Isaiah Ferguson, CFNN Reporter

Looking for a good book or two during this quarantine? Here’s a two-part series to check out!

Part 1 of Natasha Preston’s two-book series is called The Cellar. It’s an intriguing read that is great for young adults and older. I think I enjoyed this book so much because there was never a time when I got bored. Even when there was not a lot happening, the author always found a way to keep it interesting. 

The basis of the story is that nothing ever happens in the town of Long Thorpe – that is until sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson finally gets invited to a local party, but disappears without a trace. No family or police investigations can track her down. She spends months inside the cellar of her kidnapper with several other girls, Summer learns about her kidnapper, Clover, and his abusive past. He views his victims as his family, consisting of beautiful and pure flowers. Summer, who Clover calls Lily, joins Poppy, Rose, and Violet as Clover’s “flowers.”  But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out.

The story is very modern and has an eerie vibe to it. I never wanted to put it down, hence why I finished it in two days! The book goes into multiple points of view, including Summer, her kidnapper, and Summer’s boyfriend. Learning the thought process of every character is very interesting, making for a more involved read. 

The book goes through how Summer plans on escaping, how her boyfriend tries to find her, and how her kidnapper tries to keep her contained. Throughout the story, the reader has to figure out whether or not Summer will return home or not make it out of her kidnapper’s cellar. I rate this book a 5/5, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in high school and older!

Part 2 of Natasha Preston’s two-book series is titled You Will Always Be Mine. This sequel somewhat wraps the story of Summer and her fellow flowers up in a nutshell. Although it was not as interesting or terrifying as the first book in the series (as most sequels are), it still is a thought-provoking read. Compared to the first books amazing character development and flowing plot structure, You Will Always Be Mine felt very unstable and rushed almost. Many characters made decisions in the story that didn’t quite make sense logically, which added to the choppiness of the story. 

After escaping from police custody, Clover tries to piece his life back together. He’s determined to return home and be reunited with his family, he has to first elude the countrywide manhunt. Clover’s uncertain if he’ll be able to resist his old ways in order to remain undetected. After hearing that Clover has escaped, Summer and her friends prepare themselves for the inevitable – that Clover is coming back for them. She doesn’t know if the police and their families are enough to protect them.

The story as a whole is pretty cunning because it does wrap up the series well, but if I were to personally grade individual pieces it would not score very high. 

I highly recommend these books! Even if you don’t choose these two, pick up a book and read! It’s a great way top pass some time at home.