Author: Hollie Overton
Publisher: Redhook Books
First Published: July 12, 2016
First Line: "A deadbolt has a very specific sound."
Book Description from GoodReads: For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, Baby Doll is the most tense thriller you will read this year.
Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.
This is what happens next...
...to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter...and to her captor.
My Rating: 2 stars
My Review: This book had a great premise and an enticing blurb which describes it as a good book for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Those are big shoes to fill and unfortunately unfair and inaccurate comparisons. Whoever decides what goes into a book's blurb does a disservice to the author and loses credibility with the reader when the description doesn't accurately portray the literary product.
This book is not a suspenseful thriller but instead documents the aftermath of what Lily and her family go through after she escapes. There are strong similarities between this book's plot and Room (the popular book by Emma Donoghue) but Baby Doll is a much lighter version. The only tension and suspenseful energy happened right at the beginning when Lily escapes. After that it's a family drama, tangled romantic relationships and weak dialogue.
The story is narrated by four people: Lily, her twin sister Abby, their mother Eve and Rick, the man who abducted Lily. That's a lot of different perspectives but they weren't insightful or intriguing. The one perspective that was missing was little Sky's - a huge missed opportunity to see the effects of the confinement and subsequent freedom through the eyes of a child who has never experienced it.
A big issue for me was a lack of connection to the characters. I couldn't sympathize with Lily or her twin sister Abby (whose ability to add F-bombs into most of her sentences and make most situations about herself is astounding). I questioned many of their choices (especially how both were able to get away with disregarding police procedure) as well as how easily and quickly Lily and Sky recovered from their years of terror. They seemed to spring back with a new haircut and a trip to the mall. Um, wha?? It wasn't realistic and felt too superficial. Add in the abundant 'telling instead of showing' aspect with uninspired, one-dimensional characters and unconvincing dialogue and you can see why I gave this book a low rating.
This was a quick read but it had an overly dramatic 'movie-of-the-week' feel to it and a lack of tension-filled build-up in its plot. I realize I'm in the minority with my review with many other people rating it five stars. This just wasn't a book for me.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Redhook Books and NetGalley for providing the complimentary ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.