5+stars for the first 161 pages, 3.5 stars for the rest of the book. I will be using the names of the Special Ones to avoid spoilers.
The first half of the book was amazingly creepy, spooky, haunting and I just couldn’t stop reading.
I just adore (if that is the right word) books about cults. I always finds it intriguing to see people totally fall for the tricks of one person. To totally believe in it and get into their roles. Though in this one we could already see the cracks in the facade. Felicity had to be constantly reminded about her role, Esther was doubting, and Harry well I won’t say anything about that. And Lucille is still so new that it takes a while before she settles in her role. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a bit earlier of the story.
The idea that someone is always watching you, forcing you to undergo punishment (varying from whipping to knives to creepy cellars and no food), forcing you to fit in certain roles (verification), forcing you to go on collection if someone needs to be renewed. shivers Not to mention that for most the house/farm was all made to be like something out of hundreds of years ago. The only thing that showed that it was the recent day were things like the computers (they had to chat to followers every day), the fence, and that the house was bugged with cameras/microphones.
Each person had their set of rules and sentences and answers. They all had to conform to how they were meant to look. Which meant hair dye and contact lenses. Everything had to be perfect for him.
I was definitely creeped out while reading, especially as you just knew that something could happen. Something terrifying. Something that may kill you.
We also see a collection happen when there is a need for a new Lucille. This one just kept me on my seat. That poor girl. 🙁 How terrified she must have been. How afraid.
But as soon as Esther gets renewed in the second half and thus gets out of the farm, things go down. Mostly this had to do with how Esther was treated by everyone around her. Lucille was a total bitch. I am sorry, that you got kidnapped and that it was horrific, but really? Blaming Esther? And also making up all sorts of bullshit reasons? You whut mate? Or people outside who blamed Esther and called her a villain because of how she acts and how she knows things. So, she knew about the factory, or actually she had a hunch? And that makes her a criminal? People talking about how Esther was never to be trusted. How she was cold and all that sorts of things. Really. It just pissed me off to no end that people who act so shitty about it. Not even caring or thinking about how Esther must feel. She has been stuck at that farm for years with no way out. She has been forced into a role, and she had to cooperate because she knew something terrible would happen if she dared make a mistake or if she dared to run away. She had a vague idea of what happened to the Felicity’s and Lucille’s that were renewed. Plus the whole relationship with Harry was cute, but I still felt it was a bit too much Stockholm syndrome for me.
Also the twist about how Esther came to the farm made me not like it that much. Then again it did fit with the whole cult thing and how people join it.
Then there are the parts about him that made my stomach churn. Though I have to say that I am quite happy that the author added them. It gave more depth, insight, and creepiness to the character and we could see how he started the farm and all the Special Ones stuff.
Then again, at times I was shaking my head. These girls were all lured to a car, to the farm with promises. Anyone ever heard of stranger danger? Or is that something of my past and something that kids these days don’t know about? Sorry, if some weird dude talked to me about some talent show I would just nope the fuck out of there.
What happened to the people when they were renewed? I had quite a few horror scenarios in my head and one of them turned out to be the one that happens in this book. Of course you will have to read the book yourself, as I am not going to tell you.
Also she states that she never had scissors in the farm, yet *points to above*.
But this is definitely one book I would recommend, I flew through it. It is a shame I had to sleep otherwise I would have finished this one last night.