Lily has been abducted from outside her high-school gates.
For eight long years she’s been locked away from the outside world. During that time she’s changed from a girl into a woman. She’s had a baby.
And now she has seized her chance and escaped.
Running for her life, with her daughter in her arms, she returns to her family and the life she used to know – to her much-loved twin sister Abby, her mum, her high-school boyfriend – and her freedom.
But is it possible to go back?
Lily’s perfect life as a teenager doesn’t exist any more. Since she’s been gone, her family’s lives have changed too, in ways she never could have imagined.
Her return, and the revelation of who took her, will send shockwaves through the whole community.
After reading the book description for Baby Doll by Hollie Overton I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book, and lo and behold I got approved to read an ARC. There are numerous books on the market that deal with abductions and the experiences of victims, but the author takes a very different approach, and the book starts when Lily escapes the evil and manipulating clutches of her captor. Baby Doll explores the issues of a victim attempting to rebuild her life after eight years locked away from the outside world, it also explores how such abductions alter the life of family, friends and the local community, and the far reaching consequences of such an hideous act.
Told in the third person, the story is narrated from the perspectives of Lily, Her sister and her mum and occasionally from the abductor himself, a controlling psychopath who appears to have no remorse for the crimes he has committed. Although I did enjoy the plot of Baby Doll I felt the author tried to include the points of view of too many characters, and unfortunately in my opinion this meant they lacked any real depth. I felt I never really got to know Lily and despite the terrible abuse she suffered, we only seem to find out Lily’s thoughts and feelings on a superficial level. Lily’s emotional journey was credible, but I couldn’t drum up any real empathy for her or the family, thinking about it I felt the author provided the reader with a thrilling and exciting storyline, but by focusing her attention on the plot her characters lacked the depth I look for in a novel.
Baby Doll starts off really well I found the storyline fascinating and at times gripping, but sadly halfway through I found it a mediocre read, and then for the last quarter of the book the pace picked up and I found it gripping once again, with a few twist and turns thrown in that I never saw coming. There were a couple of times I found the plot to be “over the top” and unrealistic, but hey that’s just my humble opinion. I feel the author has written a very promising debut with an original take on abduction, and I’m sure there will be plenty of readers who will love Baby Doll and rave about it, and I can understand why this novel will appeal to readers, but for me I can’t fully appreciate a book if I am unable to embrace the characters and feel some connection with them.
3.5 out of 5
Publisher: Century (30 Jun. 2016)