HomeReviewsYoung AdultReview: Notes From My Captivity

Review: Notes From My Captivity

Notes from My Captivity

Title: Notes From My Captivity
Author: Kathy Parks
Genre: YA Fiction, Paranormal
Page Count: 352
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Date Published: July 10, 2018
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Adrienne Cahill’s stepfather has dedicated his professional life to researching and proving the existence of a fabled family living in the Siberian wilderness. The Osinovs, said to have just disappeared three decades earlier under odd circumstance, have remained a mysterious legend.

When a reporter casts serious doubt upon his published research, Adrienne’s stepfather invites her on the trip of a lifetime – travel with him to Siberia in his last ditch attempt at proving the existence of this mythical family. Focused on the excellent college-entry story this could provide, Adrienne accepts.

But this dream trip into the unforgiving Siberian wilderness soon turns into a nightmare when Adrienne herself is captured by the elusive family. When numerous attempts at escape fail, she resorts to one last hope … befriend the younger brother and plea for his help. But nothing is as it seems in this eery forest, where dangerous forces both real and paranormal lurk around every corner.


Let’s Talk Part One: The Blair Witch Project: 

If you were a kid of 90s you probably know the movie I’m referencing that purported to show the “real” footage of a group of teens who all mysteriously disappeared in a creepy forest never to be seen again … except for all their gear.

Part One felt exactly like this. Adrienne is a conflicted, snarky, sarcastic, and desperately grieving teen about to embark on this grande trip to Siberia. Of course Siberian forests are anything but forgiving, even in summer, and the crew quickly fall into trouble. It’s creepy and angst filled and wrought with tension.

Let’s Talk Part Two and Three: Lost meets Wild

After Adrienne is abducted by the very family she never believed existed, the story changes into a haunting, lyrical journey of self discovery, survival, healing, grieving, and forgiving. Adrienne’s sarcastic humour throughout provides much needed comical relief but I often found it undermined the tension. The brevity didn’t always fit the gravity.

Let’s Talk Mismatched Parts:

I really enjoyed this book and was completely engrossed and fascinated … but the transition from Blair Witch Project to Lost/Wild was really clunky and I still can’t decide if it was done well. The eery, paranormal activity that really drove part one, basically disappeared for the remainder of the book … and I was really liking that part! This abrupt transition may have been intentional on the part of Kathy Parks, leading the reader to feel what Adrienne herself might be feeling, spun around and completely upside down … I just don’t know if I loved it.

Overall Thoughts:

This book had a bit of split personality to it that still has me unsure. Part one of the book builds like a spooky horror film, much akin to The Blair Witch Project, but then turns on itself through parts two and three feeling more like a tale of startling survival, shared humanity, loss, grief, discovery and forgiveness. I found it a haunting and wholly unique experience, but the transition between the two storylines felt a bit clunky. Still highly recommended for those seeking a different, paranormal read – it’s quite unforgettable.

TBR Ranking: High

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