I had my hair done last week, mostly to hide my growing patch of grey but also because my natural colour is quite dull. I told myself I was just going to browse the bookshop to kill time before my appointment but I ended up buying 6 books. If there is a ‘addicted to books’ AA group, I think I need to join it!!
Synopsis (as taken from the back of the book) is as follows:
When Alfie Turner loses his mum, it feels like his world is falling apart. But then Alfie meets Alice. A force of nature, Alice understands what it feels like to be knocked down by life.
Their friendship isn’t simple, and it’s not always easy, but it’s real.
Alfie and Alice teach each other that they’re not defined by what knocks them down – they’re defined by their determination to get back up again.
Ability to read – I read this in two hours – the time it takes me to sit in the chair and wait for the colour to absorb into my hair and the time it took me to wait for my dear Mum who picked me up from town. I didn’t think I would read it that quickly when I started but the story resonated deep within me and made me want to read faster. I had no issue while reading this. I thought it was beautiful and innocent and filled with such heart. It definitely pulled on my heart strings.
Characterisation – I identified more with Alfie than Alice, though I thought that both of them were incredibly strong under the weight of what had happened to them. I thought that Alfie’s story was very raw and emotional. The flashback chapters hit me straight in my core and at one point I was almost in tears! Alice’s story made me oddly proud at seeing her so strong and resilient despite all that she had been through and I found that her situation also made me angry, angry to right the wrongs that she’d suffered. Together it was powerful to see the tentative friendship between them grow wings and fly out. They complimented each other well but also leaned upon one another. It was very interesting to see the way they both picked each other up and helped each other navigate a time when they were both feeling completely alone and at sea without a paddle (if you will.)
Visualisation – I found it very easy to visualise what was happening in this story. I think my visual blurred with my own memories which made for a powerful picture. I could clearly see and feel what the characters were doing/going through which helped me to understand the story and follow the progress of the plot.
Uniqueness – I often stumble across children’s books that have strong themes running though them by accident. It was the way I stumbled across this book but I am glad that I got to read it because I think it was very powerful the feelings of the characters were very real and raw. I felt like I was reading something of importance and something that carried an important message. I felt like I was reading something different that explored avenues not usually followed and I enjoyed that immensely.
Other – In April I lost someone close to me and putting into words just what that person meant has been difficult for me. I have devoted my grieving of her in a light of positivity and vowed to remember the good times shared with her and not just remember that she has gone and that there is a hole in my heart. The flashback scenes in this book brought a tear to my eye because I had lived them and could understand exactly what Alfie was feeling in those moments, it reminded me of my dear friend and the fight she had near the end of her life. I think the book means more to me now because I feel like I have a connection to the storyline.