A few weeks ago I finished a book called Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. (It’s not out yet and won’t be until July, but I received an ARC from the publisher.) When I finished the book, which I simply could not put down until it was done, I was breathless and bug-eyed.
I tend to read a lot of books. Lately however, the quality of the books I see coming out are mediocre at best. OK reads to pass a few hours. No phenomenal voice or stunning prose, but not utter crap either. Just words on one page to another. Then I get my hands on this book and, sweet mother of all that is good and holy, I am in awe.
First is the subject matter: It’s disturbing. There’s no other way to put it. It’s stomach churning and will likely give you nightmares, especially if you have weak sensibilities to begin with. But oh my goodness it is well done.
Subject matter aside, it was incredibly easy to read. The writing was so smooth, and sometimes funny, that it’s rather easy to forget that you’re supposed to be disturbed and then it hits you a few pages later.
Annie O’Sullivan, who narrates the story in a series of sessions with her therapist, has a raw conversational voice that just sucks you into her plight. When she gets snatched away by a psychopath, tortured and raped, you’re right there with her trying to find a way to escape.
When I finished it, I immediately gave it to my sister (we have a sort of book club thing going on) and when she finished it, she called me panting and screaming and exhausted. Yes, that’s the kind of book this is. You get physically wrapped up in it.
Then she gave it to some of her co-workers (apparently our book club thing has extended to her workplace) and they all had the same reactions.
To me, that says something about a book. When all these different people read it and have such a strong reaction, it’s a book with staying power. In fact, every one of us immediately went searching for more writing by this author. Um…turns out this was her debut novel. Still, I can’t wait for her next and I pray it will be as enthralling.
Frankly, I think this book has spoiled me. I tried to read a couple other books and they did nothing for me. I finally had to break down and re-read Wuthering Heights and Pride & Prejudice just to reset my literary brain. (Classic literature does that for me.)
Here’s to finding the next great reading experience.