As a child, "Alice" went to an aquarium with her class. While she was there, a man approaches her and pretends she is his daughter. Alice never has a chance to say different. The man then takes her to his home. The girl is never found. As one discover later in the book, this girl is not the only girl who has been kidnapped by Ray. The first girl Ray kidnapped is now dead. The second Alice is not only molested in Ray's home, but she also is deprived of food. Ray wants her to stay under 100 pounds, to keep her childishness.
One day Ray strikes a deal with Alice. If she will find him another child to sexually abuse, he will maybe let her go. Of course, letting Alice go was never really part of the plan, but Alice agrees anyways out of desperation and goes to a park to look for a new child.
She finds a new girl to tell Ray about and then sleeps with the girl's brother to get more information about the girl. A policewoman in the park notices there is something wrong with Alice and asks her if she is okay but Alice is too scared of Ray to tell her she has been kidnapped. Later, however, Alice does tell the little girl's brother that she needs help. Enamoured with her intensity, the boy agrees to help.
As the book progresses, we learn more about Alice and her former life in small snatches. The final scene in the book is when Ray and Alice come to collect the new girl before leaving town. The girl's brother, true to his word that he will help Alice, leaps out of the bushes with a gun. He shoots Ray and perhaps Alice. The question of Alice's survival is left to the reader to decide.
Alice - This is not her real name. She was kidnapped by Ray as a child and is now in her teens. She is becoming overly desperate and has almost given up on life.
Ray - The antagonist in the book. Ray was sexually abused by his mother as a child and is now taking out his pain by abusing young girls. He first abused another girl whom he named Alice but she is now dead. He then took a second Alice.
- 2010 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choices Pick
- 2010 YALSA Popular Paperback
- 2010 YALSA Amazing Audiobook
- 2009 YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
- 2009 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
- 2009 Amelia Bloomer Project Young Adult Fiction Pick
- 2008 BCCB Blue Ribbon Award Winner
- Cynsations Cynsational Book of 2008