For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents. Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.
During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bill’s grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killing—and then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes she’s been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang. She is hurled into a secret underworld, wondering why she is still alive and for how long.
Held captive in rural Vermont, she tries to make sense of her situation and what it means. While uncovering secrets about her brother and his untimely death, Emily falls in love with her very rich and very dangerous captor, twenty-six-year-old Cameron. She understands it’s a forbidden love and one that won’t allow her to return to her previous life. But love may not be enough to save Emily when no one even knows she is missing.
I remember reading this book for the first time a couple of years ago and I was tremendously impressed by the plot, and most of all, by the quality of the writing especially considering that this is Hockley’s debut novel. The book soon became a favourite of mine which is why I decided to revisit it. That in itself is something out of the ordinary, especially for a book of its genre, well at least when I am concerned.
The sequel is already out. I wanted to put this in here so that you won’t give up on it after reading my following thoughts. The ending is open, I would not call it a cliffhanger exactly, but there are many questions left unanswered, luckily for those of you who will be reading it for the first time now, you will not be left wondering, others were not as lucky as there was quite a gap between the two novels. After reading the first book I understood what my mum keeps mumbling about in regards to GoT.
The book’s theme is dark, darker than my usual reads, darker than you might encounter in most new adult books, but it is not that bad. Take my word on it! You will manage to get past it unless you are really put of by violence, foul language and mention of drugs.
The first few pages did not catch my attention the first time, as back then this was not the sort of book I enjoyed reading, but now after all this time I can see the appeal. The start is slow, but things pick up which is usually where all the people I know who read this book started truly enjoying it, myself included. Some scenes are predictable which is bound to happen if you are an avid reader, but there are quite a lot of scenes that took me by surprise.
As for the characters, Emmy is a bit naive, growing up having what appears to be the a perfect life, with the perfect house and family, but as in most cases, the emphasis is on appears to be. Emmy is truly and utterly alone. She has almost no one in he life and those few she does have are not her family. It was heartbreaking to see that she did not even have the love of her parents; they can not be bothered to care enough, which is a reality that so many people have to face in spite of being against nature. The one person in her family who actually cared about her was taken away too soon, but she is a fighter. Emmy fights for what she believes in, she is dedicated and most of all, kind. Her naivety is probably due to her age rather than her personality.
“You’re beautifully naive Emmy… I don’t want to change that”
Cameron on the other hand, is, despite his exterior, someone whom I cannot help but love. He is everything a real man should be, at least from my point of view: he is caring and smart, brilliant I would say and simply amazing. The one thing that stood out a bit, especially for this century, is his Dante like behaviour – loving someone he has never met. Cameron is protective by nature and a born leader which is clear from the fact that people follow his orders without thinking twice which shows the incredible force of his leadership, but also the trust he managed to awake in his followers.
Overall, the book is a love story, quite an unforgettable one at that, so my advice would be to go and get this book as soon as possible and I promise you won’t regret it!
From me: 4/5
“Whoever said that love hurts was wrong. Love is excruciating, especially when you can feel it slipping through your fingers and there is nothing you can do about it. Like someone was playing tug-of-war with my limbs, ripping to shreds whatever was left behind. What it would feel like when love was lost…I wouldn’t survive that”
“You’ll probably die if you stay with me,’ he told me.
‘Then I’m dead either way, because I won’t survive without you.”
“The problem is normal was’nt in my DNA. I was destined to be forever freakish.”