Well, this was creepy This is essentially the story of a group of teenagers who ve been kidnapped and forced into playing the roles of people in a hundred odd year old portrait by a guy they never see He communicates with them through messages, and they know that he s always watching them And, every day, they have to go online and participate in chatrooms to communicate with the followers of The Special Ones.And if they don t play their roles sufficiently well or they re getting a little too old or a little too rebellious They ll be given their marching orders and someone else will be kidnapped and made to look like the people in the portrait and forced to play the same role I loved the idea of it, and I really enjoyed Esther as a character The second half of the book features a lot of chapters from the perspective of him the man keeping them prisoner and I wasn t such a huge fan of those And I think it s because there wasn t anything to indicate when we switched from Esther s perspective to his So one minute you d be reading about a teenage girl fighting to escape, and the next you d be reading about someone WATCHING the teenage girl fighting to escape and HOW CAN SHE WATCH HERSELF FIGHTING TO ESCAPE AND oh I guess we changed perspectives So while it was great seeing inside the head of him , a better indication of his chapters would have been nice I also liked that the ending wasn t a neat little package with everyone playing happy families Because seriously As if that was going to happen after the events of this book So yeah Creepy, but pretty fabulous. The Special Ones by Em Bailey is a captivating thriller full of suspense and mystery that was creepy and nearly impossible to put down The looming presence of the unknown Him had me hooked from the very beginning of the book and kept ratcheting up the suspense level continuously as the story progressed.This story had me asking questions from the very beginning and the need to uncover the answers kept me turning those pages The idea of these young characters being kidnapped and forced into positions of having to portray these paragons of perfection in a cult was both horrifying and fascinating One of the main questions that propelled me through this story was the fact the if the characters weren t sufficiently fulfilling their designated roles or had displeased Him in some way, they would be renewed, replaced by someone else to take on their role, but in what way they were forced to leave the house was the unknown element that really kept me in suspense.Reading through Esther s perspective was fascinating The fact that she was an unreliable narrator certainly added to the overall mystery and intrigue of the story.While the shifts in perspective during the second half of the book were a bit confusing, I did enjoy getting to see into the inner workings of His mind I think the you can show of a villains motivations in a story, the fascinating they become And that was certainly the case here.This book is original and haunting, and while I certainly enjoyed reading this book in July, I think it would be such a perfect book to add to a fall TBR list. This book was so creepy, oh my gosh.This review will be pretty short because I think it s best to go into this book knowing as little as possible.The concept of The Special Ones was so original and unique I ve never read a book like this before and it s really made an impression on me The writing was really great and I m very interested in checking out Em Bailey s other book. Like Gena Finn, I have such conflicting feelings about the two halves of this story I honestly do not know how to review this book because, overall, I think that it was a generally well written and downright engaging read But man, that second half It certainly dragged the story down overall I just didn t enjoy the direction the story took and the ending was disappointing.The First Half Like I said, the first half of The Special Ones was brilliant It was so easy to slip into the story despite how bizarre the situation initially seemed The cult ish setting completely upped the stakes and the tension was practically palpable If you know me, you know I have a weird obsession for cults and true crime so that s probably why I loved this first half so much I have always found criminal behaviour and psychology fascinating and because of that I loved how character driven the first half of the story was We really got to dive into the head of Esther and it was fascinating to see the balance of her strong willed, tough attitude and moments of weakness I wish we got to know a little about the other Special Ones but I can understand that would have taken the focus of the story in a different direction to what the author intended.The Second Half However, the second half was a different story The introduction of the him chapters really did not sit well with me They were so confusing Because there were no distinctive chapter headings, we didn t actually know whose POV it was until we read a few chapters both of the POVs were in first person POV present tense so there was literally no difference I also found his voice irritating I did not think he was particularly well developed and he just needed to be to tie the story together You cannot have a good mystery especially one like this if the bad guy isn t interesting I also just was not a big fan of the character arc of Harry I didn t connect with him in the slightest and I thought his relationship with Esther got and forced as the story went along The ending was okay I liked that it wasn t a perfect HEA because that would have been so unrealistic I did find it a tad unsatisfying, though I m not sure how it should have been changed, but I don t