Review : The Cellar, AJ Whitten

The Cellar by AJ Whitten

May 2nd, 2011 (US)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Meredith Willis is suspicious of Adrien, the new guy next door. When she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.

But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up in the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?

My review

I like zombie stories, in novels or in movies. I’m less afraid of violent and gore stuff than psychological elements in horror stories. This novel fulfills my requirements even if the treatment of the story and of the characters is a little bit simplistic and the end is a caricature.

The family of Meredith was traumatized by the father’s death in a car accident. Her mother doesn’t take care of her children and her sister feels guilty about the accident. Meredith has to live with them and her aunt and her twin cousins. But when Adrien and his mother become their new neighbors, Heather falls in love with this gorgeous but mysterious guy who never takes off his sunglasses. Meredith knows that Adrien is hiding horrible things but nobody believes her. Heather and Meredith can be next Adrien’s prey…

There are several graphic scenes with Adrien and his mother Marie which can be disgusting for sensitive readers, with violence, blood and flesh bitten. Some scenes are really creepy for those who don’t like bugs or rotten things. ^^ Meredith is a well-developed character and her suspicion against Adrien, despite everybody, is interesting to follow. However, the story and the other characters remained too flat, especially Heather’s feelings about her father’s death and Adrien about the evolution of his mind and in the end of the book.

There is a little romance which is not the main plot of the novel. The final battle resolves all the problems thanks to a magic wand and I really wanted more development about Heather which is, I think, a very interesting character, more deep than we think.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Missy
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 20:10:16

    It’s not a book for me^^
    For more reasons, the description don’t attract me and your review amplifies this.
    I’ve must read so many books in english than him will wait.


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