I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.The Detour by S.A. Bodeen
Published by Macmillan on October 6, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller
On her way to a writer’s conference, a bestselling teenage author takes a detour that has been deliberately set up by her biggest fans—a mother and daughter who kidnap her. Livvy Flynn is a big deal—she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself. When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. She’s on a tight deadline for her next book, and she has no intention of socializing with the other industry people at the conference. And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she’s hurt, and she’s tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go.
The first thing you might think of when you read the jacket copy for The Detour is the classic Misery by Stephen King, and while this book definitely explores some of the same themes, it takes a few twists that make it its own story. To begin with, the author created the mythical young YA writer. Livvy is a publishing phenom, snagging a six figure book deal and taking the YA world by storm. She is on her way to a writing workshop when things go terribly wrong. It definitely had a Misery feel to it as she realizes that the people who rescue her aren’t there to help. The thing is, Livvy is not likable. She’s an arrogant jerk, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the story. In fact, as we learn more about Livvy, we find that she is full of a lot of self doubt and while that humanizes her, it didn’t make me like her. I still wanted to find out what happens to her, though, which I think is a testament to the writing. It’s a good example of how you don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the book. (Gone Girl is another excellent example of this.)
I couldn’t help but see a few minor (but good-natured) jabs at the world of YA books and publishing, in general. The pacing was brisk and while this book is not very long, it manages to pack in a lot of tension filled escape attempts which will keep you on your toes. I loved the way the origin of Livy’s captor is revealed. At first I thought I had it all figured out, and while I did guess some of the details, there were at least two twists that I did not see coming. The Detour was a short but fun read. If you like thrillers and stories that play with your mind a little bit, this would be a great choice for you.