Read The Stepdaughter by Carol Ellis Free Online
Book Title: The Stepdaughter|
The author of the book: Carol Ellis
Date of issue: April 1st 1993
ISBN 13: 9780590460446
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.45 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2529 times
Reader ratings: 4.6
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This book was very well-written and a great read. While the basic plot isn't very original (teenager suspects their mother's new husband is a killer), Carol Ellis was able to make an original, suspenseful story out of it. The rising tension throughout the story is real and had me on edge while reading it and (view spoiler)[Livvie's confrontation with Richardson at the end (hide spoiler)] was pretty thrilling. However, this book wasn't without some flaws, but I'll get to those later.
Plot Synopsis: From the moment she met Allen Richardson, Livvie Palmer is sure she's not going to get along with her new stepfather. But despite her feelings, everyone else thinks Allen is the greatest. Livvie's feelings for Allen are confirmed when she thinks she sees his picture on TV-as a man wanted for the murder of his wife and stepdaughter. Is Livvie's mind playing tricks with her? Or is her new stepfather really a murderer?
I love how the plot gets going very quickly. By the end of the first chapter, Livvie is already thinking that Richardson (she refers to him by his last name several times during the book) is a murderer. Livvie has some really great character development during the book. She quickly goes from being a typical teenage girl to being a mature, intelligent, brave young woman determined to uncover the truth about her stepfather. I also liked the change in scenery, as Livvie's family goes to an old friend of Mrs. Palmer's so Richardson can repair their house. The woman is named Joanne Ward and she has three kids: Joel, Dana, and Kyle (I'll get to them later). I liked this change and it's very utilized pretty well.
The internal struggle Livvie goes through during the story is very realistic and makes the reader emphasize with her. She constantly wonders if she's being crazy or if she's really onto something about her stepfather. And the panic she experiences following the "accidents" that occur at the Ward house is understandable and you sympathize with her when no one else takes her seriously about them. All in all, the story was a very good read.
However, there are some issues. I was expecting for Dana or Kyle to turn out to be in league with Richardson, as they both had grudges against Livvie. But in the end, they just turn out to be meaningless red herrings. But Joel, Livvie's on again-off again love interest, is the second best character after Livvie. He's very complex and is not made unlikable despite his tendency to be emotional (at one point, he becomes somewhat angry at Livvie). He's the most likable of the Ward family.
As for the ending, it was pretty good. (view spoiler)[After looking through the newspaper documents and finding out that Richardson really was a killer, he shows up and tries to kill Livvie. They get into a confrontation, in which Richardson confesses to Livvie's "accidents." He tries to attack Livvie again, but she cuts his face with a knife and he flees when someone rings the doorbell. It's Joel, who takes Livvie back to his house. They go to Livvie's room and the phone rings. It's Richardson. He tells Livvie that she was lucky to escape him, but that she won't be so lucky if they meet again. Then, we get an epilogue where Richardson starts dating another woman who has a daughter. While I was a bit disappointed that Livvie didn't do away with Richardson in the end, the ending very nice and worked as a cliffhanger. (hide spoiler)]. I highly recommend this book to all YA horror fans.
Pros: Livvie's character development, Joel's character, the interesting change in scenery, the tension, Livvie's internal conflict, and (view spoiler)[the ending confrontation (hide spoiler)].
Cons: The red herring characters of Dana and Kyle and the slightly disappointing conclusion.
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