REVIEW: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR BY JACK KETCHUM

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
JACK KETCHUM
GENRE: HORROR

SYNOPSIS: Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets, well-tended lawns and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan. On a dead-end street, in the dark, damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons--and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make...

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MY TAKE

5 STARS

I honestly didn't know if this review was ever going to happen. Why? Because I didn't know if I had the cajones to make it through this book. However, I'm proud to say I made it (barely).

If you know anything about Jack Ketchum, you know that his stories are not necessarily scary, but very disturbing and uncomfortable. The Girl Next Door is probably his most disturbing, horrific, stomach-churning, in-your-face-story to date.

You've read the synopsis above, so you kinda have a gist of what the story is about. What you don't get from the synopsis is the depth of abuse and torture these two girls (Meg, 14 & Susan, 9) endure. It's just unimaginable. What is even worse is this story is loosely based on actual events (if you are curious, google the name Sylvia Likens). I'm not going to even begin to go into any kind of detail about the abuse...it's really that terrible. There were certain points in the story I had to put down the book because it affected so much I had to have a moment to shed some tears.

You are probably wondering why on Earth I would give a book like this 5 stars. Well, it's a tricky thing. The Girl Next Door is hard to rate and review because of the subject matter. The way Ketchum wrote this story, he put me, as the reader, on the front lines of what was happening. This story is told from the POV of David, the next door neighbor and he seen first hand what happened to these girls. The way the story reads, it's like I was David. I was seeing all of this, and I felt helpless. Ketchum PUT ME THERE. I wanted to yell and scream at the characters in the story, I wanted to hurt the abusers--wanted them DEAD, just so these little girls could get away. Honestly, I have never been so involved in a story. I've never felt such strong (at times unbearable) emotions reading a story before. After the last page, I was drained.

Would I recommend this book? Only if you think you can handle it.

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