I loved this book. It was awesome and I enjoyed reading it. I have never read a book like this where a character is kept as a hostage.
So basically, the story is about Naomi, who gets kidnapped and kept as a hostage in a house. The criminals in the house keep her because they thought she saw something about the crime they committed. However Naomi's captors, are not like many criminals. They are nice and kind to her. They treat her well. She becomes kind of like part of their family. and she falls in love with one of them.
I liked Naomi a lot. She kept seeing herself as weak when she complied with Eric (the leader of the family) but I think that she was courageous to do what he said and smart. She was doing what was necessary to survive. Naomi's life has kind of sucked. Her parents were absentee parents whose jobs consumed all of their time. Her boyfriend, Brad, was abusive towards her but she kept making excuses for him. She focused on the things he would say to her and how she felt safe in his arms when he held her rather than his actions. So after Naomi was with her captor for a few weeks she began to like being there and ended up not wanting to leave. When she begins to fall in love with Jesse, she becomes very content with her situation and wants to stay with him. She becomes attached to her other captor as well. Throughout the story, Naomi keeps re-visting her thoughts on her mother. Naomi isn't sure he mother really loves her which makes it so easy for her to not think about escaping. Naomi shows a lot of strength in the book in the way she deals with her situation, her love for Jesse and her thoughts about her parents. However everything about her captivity is not all peaches and cream and there is some violence towards her from Eric. Of course we see Naomi break down and cry and get hysterical but that is something to be expected. Even though her life was awful, that still doesn't mean she wants to be held hostage. As I said before she thinks herself to be weak but I see her as the opposite- she was and is strong.
What can I say about Jesse? I fell for him just like Naomi did. He was different from Eric. He never hurt Naomi and never raised a hand to her. He tried to stay away from her and not engage in a relationship with her. Naomi's plan was to pretend to fall in love with Jesse because she saw him as the weakest link and as a chance of escape. She never planned on really falling in love with him. Jesse is nice, kind, caring and genuinely wants to help her. When they begin a relationship, he never pushes her to do anything she doesn't want to do. He always there for her and tries to help her in any way he can. He is very courageous with his action at the end of the book which shows how much he really loves Naomi.
I like the other character as well. For some reason I like Naomi's dad even though he's not mentioned a lot in the book. I like Evelyn, Eric's sister who is also one of Naomi's captors. She becomes like a mother to Naomi. She cooks for the family and dotes on Naomi. Naomi talks to her about things that she could never talk with her mother about. She talks to Evelyn about Jesse and her feelings for him. Evelyn also genuinely cares about Naomi and her well being. She even begins to teach Naomi how to cook and does yoga with her. She is the first one to treat Naomi with kindness and is very happy that Naomi is there. Naomi is like the daughter or sister that Evelyn never had. I also liked her husband Steve. While he is in the book, you never really get to know him that well.
I'm kinda on the fence about Eric. He has his good sides and his bad sides. He is easily angered and when he gets angry he uses violence to solve the problem. He had punched and hit Naomi many times and almost always in her face. He uses violence and threats to try to control her. AS time passes, he becomes kind to Naomi and at times is like a father to her. He really doesn't want to hurt her but he will if she threatens his family's well being. I like Eric when he's nice- he cooks for Naomi and lets her out around the house. But when he gets angry and hurts her, I get massively pissed off. Its clear that Eric comes to care about Naomi and possibly even love her (as a child or a sister) but he would never let his guard down where she is concerned and will do whatever he needs to do. I understand where he's coming from and I understand how he became like he did- He and Evelyn had a horrible life that is explained later on in the book.
I found myself caring for these people who took Naomi captive and wanting nothing bad to happen to them which is crazy because they are criminals. I didn't want them to ever be caught or go to jail. I kept finding myself wanting Naomi to stay with them and not leave them. Stockholm syndrome anyone?
I didn't really like Naomi's mother. She went back to work ONE DAY after finding out that Naomi was missing. One day! Are you kidding me? She says horrible things about how she used to feel about Naomi, like how she never really missed her before she went missing. What kind of mother is that? She was just so cold. A few of the chapters were in her pov but I found myself not being able to sympathize with her. She took Naomi for granted and now that she's missing, she wants her back and wants to fix everything between them. Which begs the question, if Naomi was never kidnapped would her mother have ever wanted to fix the problems in their relationship? Its seems that now that Naomi's gone, her mother realizes every crappy things she's done to her and NOW she wants to make it up to Naomi. For me, its too little to late.
I liked the romance between Jesse and Naomi. What started out as a plan to try to escape became something different. The romance was slow and not rushed at all. There were times you were sure that they were going to kiss or do something else, and then they stopped for some reason or other. Both Jesse and Naomi truly loved each other and you wanted them to be together but then your thinking, "Will it work? Will they actually be able to be with each other? What happens if she escapes, will she still love Jesse? Can she really be with some one who kidnapped her? Does she really forgive him?" Some of these questions are answered in the book.
I can't wait to read the second book and see what happens. I do want Naomi and Jesse to be together and if they're not I will be very unhappy.
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews