Monday, 4 June 2012

Review; Putting Alice Back Together.

Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli.
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books (2 Mar 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1848450591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848450592

Firstly, kind thanks to the publishers, for granting me the permission to review this book via Netgalley, for no charge, for an honest review.  This book was read on my computer as it had to be downloaded onto adobe and this doesn't support the kindle.

Book description.

There's only so much sex, Valium and red wine you can take to paper over the cracks... 
Alice Lydia Jameson is the friend you wish you had. The girl who makes a party more fun, pulls a funny face to make you feel better, drinks wine out of a mug and makes you laugh while you're crying over an ex. Alice is totally happy, everything is amazing, and there is nothing at all to worry about... except, well: Her job was really great 10 years ago; The sexiest guy alive doesn't want her...because he's gay; Her credit card bills are mounting up... But maybe the biggest problem for Alice is that she has a secret. A secret so big she can't tell anyone...but how do you keep a secret like that when everything is starting to fall apart? And once it's out there, how do you ever begin to put yourself back together again?
My Review.

Firstly, many thanks to the publishers for granting me access to review this book for which it was kindly received via Netgalley.  The book was sent as a download version onto my laptop to read via Adobe.  This title is basically what the book is about, no title that brings wonder or thoughts of what this book is about. I do like that with a book but it can be seen as a little boring.  The cover isn't amazing but it is meant to be Alice (hair colour) and the zip.....zipping up? meant to be fabric being brought back together, putting back together as in putting Alice together.  This is what i thought when i analysed the cover.  It isn't the best title or cover in the world BUT it does the job fine in my opinion and i actually like the title! Has soon as i read the description of the book i wanted to read it, i was hoping for a book that was about self-discovery and intrigue.  I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as i did and in fact i LOVED it!  I really did.  I couldn't put it down and i read it in a day!

I loved this book so much that i don't know where to start with what i want to say.  This book is no 'chick lit' and is a woman's fiction full of emotional turmoil and drama.  It wasn't just about putting Alice back together, it was mainly about her falling apart, her self-destruction, and spiralling out of control to whereby her life at that present time was an absolute wreck.  Living with depression & anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, debt, problems with relationships, family and work etc (the blurb states what i have just said).  The book does focus more on this falling apart than the recovery in my opinion and i did think, well if this book is about putting back together, then why is the recovery not the main part of the book rather than more about the self-destruct.  But then when i reflected upon it, i realised that the whole point of someone getting together and getting back to themselves, is to 1st self-destruct completely.  You have to hit rock bottom before you go up!!!!  This is what happens.  Has a person who suffers with depression and anxiety, the book did hit hard and i wept a few tears, i felt a bond with Alice and I'm not sure if it is due to this but i sympathised with her.  I believe that all readers would sympathise with Alice once they understand why she is the way she is.

The secret mentioned on the 'blurb' to get the readers attention to read the book is mentioned within the first page/chapter. However, this isn't just it and as a reader you know there is more to it and you are intrigued by it, you need details, and you need to know why.  There is a shock factor to it, there is upset and the vulnerability behind Alice is clearly evident.  How the author gets out this story is the narrative is in 1st person, that being Alice, but the chapters alternate between the younger Alice and the present one and even though this can be confusing at times, this is my favourite kind of book.  I love ones that alternate because it helps to give a full all round enhancement to the story.  It is written really well, you aren't told but are rather shown, so as a reader you can digest it yourself and use your own mind.  The internal dialogue used balanced with the interactions Alice has with other characters really help to add the emotion, you feel like you are going through this with her, you know her inner thoughts.  The secret adds suspense as i said and the details are slowly revealed and within this 'big' secret are other secrets due to the details, this adds to the shock factor of the secret.  When you know the full story, you completely understand Alice, you wonder how she is still living each day given how she has self destructed so far.  Even with flaws that Alice has you love her, you can't not, i wanted to hug her so many times.

This story is enriched by the other characters; Dan, Ros, Hugh (her friends) and family members.  She has problems with friends & family initially and for quite a way into the book, until she is crumbling and then her true friends are there, hugging her, looking after her. A friend who she honestly believes is her best friend is Nicole, who leaves to go to the UK, leaving Alice behind, making out it is just a holiday and Alice knows she has no intention of coming back.  That is no friend and is really sad.  Once the secret is out and her friendships with those others improves and family connections improves, Alice becomes a happier, more balanced person.  There is romance in this book, but just enough for it to warm your heart, make you smile and swoon, but not enough to change the whole feel of this book.  With all these elements of this story and all the different depths to it, it's just an amazing read.  It's so engrossing, i was so sad when it ended, i didn't want it to finish, i wanted to see more of Alice's recovery.

This book made me sad, cry, sob, smile, laugh and feel so many emotions.  I loved it and would recommend it to people who like these sort of women fiction.  It gets a 4 out of 5!

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