Friday, October 07, 2011

Review: Held by Edeet Ravel

Edeet Ravel
Released January 25th, 2011
by Annick Press, Limited

What happens when the source of your worst fears becomes the object of your affection?

Seventeen-year-old Chloe's summer vacation in Greece comes to an abrupt end when she is suddenly bound, gagged and whisked away to an unidentified location. Waking up from a drug-induced sleep, she finds herself in a squalid warehouse. Chloe can only imagine the worst.

After several days of total isolation and utter despair, Chloe faces a new threat when her kidnapper appears, but she also feels a sense of relief. His revelation that she is being held as ransom for a prisoner exchange, however, does little to allay her fears.

The weeks pass and, haunted by terrifying dreams and with only her thoughts to keep her company, Chloe fights to remain calm in an impossible situation. At least her kidnapper, although cold and distant, visits frequently, often bringing gifts. Before long, Chloe begins to have feelings for him that take her by surprise. Though still fearing for her safety, she now fantasizes about a life together. And is it her imagination, or does her captor share those feelings? Even when she is finally released, Chloe vows to protect her captor at any cost.

I was fortunate to have won this book in a Goodreads' First Reads giveaway, but I would have gladly paid for it as it's a wonderful book.

Chloe, a 17 year old, gets abducted during her vacation in Greece. In her mind she expects the worse: they are terrorists and she will be raped and killed, maybe tortured. So it came to a big surprise when she is very well treated with gourmet meals and everything she needs during her confinement. Consequently, she soon starts to fall for her abductor, an attractive and considerate young man. A classic case of Stockholm Syndrome.

The story is narrated by Chloe in a first person point of view. That way, we get to really be in her head and understand how she is feeling and what she's going through. The character of Chloe is very realistic; the emotions she's feeling are tangible and you become aware of her desperation throughout the ordeal. Before I read the book I couldn't conceive how this syndrome actually manifests, now I understand how easily it can. I never once felt it was unrealistic or excessive. I even hoped they would end up together while I was reading!

The only downside for me was the ending. I wasn't really sure what to think of it. Was her kidnapper just brainwashing her? Were the smoking kids actually there? Is she going to snap out of it? Or was it all for real? I felt just a tiny bit disappointed, but at the same time, it does add a mysterious allure to the story.

All in all, It was a fresh and unique YA novel. Suspenseful and captivating, Held is a great read and I highly recommend it. Good job Edeet! I will be seeking more of your work!

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