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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cellar - A. J. Whitten

Released May 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Meredith Willis can't agree with her sister Heather's attraction to their new neighbor. While Heather and every girl in their school sees Adrien as a complete hottie who never takes his sunglasses off, Meredith sees death and evil. Is her reaction to Adrien part of her grief catching up or is he dangerous?

Meredith comes to realize that Adrien and his mother are hiding something. It all links to their cellar. Adrien knows about Meredith's snooping and is determined to stop her. How can she convince everyone around her that Adrien is not the gorgeous charmer they see before Adrien destroys everyone she loves?

The Cellar is told from two viewpoints, Meredith's and Heather's. They've recently lost their father in a tragic accident, so both question how much of their grief plays a role in their perceptions. Heather falls head over heels very quickly and things revolve around a school production of Romeo & Juliet; she and Adrien have the starring roles. The sisters' personalities are different and the author does a great job capturing their strengths and weaknesses.

Meredith is falling for Heather's former boyfriend and he's the only advocate she has in the majority of the book. While the reader is aware of Adrien's undead existence from the start, characters in the book discover it later into the story. Readers will cheer on their growing relationship and wonder if things will work out. As a result, the horror/zombie aspect of The Cellar is broken up by the teen romance. It's a perfect blend of the two and teen girls are likely to love it!

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