Despite my initial absolute disdain for the main character, this turned out to actually be a pretty good read. It read very much like a teen horror movie.
It tells the story of 17 year old Olivia Flynn, who at such a young age has already become an international best-selling author with a YA trilogy. She has legions of fans, rich parents, and the means to do pretty much whatever the hell she wants. She's got her ticket written to a prestigious Ivy League college because her dad's alumni and her parents are wealthy so she's already got a room waiting in the best dorm on campus. She's completely and totally full of herself and a complete and utter pain in the ass bitch. I loathed this girl from the first page onwards. She flaunts her success and her wealth in the most obnoxious way possible and doesn't seem to give a crap about anyone or anything other than herself. She is absolutely the worst kind of over privileged author who thinks she utterly deserves all the fame and wealth and success right away. She has no patience for the "old women" she constantly sees at conventions and workshops who she thinks don't have a snowball's chance in hell to be as successful as she is
On the way to a writers retreat, her expensive car has a terrible accident. She spots a young girl with a flute who appears to have seen everything and shouts to the girl for help. Things go rapidly downhill from there. She wakes in a locked basement room, with the girl’s mother, clad in a “Mrs Daryl Dixon” t-shirt. And her nightmare begins.
As things go from bad to worse for Olivia as the mother and daughter team start to torment her, she’s suffering injuries from her car wreck (and constantly whining about her missing £300 Italian leather shoes that are no longer on her feet) she learns that the mother, Peg, seems to think Olivia is responsible for something bad that happened (to either Peg or the daughter, it’s unclear) and Olivia must suffer for it. Olivia clueless brat she is, has no clue what that something is. So she starts to think back.
We learn of her oh-so-traumatic childhood. Apparently she was bullied mercifully throughout her school years, to the point of where she developed that hair pulling affliction (which has a really complicated name I can’t remember or spell) no one noticed and no one helped her. The group of girls she wanted to be friends with had her be really mean to a new student who joined the class, but then turned on her the next day.
When her parents found out they pulled her from that school and her mom gave up her law career to home school Olivia who by then had decided she wanted to be a writer and had a talent for it. So instead of focusing on home schooling or even finding a new school to transfer the girl to, Olivia and her mom decide to focus on Olivia’s writing. She got a few hours of school in the morning and then she blabs on about how she worked really hard at her writing and got like, instant success.
Which personally, I didn’t agree with at all. Yes, it sucks horribly when people pick on you for seemingly no reason other than they can, I've been through that myself, so I know first hand just how frustrating and horrible it can be. It’s really really had to be sympathetic at all to Olivia, even though what she went through as a child was horrible because she’s such a hateful know-it-all bitch at present.
Though I hate the fact that this little bitch had only a bit of school work in the morning and then got instant success for a writing career. I loathe Olivia so much I can’t find anything redeeming about her to be happy that she rose above the bullying and became successful. She didn’t deserve to be destroyed the way she was, but I do think her parents coddled her too much when they found out. They didn’t’ report it to the school or get anything done about it or send her to a therapist or anything like that. It’s let’s become famous and successful and then they’ll all see how awesome I am. Which just makes me want to gag.
As Olivia remembers she’s continually tormented by Peg and the daughter, and their horrible cousin Wesley who is a really slimy piece of work. Olivia starts to take in her surroundings and think about how she’s going to escape. What she’s seen on movies and TV and what not to do. To be fair, she’s actually pretty logical and shows some keen intelligence when we get to this point. Which comes with more reminiscing about her past and her oh so fabulous carer.
She remembers when a novel came out a few months after hers with a very similar plot. So similar that she blogged about it and her fans gathered up and called it plagiarism and actually went after the other author, verbally attacking her and pretty much destroying her career. Olivia doesn’t think she did anything wrong.
As much as I loathed Olivia, and rather enjoyed seeing the little brat desperately trying to preserve herself and figure it all out, it was actually a pretty good read. Though it still drove me up the wall when the red herrings came back in and the answers finally came to light and Olivia found out what it was she had done that was so terrible. And it was pretty fucking awful on her part. Yet of course, she manages to justify it to her benefit so of course can’t have done anything wrong at all and she deserved none of what happened to her. (Spoiler – she totally DID deserve everything).
At least by the epilogue she had finally toned her hatefulness down. The ending did make me grin. A totally and utterly deplorable main character, but if you can look past that, a pretty good read.