Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
Adult – Thriller
Published July 12th 2016 by Redhook
And so my fall/scary/thriller(ish) reading begins. I should probably not this review and say this book was sold with the blurb “For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train…” DON’T BE FOOLED. This is an awful comparison to make and the reason I’m going with for why I didn’t like it as much as I could have. I was expecting some major twists and to be sucked into an extremely dark world. This books did suck me into a dark world but it’s one that could be my own and that’s almost more terrifying. Overall, I think it’s Room if Room was slightly more thrilling and darker and dealt more with the aftermath of kidnapping. Long story short, I think if this book was being marketed better or to a different crow you would find more positive reviews of it because it was very well written.
Lily was kidnapped one day after school and held captive for 8 years growing from a teenager to adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter has only ever known this life and that’s what finally gives Lyly the strength to think about her release. When her captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked on accident, Lily makes a run for it. The rest of the story is told from the varying viewpoints of Lily, her mother, her twin sister, and her captor.
What kept me interested throughout is that this book wasn’t really about Lily’s life in captivity (she escaped very early on). Instead it was all about the aftermath which I thought was done really well. We know very early on who took Lily and once that was out of the way we get to piece together the why and the aftermath for the entire town. I loved the family drama that ensued when Lily returned because they were so happy for her to be home but she wasn’t returning home to the family she left. However, just because it’s not about her actual kidnapping does not mean it isn’t dark. I was able to get through it in a night because the vibe that something could happen at any moment had me hooked.
While I loved the vibe, and surprisingly enough Lily, there were other characters that I just couldn’t deal with. While not going into the plot too deeply, Lily was the most normal and well adjusted of the bunch which..really?! She experienced daily trauma for almost a decade but seemed content and fine and like she was moving forward in a healthy way. Abby was the one with some deep trauma that was obviously never dealt with. Abby, Lily’s twin sister, was the most selfish person I have ever read about in a book. I think my biggest problem was she was completely unaware and I’m honestly surprised she had a support system with how annoying she was. At least looking past all of that her motivations were clear and understandable. Wes on the other hand was just there. As Lily’s first love and Abby’s current, he had no real thoughts or development. He was deeply committed to Abby almost to a fault but besides to add tension between the sisters (because this book didn’t have enough?) I honestly couldn’t tell you what his purpose was.
Overall, I was afraid this book would veer into a town rallying against the victim and with the abuser territory but it never did. There were some questioning moments but the community largely believed Lily and that was never the source of the tension, which I thought was fantastic.
Probably not. I loved the plot and the concept of the story but not the actual characters. I would definitely pick up another book by Overton in the future though.