Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Summer has been taken. Even though her boyfriend Lewis and her family keep warning her to not be out in the dark alone, Summer brushes it off. As she walking around town looking for a friend, a man appears out of no where and calls her Lilly. Summer tries to back away, but the man grabs her and covers her mouth. He takes her home to his cellar where there are three other girls Poppy, Rose, and Violet. Summer is no longer Summer, but Lilly. Lewis and the Summer's family start searching for her, but have no leads. Meanwhile, Summer is constantly looking for a way out of the cellar and to get away from the man Clover who took her. He thinks he is saving all of his flowers' lives, but months pass and Clover is getting more and more on edge. Summer's family is getting closer to finding her and Clover doesn't want his Lilly taken away. Lewis realizes there is something wrong with Clover and the police start questioning him. Clover knows it's all over. He decides to go home to kill himself and all his flowers to keep them all safe. Summer fights him off as the police arrive just in time. Summer, Rose, and Poppy are saved but Violet didn't make it. Summer is a different person now, but for the better.
Preston brings to life a tragic event and present the story in disturbingly realistic way. Her writing style and the format of the novel allows the reader into the minds of Summer, Lewis, and Clover. Preston takes time to explore each character's past and explains how each character became the person that they are. The fear and hate Summer has for Clover, and the love and compassion she has for Lewis, her family, and the other girls with her is heartwrenching. The loyalty Lewis has for Summer and his determination to find her and keep her safe helps to develop the character. Although Clover's psychological instability and the sheer atrocity of what he has done is disturbing, Preston helps the reader to understand the choices he makes and the inner turmoil of his mind. Unity, endurance, and strength are powerful themes throughout the novel as Summer and the other girls become quick friends and figure out ways to help each other and keep each other strong. The Cellar can help raise awareness of being safe and keeping the faith.
*Contains severe language, violence, and sexual content.