Book Review: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
One-sentence summary of Baby Doll:
An evil baby doll rises from the depths of hell and drives a haunted ice cream truck through upper-middle-class neighborhoods, serving treats that infect children with demons.
OK, ok, maybe Iâ€™ve veered from the plot just a hair. Hereâ€™s the true summary:
In Room…wait, I mean Baby Doll, a kidnapped woman and her child break free from the clutches of her longtime kidnapper, but they have trouble adjusting to life back in the real world.
I kind of liked my first description better.
Baby Doll is a good book, although the setup is extremely similar to Room.
A teen girl named Lily is kidnapped, kept for years, has a baby while in captivity, then escapes while the child is young and malleable enough to be molded into someone somewhat normalish after a tough adjustment period. Her mother experiences guilt and frustration in the process, and her Dad proves himself not strong enough to deal with her kidnapping.
Yes, itâ€™s been done before very similarly albeit not identically, but thatâ€™s not to say Baby Doll isnâ€™t enjoyable.
Almost more interesting than Lilyâ€™s kidnapping and the aftermath is how Lilyâ€™s twin sister deals with it; sheâ€™s a broken woman for many years.
When Lily comes home after years of kidnapdom, her twin puts the pieces of her life back together. But thatâ€™s the thing about repairing something once itâ€™s broken; there will always be cracks. Some too large to mend. Lily may have been the one in captivity, but her sister was also a prisoner to the situation.
Iâ€™m unsure whether to give Baby Doll three or four stars. Itâ€™s similar to Room in that it takes the bookâ€™s foundation and builds a slightly different house on top of it. But the house is still pleasantly inhabitable, albeit made with slightly cheaper, less durable materials.
Letâ€™s go with four stars.
And then there are the comparisons to Gone Girl. Comparing a book to Gone Girl has become somewhat of a pet peeve for me. Just because it has a complex female character or a slightly suspenseful plot (I wouldnâ€™t really call Baby Doll a suspense novel, BTW) doesnâ€™t mean the marketing has to use Gone Girl to sell the book.
Itâ€™s insulting to both authors who probably want their books to stand on their own merits (errrrrr, my comparison to Room notwithstanding), and frankly, itâ€™s somewhat insulting to women. Why all the frenzy over multi-dimensional, not always nice women? Are people just now realizing they exist?