The Alias by Mandi Slack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm coming to grips with the idea that not all books have to be considered classic literature to be good. There are books that are so amazing that they change your life and those are the books that I have long considered to be the ones worthy of my time. However, in doing book reviews, I am now reading more of the non-life shattering books. They may never make it to The New York Times Bestsellers, and that is perfectly o.k. As an aspiring author these books are giving me courage to get my stories onto a page.
The Alias is in the second category. It's a simple story. It will probably never make the New York Times Bestsellers because of its simplicity. It's short and sweet. It wasn't life shattering for me, yet it was a completely enjoyable read. I read the book in a few hours. As I read this book, my philosophy on book enjoyment changed. Novels don't have to be long with complex plots and words like honey to be good. They just have to tell a story that you are interested in reading. This story kept my interest throughout and by the end I found myself wanting to read more "simple" stories.
Not every author needs to be a JK Rowling or a Suzanne Collins. Mandi Slack is a small town Utah girl who loves the outdoors. She isn't pretentious, I can tell this about her from her writing. I think she will be perfectly o.k. with me saying that her book was simple in nature...or at least I really hope so! I am not saying it was simple to write, but just a simple read. Simple being the same as easy, enjoyable, quick, and fun. Mandi Slack is the kind of mom with whom I would love to sit down and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. She's imaginative. She's deep. She has a great understanding of what kinds of inner struggles a women has when she is in an abusive relationship. I plan to go over to her blog and make a new online friend, just as soon as I finish this review.
Mandi Slack wrote a great short novel. It's the kind of book someone needs to have in their possession on a intercontinental flight or for a night off with no kids and a bubble bath. It's also the kind of book that a busy mom can squeeze in and enjoy in pieces between carpools, mealtimes, and before her head hits the pillow. Just look at the cover, and tell me it doesn't draw you in.
The storyline went something like this: there is this girl named Jacey. She has a best friend Melissa. Jacey is running away from her psychopath husband and doing everything she can to protect her darling son who is at that awkward age between boy and young man. She's a big city girl, but ends up in small-town Utah. The characters in Utah are so love-able that you will want them for your own distant relatives. There is a love interest that is just as dreamy as Jacob or Peeta. Two side story-lines are life on the small farm and life as a Mormon. Neither are overwhelmingly saturated, so I would recommend this book to all of my friends, even you Non-Mormons. I never like to give away too much of the plot. I hate spoilers. So, that is all you are getting from me. Just know that an alias is formed and the FBI is interested it and that this book will keep you in suspense.
I loved the book. It left me with characters who will go on with me through all the books I will read in the future. I looked deep inside myself to find that I share some insecurities with a fictional battered woman. Thank goodness I am married to a gentle giant. The Alias left me wanting to work on those insecurities. I loved the ending of the book. I am HUGE on the endings, as you all know. I got closure; that's important to me.
On page 158, I absolutely adored the descriptions of the close-by Provo Canyon. If you read the book, and have never been to Utah, you have to know that the descriptive narration here is all spot-on. The Provo Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I loved seeing it through Jacey's eyes.
Buy the book. Read it. And then come and visit me and I will take you to the Provo Canyon to see the awesome geological wonders as well as Mt. Timpanogos and Bridal Veil Falls.
Go here to buy it. It's only $3.99 for the e-version. That is a pretty amazing price.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for this review but as you all know I always give my true opinions. I can't help myself really.
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