Review by: Lauren
Review Copy From: TLC Book Tours
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In six words, an instant message changed Alexis forever.
After a rocky junior year of high school, Alexis Singer was lonely, stressed out, and vulnerable--the ideal target for an older man with bad intentions. When a message popped up on her computer screen one night from a message board acquaintance, she could never have known that by responding she was making a choice that would change her forever.
By posing as a friend and confidant, the man gave Alexis the attention she desperately craved and weaseled his way into her life in an unimaginable way. Within weeks, Alexis was sucked into an emotionally dependent relationship, engaging in cybersex and sending him explicit photos of herself. Somewhere along the way, she lost who she was and put her dreams for the future, relationships with friends and family, and psychological well-being on the line.
This is the second Louder the Words novel I've read. If you don't know what that means, it's a series of books written by teens about a pivotal moment in their lives. Alexis' story is about becoming obsessed with a man online. It started on a message board and progressed into emails, IM's, pictures, and even a video chat where she saw/heard him and he only heard her. This isn't an overly graphic story, but Alexis is very honest about certain things that this guy would say to her or ask her to do. She's even open about the pictures she'd send to him, desperate for the attention he would give her if she did...more time talking, wonderful comments about how beautiful she was.
You hear these stories all the time and as Alexis even says, you think "that would never be me"...until it is you. You just can't predict these things. Alexis was weary. She didn't like certain sexual comments this guy would make and turned away from his requests for nude photos. But things begin to change...her life in the real world isn't ideal and she starts to crave and cherish the attention she's getting, even if it's not in the best of ways. She'll analyze things and believe "this isn't so bad" until it simply progresses.
It's hard and takes time, but eventually things start to get better for Alexis. Little by little she can pull herself away from this guy, as he's known for over half the book...you only get his first name later on, just as Alexis did. I won't go into much more detail about the book as you should definitely read it for yourself and see just what some teens unfortunately have to face, how things come to life, the struggle to stay on track and away from the internet and this guy, and just what happens to this guy that really has Alexis furious.
Alexis' story is an intense, eye-opening read, but it's still a swift book and you'll find yourself flying through the pages. I think these memoirs are great and I'm glad they exist for the authors to get their stories out there and for others that might be able to read them and relate to learn more about a problem they wouldn't otherwise. These girls and guys are victims of abuse, whether people see that or not. These things happen and a lot and they should be given more awareness in other ways to truly get the point across to people that they should care.
In this memoir, Alexis talks about what happened throughout as an addiction...and then she finally comes to term with the fact of it being abuse. I think it's a bit of both though. She really was addicted to the way this guy could make her feel, when he was being nice and open and seemed to actually care, but he was abusing her and taking advantage of her...this man, who could have been her father. It's a horrible thing to think about but I do applaud Alexis for sharing her thoughts and emotions and more importantly her story so that others may come to understand a little more.
Prize: One Copy of Alexis by Alexis Singer
Open To: U.S. and Canada (No P.O. Box) Must be 13 years of age or older
To Enter: What makes you want to read this book or the others in the Louder Than Words' Series?
Ends: August 31
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I have now reviewed Hannah and Alexis. You can enter to win Hannah if you go here and comment and you can obviously win Alexis on this post. However, there is another book titled Rae by my friend Chelsea from The Page Flipper. If you would like to win Hannah, Alexis, AND Rae then comment on Hannah and Alexis' reviews and you'll be entered for the grand prize. By commenting on each, you also are entered to win just Hannah and just Alexis. Sorry...there will not a seperate review for Rae as she's my friend and I'd feel weird reviewing her novel. Though I am reading and might still comment on things in an informal review.
Grand Giveaway ends August 31 as well.