Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Review - Alee: an Every Girl novel by Nicole Loufas

Title: Alee: an Every Girl novel
Author: Nicole Loufas
Publisher: Nic Lou Publishing
Publication Date: November 18th 2019
Print Length: 292 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Fiction
With just weeks left before her high school graduation, Alee dumps her sunshine stealing boyfriend in epic fashion – by sleeping with his best friend.

Since bad things happen in three, becoming the school slut is just the beginning.

A mass shooting steals the life of Alee’s Olympic-bound best friend and a homeless drug addict turns out to be the father who abandoned Alee as a child.

With a backpack full of daddy-issues and a bucket list of broken dreams, Alee searches for light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Will the man who broke her, be the one who saves her life?

I love realistic fiction books that are a bit dark. When I first read the synopsis of Alee by Nicole Loufas, I was instantly hooked. I ended up devouring this novel in a short time!

The book starts out with Alee as a 17 year old high school senior. After sleeping with her boyfriend's best friend, she dumps her boyfriend for being too selfish. After being slut shamed at school, Alee finds comfort in her best friend Bryn. However, while at swim practice, Bryn is shot and killed. Around that time, Alee reconnects with her father that left her and her mother when she was 5, but even he isn't really there being as he's a homeless drug addict. With everything going wrong, Alee finds solace in Laine, her now ex-boyfriend's best friend - the one she slept with. The book talks briefly about Alee's life until the age of 21 where it really focuses on what is going on with Alee. When a major life even happens, Alee is thrown into a downward spiral that she may not ever escape.

I thought the plot for Alee was written beautifully. It's a story that most people can relate to in some way. I was sucked into the plot, and I felt like I was a ghost watching Alee's life unfold from the age of 17 to 21. There are a few minor plot twists which are interesting, but there are no cliff hangers. All of my questions were answered by the end of the book. The pacing for Alee is mostly perfect. There are a few, very rare, times where the pacing slows down, but it instantly picks right back up. I was never bored while reading Alee.

The characters in Alee felt very realistic and fleshed out. In fact, I felt like I knew all of these characters at one point in my life. Alee is such a strong character. She has had so much bad happen to her. It's as if she can't catch a break. It was interesting to follow Alee's thoughts on everything that would happen to her. She tried to stay positive even when her world was crashing down. I absolutely loved Alee, and I kept wanting something positive to happen to her. Laine seemed like such a great guy, and it was obvious how much Alee meant to him (and him to Alee). I loved reading about the love between Laine and Alee. I liked how Loufas made them feel like a real couple by giving them problems as well and not some Hollywood romance. I never really liked Benny. He was well written, but I always felt like I couldn't trust him. Throughout the book, I just kept wishing that he'd stay away from Alee!

Alee is a dark read, and it has quite a few strong triggers. These include gun violence, death, murder, suicide, rape, drug use, alcoholism, miscarriage, profanity, mentions of underage sex, and sexual situations (although not too graphic).

All in all, Alee was a very interesting and emotional read. If you are a fan of sunshine and rainbow books, Alee is not for you. However, if you're after a gritty, beautifully written realistic fiction novel that discuses tough issues, then Alee is the book you've been waiting for. I would definitely recommend Alee by Nicole Loufas to those aged 17+. Alee is one of those books that will keep you thinking about everything that happened in it long after you've finished reading it.

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