Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review of FINDING ALICE by Andrea DiGiglio

Author: Andrea DiGiglio
Source: ARC from the author for review

Expected Publish Date 19th February 2012.

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cursed with an intense version of empathy Alice runs from a wasted life to start a new one somewhere no one will know her; Hell, Michigan. Alice works at a hole-in-the-wall bar in the middle of nowhere mostly keeping to herself to avoid the overwhelming emotions of those around her. Alice allows her best friend to convince her into taking a few college classes without realizing it would drastically change her life forever. From her first day of class she was hooked on him; his scent, his eyes, the way he talked to her inside her head. 

Throughout her struggles she learns about true love, true pain and the truth of her own heritage. Alice must quickly find out who she is because after all everyone else is out to find her. With Angels and Bounty Hunter’s in constant pursuit she finds protection within a group of Fallen Angels. These Fallen Angels vow to do anything to protect her; for it is their belief she will save their kind and all of mankind.

I was on Twitter one afternoon when I asked if anyone wanted their book to be promoted on my blog. So I was approached by Andrea and after reading the synopsis, told her I would be only too glad to read and review FINDING ALICE. I love books about angels so this sounded right up my street.

And in case you haven't seen on my blog already, here is the trailer: 

First of all, let me address the cover. I am not good at picking up on subtle hints, so had I seen this cover and not read the blurb, I probably wouldn't be able to guess what the story was about. But having read the story, I look at the cover in a different light. I won't give too much away because I want to see if you come to the same conclusion as me. All I will say is, I love this cover and it's what I imagined in my minds eye whilst reading, even though I did not connect the dots at first. (I need to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer - no good at subtlety at all)

As for the story:

I have come to the conclusion that this is my new favourite book and any I read in 2012 will have this as their benchmark! The ARC of this book is my most-treasured possession. 
The simple reason for this? Because I totally loved this book and it's characters.
The more complicated reason? Get comfortable in your seat as I delve into my review and explain in a little more detail.
* Note, You may find this a little spoilery for your liking so beware before you read it. I will try my hardest not to ruin it for anyone but I can't help gushing about how much I loved this book!*

FINDING ALICE has a very poignant start. Jane comes from a broken background. But I would describe it more as shattered. She has had a rough start to life, but even that is an understatement. Why? Because Jane has never had a family. She has been shunted about from foster home to foster home. Life has been nothing but an uphill struggle for this poor, emotionally battered girl.

Then one day, along come a couple who want to take her into their home. Jill and Robert are desperate for a child. 
Jill is sweet and kind. She lets Jane paint her bedroom in whatever colour she sees fit. The freedom to be whatever or whomever she chooses gives Jane a refreshing feeling. It's not something she is used to.

But then one day, all too soon, Jane is at home in the basement when she overhears Jill and Robert screaming at each other. Something she hasn't heard them do before. 
They are rowing because Jill is pregnant and Robert says that they are just Jane's 'foster parents' and cannot afford a three-bedroom house. 
Though Jill was defending her, Jane realised that she was just 'damaged goods' and nobody really wanted her.
So Jane waits for them to go to bed, writes them a note thanking them for having her, then leaves. She's sure that once the baby comes along, they'll forget all about her.

Having left the past behind her,  Jane decides to reinvent herself. She has no friends or family so it doesn't matter to anyone who she is. She wants rid of the name her so-called 'birth parents' gave her. 

So she changes it, to Alice. 

Having got hold of forged papers and a paid for diploma on-line, Alice is now officially somebody. Not the nobody she has always felt she is.
It's time for Alice to forge a new future for herself. To make her own way in the world. She decides on a fresh start somewhere that no-one knows her. That's when she decides on Hell, Michigan.

Alice takes a job at a bar. This is where she meets a girl called Camille and they become firm friends, almost sisters. It's Camille that convinces Alice she needs to attend school. Camille thinks Alice is a little anti-social and needs to get out of town and meet some real people. 

