them. The Cellar reads about one level up from a Goosebumps story, so this is not a real horror story. So, there is the good. Now, everything else.

To begin, the dialog. The characters in this book talk exactly like an old person thinks teens should sound like. Example, "Maybe it's his cologne. Eau de hunk."... "Maybe I should try some. Think they sell that at Hollister?"(egalley pg 117).
An actual line from pg 157: "He would have his forever bride." And, because they are teen girls, Heather and Meredith say "Oh, my God" every other line on every page! OMG! All teens talk like that all of time! Like, wow!

Adrien, the creature/lover boy is so 1980's lame with his permanent sunglasses and red Camaro that he is laughable. Heather is not fleshed out at all, all she gets to be is depressed (and to say OMG!)

The thing that really drove me nuts was the constantly changing POV. We are with Meredith, then in Heather's head somehow, and then we are with Adrien-with no transition, and all in the same section of the same chapter. I was so confused at one point...

After an incident with smell, we are informed that our main narrator has an eye condition and that may make her unreliable. What that has to do with smelling her dad's cologne is beyond me. I have never heard of an eye condition that could explain giant bugs crawling up your leg either, but these authors have. The same eye condition explains away bugs in Adrien's eye sockets as well bodies hanging on chains in the basement. Hmm.

A.J. Whitten is the pen name for Shirley Jump, a grocery store romance novelist (you know those romance novels they sell next to magazines, but not next to the bestsellers? Jump wrote The Cellar with her teenage daughter.

I cannot believe the stars this title is getting on Goodreads, they must be friends of the authors.

For me, 2010 was The Year of the Zombie (I think I read more zombie books than I can shake an ax at). How disappointing to wrap up the year with this book. These things in this book are not zombies. They talk, and feel pain. This is also one of the worst endings I have read in a long time. Team Zombie members- I warn you to stay away!!!! Otherwise, you will be rolling in your literary graves!!!!

ARC from netgalley, thanks!

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