Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Girl Next Door

And no I don't mean the movie with Elisha Cuthbert.

I just finished this book, which is about a boy who tells the story of how his neighbors brutally abuse and eventually kill a foster child in their care. It's a little bit Lord of the Flies because the kids are in on it, too.

Well let me tell you DON'T READ THIS BOOK. And I'm not saying that as some sort of reverse psychology business to make you actually want to read it. I felt like I was going to be sick a few times reading it and am ashamed to even admit that I read it until the end. It's kind of like a bad car crash - you know that by looking you may see something horrible but you can't help but look. The story is loosely based on true events, and I guess the writer wanted to provide the point of view of someone involved who can also be detached from the events going on. The abuse described in this book is so extreme and detailed, the author must have gone to a very dark place to dream this up and put it down on paper.

Anyway this book is awful purely due to the subject matter. The writer does do a great job with dialogue, as most of the characters are in the 12-14 range and it can be difficult to make a kid's dialogue sound authentic when you're a 30-40 year old man (or so I can imagine). The author also does a great job of putting you into the mind of a 13 year old boy who witnesses all this stuff but is unable to bring himself to tell, due to loyalty, fear, and ignorance.

With that said, I give this book 1/5 stars. It was just too horrific and disgusting for my taste.


  1. Thats odd. I thought I posted comments on your last two posts and they are not showing up.

    Anyway, I said I could never read something that disturbing, stories like these stick with me too much. Why did they want to kill this boy?

  2. To clarify it was a girl that they killed ... and I'm not sure that they actually wanted to kill her. It kind of got out of control and certain members of the group that was doing the abusing were the instigators and it became a pack mentality where people started doing things they wouldn't otherwise do under normal circumstances. Plus the foster mom was effed up in the head.