know something didn t sit right with me about it Two things, I did really love were How the writing style balanced the dialogue and descriptions perfectly and, I loved, loved, loved how it talked about the media s role in cases like this I took a legal studies class last year and after studying Lindy Chamberlain s case, in particular, I can really appreciate the entire trial by media concept and how justice can be affected by the role of the media It s actually quite fascinating and I thought that was a fantastic little extra thing to throw into the story.Overall, I think this book had a lot of elements that I love in a story but it kind of missed the mark Our protagonist was well written but I didn t get attached to the secondary characters liked I would have hoped too The first half was everything I love in a good Criminal Minds episode just from the victims perspectives rather than the BAU s but the second half was frustrating and the ending didn t help it out I m not sure if I d recommend this on or not but I ll definitely be trying of this author s book in the future to give her a second chance. He Keeps Us Here Because We Re SpecialA Claustrophobic And Irresistible Cult Book Like No Other, From The Award Winning Author Of The YA Thriller ShiftEsther Is One Of The Special Ones Four Teens Who Live Under His Protection In A Remote Farmhouse The Special Ones Are Not Allowed To Leave, But Why Would They Want To Here, They Are Safe From Toxic Modern Life, Safe From A Meaningless Existence, Safe In Their Endless Work He Watches Them Every Moment Of Every Day, Ready To Punish Them If They Forget Who They Are All While Broadcasting Their Lives To Eager Followers On The OutsideEsther Knows He Will Renew Her If She Stops Being Special And Yet She Also Knows She S A Fake She Has No Ancient Wisdom, No Genuine Advice To Offer Her Followers But Like An Actor Caught Up In An Endless Play, She Must Keep Up The Performance If She Wants To Survive Long Enough To Escape ARC FROM GIVEAWAY This book was all kinds of messed up.Some psycho decides to kidnap some people, trap them on a farm to do menial work and abide by a bunch of crazy rules while he records it all and posts it on the internet.Ya this was all kinds of messed up.so of course I thought it was awesome The MC was easy to sympathize with She was a little sad, kinda cool and a bit weird All the characters seemed to jump off the pages and the surroundings were well described giving you a clear picture of the scenes unfolding.Definitely something I would recommend to friends I read this one pretty fast, my goal was to read it in one day but, didn t happen It started off kind of weird and I wasn t sure if I would like it I m not really even sure how to review this yet, because I don t know how I feel about it It was creepy, but then stopped being creepy Then, it was confusing and I was like wtf am I reading And then it was good But then I don t like the ending Then I do I DONT KNOW. Reaction when I found out about this book I feel as if I need this book in my life now It sounds amazing and I need to inhale it.After Oh my god Yes, I inhaled that It follows a girl who is locked in a farm and is part of a group called The Special Ones It s as creepy and eerie as the synopsis is sounds and I love it I just spent my afternoon finishing TheSpecialOnes by EmBailey When I first found out about this book, I said I would inhale it, and inhale I did The Special Ones follows a girl who is has been brainwashed to believe she is one of The Special Ones The Special Ones include four teenagers, who are leaders Esther is kept in a farm house for her own safety She must cook, clean, and do whatever is expected of her She s not allowed to go past the varenda of the propety She s not allowed to touch other people She s not allowed to look at the boy living in the house for than 3 seconds If she does, she will be punished She must do everything he says He watches them every moment of the day, and comes in at night to watch them sleep He forces them to spend an hour online at night answering questions their followers have about life He forces them to punish each other He never shows his face.This book was powerful It s everything I want in a book like this I found myself reading faster than I have recently, just because I wanted to find out what was going on I think Esther was an amazing character to tell this story through You always knew what she was thinking and what she planned to do She seemed to be one of the girls with responsibility and had some direct contact with him In the second half of the book, it did change to his perspective, and I did get confused sometimes as there was no indication that we were swapping character perspectives Apart from that, I found these chapters to be insightful and gave me answers to things I don t think Esther would have been able to I think this was an amazing book that kept me constantly on the edge of my seat I loved finding out new things about the cult, and what this freak made them do Please, read it It won t take you long and you ll find yourself constantly thinking about it. This was excellent and I flew through it in two sittings It was dark and twisty and I had so many feelings I really loves this book Although it started a little slow for me the author found a way to suck me in and really care for the characters in this book and worry about what would happen to them I really loved the main girl Esther whos point of view most of the story is told from Em Bailey did a great job in capturing what the emotions would have been like for her and the other characters she was a headstrong and amazing main character It was a really well written great read and I couldnt put it down.