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In Love with Your Captor | A Book Review on An Appetite for Innocence by Lucinda Berry

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

book reviews by black women

Author: Dr. Lucinda Berry

Genre: psychological thriller

Page count: 359

Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤


Hi friends. I'm back with another hot take on the newest books I've read. Whew. This one is a doozy. It's written by clinical psychologist Lucinda Berry. I originally heard about this book from another bookstagram account I follow on instagram. They recommended the book and since it was available on Kindle Unlimited, I figured what the heck?

Whew. Guys? this one was a lot. It was such a good book, but there were moments that were truly hard to read. Moments that made my stomach clench and my face twist up. I think that's how you know you found a really good story, when it evokes real life emotion out of you as you read. My heart broke for those girls in the story. In a nutshell this story gives us a look into what it's like when someone has Stockholm Syndrome. This syndrome occurs when someone has an emotional attachment to their captor or abuser. This happens as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and the need to cooperate for survival. This book does not hold back. There were a few moments I had to put it down and walk away for a bit. So without further ado, let's get into it.


Excerpt from Amazon

A serial rapist is kidnapping teenage girls. But he’s not interested in just any teenage girls—only virgins. He hunts them by following their status updates and check-ins on social media. Once he’s captured them, they’re locked away in his sound-proof basement until they’re groomed and ready. He throws them away like pieces of trash after he’s stolen their innocence. Nobody escapes alive.

Until Ella.

Ella risks it all to escape, setting herself and the other girls free. But only Sarah—the girl whose been captive the longest—gets out with her. The girls are hospitalized and surrounded by FBI agents who will stop at nothing to find the man responsible. Ella and Sarah are the key to their investigation, but Sarah’s hiding something and it isn’t long before Ella discovers her nightmare is far from over.

My Thoughts

Yes, okay. I know. This one is heavy. I thought the same thing when I read the synopsis. There were a few moments in the story where I really had to brace myself. It goes into detail about an incredibly sick individual. I wanted to take a knife to his eye throughout the entire book. The sad thing is, this story is not so far-fetched that it couldn't happen in real life. I think that is probably the most heartbreaking part about this whole thing. It could be happening anywhere. We live our lives through social media and it becomes so easy to forget that there are sick individuals out there, that use our posts and our check-ins, and our pictures to aide in their crimes. We need to be even more careful now that so much of life is lived through a computer or a phone screen.

The story is told through the point of view of Ella and Sarah both then, when they were still trapped in his basement, and now, after they had been found. The story talks about the moments leading up to escape and the moments after rescue. There is another girl down there with him that didn't make it out. Paige. My heart broke for Paige as I read. She tried so hard to stay happy and positive in such an ugly situation. I just wanted to hug her. I wanted to hug them all, honestly, even Sarah.

What I Liked About the Book

I liked the honesty. Like I mentioned before, this book speaks heavily about Stockholm Syndrome. It's not a cut and dry type of thing. It ebbs and it flows. There are moments where it makes sense and just as many moments where it doesn't. I felt bad for Sarah. Even though her decisions were infuriating, it shows just how completely trauma can shape your mind and your thought process.

I liked the fact that the story was so realistic even though that same fact made me uncomfortable as well. It was hard to read about what those girls went through. It was hard reading about the sick things that horrible man did to them. It was even more hard reading about the struggle to adjust to life after escape. So many people think that everything just goes back to normal after the trauma, when that is absolutely not true. Everything changes. You have to find a new normal. Even though it was hard to stomach, I pressed on. I am glad I pushed through.

What I Didn't Like About the Book

I will admit, I wanted John to suffer some horrific fate for his crimes. Even though it was more realistic the way it played out, I still have an attitude about that part. He should have suffered just like he made those poor girls suffer.

Honestly, truly, there really isn't much for me to say here. The book was hard to stomach but it was easy to read. Does that make any sense at all? Like the subject matter was horrible and upsetting, but the sentence structure made the story easy to absorb...? That sounds so dumb, but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say here.

Recommend or Nah?

If you can handle stories like this, I say go for it. It was a beautifully written book. However, if stories of rape and child abuse makes you sick to your stomach or makes it hard for you to sleep at night, I'd say maybe skip over this one.

Appetite for Innocence is 100% Booky Babe Approved! It's tough to get through, but if you can make it you'll be better for it. I think something that people struggle to understand, when they haven't been in traumatic situations is: Why do they stay? This book gives a clear look into that. Shows just how tricky it can be to find your new version of normal after suffering through something incredibly life altering and traumatic. So! If you decide to add this to your list of books to read, you can purchase it from Amazon here:

The Booky Babe is an Amazon Affiliate. Any books purchased using the links provided allows me the opportunity to earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Every little bit counts in helping the Booky Babe bring you the book related content you enjoy! Thanks in advance!

Well there you have it, friends! Go ahead and add this one to your TBR list (if you can stomach it). Once you're done, join me over on instagram or comment here and tell me what you think. Did you feel bad for Sarah? How about Ella and Paige? I can't wait to hear your thoughts! Until then...

Happy Reading Babes! ❤


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