So Alice enrols at college.  She signed up for just two classes even though she could have handled more. She takes art class and History: Early Religion. She's not exactly what you'd call devout, but the class sounds interesting.

College is where she meets the gorgeous, delectable Cole Corvus. With intensely amber eyes and a chiselled jaw, Cole is certainly very easy on the eye.  In fact, Alice thinks he is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. She can feel her heart pounding in her ribcage every time he is near.

*swoons dreamily at the memory of Cole - folks, I must say, I am a sucker for the chiselled jaw and seductive eyes*

Just as life seems to be settling down for Alice, she is at work one night - closing up alone, when she is attacked by a hooded stranger in the car park. Alice wants to run but it feels like her feet are stuck in cement.  She turns round just in time to see his fist and feel the impact it makes as he hits her in the nose. She wipes the blood from her face and attempts to run but he's on her faster than she can escape. He hits her again and then follows it with a kick. 
Why on Earth is this stranger attacking her? What did she do wrong?
Alice can taste his excitement in the back of her throat - he's excited at the prospect of her fighting back.
Little does he know what he's letting himself in for. Alice fights back, throwing her attacker into the side of her car. She won't go down without a fight and it seems like maybe she's not so weak and feeble as he thought she was.

Upon returning to school, her teacher Mr Riley sees her injuries and gives her the class assignment, telling her to go home and take it easy. 
She goes out to her car, but she hears Cole's voice in her head telling her to wait for him in the car park. She would've been tempted to leave, but it was the first time he had spoken directly to her mind like that. I mean sure, she's had some weird feelings like maybe he can sense what she is thinking, but neither of them have confronted it head on. So she decides to stick around and see what will come of it.

This is the point where the story really had me turning the pages quickly. I was in hook, line and sinker from the beginning of the book, but this is where I got deeper into it. 
I already feel like what I have said has maybe been a bit spoilery, so I will try not to divulge too much here. Let me tell you, that it a difficult task. I have so much love for this book that I feel I could go on talking, or writing, forever.

From here on in, Alice learns what Cole is - and what she herself is. She realises that there is a battle coming that no-one is ready for. They must fight against God's angels because it has always been that He thinks Nephilim should not exist. He sends His angels to basically annihilate all the Fallen - they should never have been created so they shouldn't continue to exist.

I have to say, this book was crafted so beautifully. I had a real connection with the characters that Andrea DiGiglio created. 
Having had such a traumatic childhood, Alice emerges as a strong woman. Far stronger than she gave herself credit for being.
Cole Corvus is a beautiful, soulful character that I couldn't help but fall entirely head over heels in love with. I really wish there was a real life Cole so that I could fall helplessly in love with him. Though what my fiancé would say about that, I'm not too sure. As it is, he can't really feel threatened by a fictitious character (though perhaps he should)

The thing I liked most about FINDING ALICE was the fact that the characters were real and grounded. There was none of this airy fairy business you find in some books. 
It's like sometimes you can read a story and whilst yes it's interesting and entertaining, all it is is a story. But then there are some that you sink into and you know that they touch your heart in a way no other can hope to match.
FINDING ALICE is one of those for me. I really got lost within the pages. It was almost like I was empathic because I shared Alice's feelings. When she got hurt, I felt it in my bones. When she was happy, I felt a sense of utter joy. When she was sad, well let's just say there were a few places that really made me cry. My suggestion to all is, have a box of tissues handy when you read this. And if you don't need them, you must be made of stone! 

All in all, I am so glad to have experienced this story. I am looking forward to ALICE'S SACRIFICE but wish it wasn't as far away as 2013. This year has only just begun, I will be having withdrawal symptoms in between now and next year.


  1. I 100% agree with you about this book. I was lucky enough to meet Andrea in our writer's group on FB, and I got to read the book a little while back. Best book I've read in a long time. Andrea is definitely one to watch in 2012.

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  3. Thank you so much! It is such an amazing feeling to share your passion with someone and for that person/s to truly indulge and enjoy your work the way you intended.


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