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A Girl Called Malice (Facing the Music, Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Another fabulous offering by super talented Aurelia B. Rowl This time, we’re inside bad girl Alice’s mind! She’s the one who bullied Lena in Popping the Cherry.
There is a lot of angst, deep emotions, redemption and even romance in this book. Aurelia shows us she’s super versatile and can bring a completely different vibe from PtC, for instance.
My only issue was, I struggled a bit at first. Alice isn’t super likeable, and even though she’s neglected at home, I had a hard time connecting/rooting for someone who talked about bullying/disrespecting others so casually.
Still, writing a book about an anti-heroine type isn’t for everyone; but Aurelia did an awesome job with Alice's character development arc. Well done!
Not all people are exactly as they seem. Alice, otherwise known as Malice, is a prime example of this.
She has spent her whole school life convincing others that she was the Queen Bee, thus earning her (well-deserved) nickname. She has terrorised the school, pupils and teachers alike - has hopped from private school to private school, finally landing in her last - where she dropped out of college.
Alice just doesn't seem to have a lot going for her, but she is top of the school food chain. Now one questions Alice, especially after what she did to 'Virginia' last term.
Soon, Alice starts to see just how true her friends are to her, after a jig and a few happy squeals, not meant for her to see. She wonders if she's just caused another train-wreck in the pile-up that is her life.
Finally, after learning to hate her, for the bully to appears to be, we see Malice drop the mask, and become Alice - the real Alice.
Life is not always what it seems.
Can Alice stick to her real self, or will Malice come out to play - to hide her real feelings.
It's hard not to don a mask, when your life is crumbling round you. Perhaps and old enemy can help bring her to the light. Maybe Alice can make a split from Malice. Or maybe some masks are just meant to stay in place.
Let's hope Alice can learn to stop switching her blue eyes on.
This book was very emotional for me. I was genuinely hooked from the first page. As with another book I have reviewed, The Death of a Poet by N Quentin Woolf, this book delves into the life of a young girl, the kind of life no one would ever want to live. I found it heart-wrenching and emotional because I know first-hand that a life can be lived this way - always donning a mask to convince others you are better than you are (or in Alice's case to become what she believed was stronger) and to keep people at so far a distance they can never hurt you.
Just as Alice started to recognise, the mask may be a great way to hide your inner turmoil from others, but it definitely doesn't keep you from getting hurt. On the contrary, you find yourself completely alone and hurting more than ever. However, just like Alice, sometimes the mask is the only thing you know. It is the survival instinct you have been given (perhaps not one you even want to do, but are forced to) and you have to stick to it.
Just like Alice, a lot of people, especially young people, in this situation feel trapped. when someone does get close enough to find out who they really are, to see into their real lives, they often either don't believe, blame the victim or think the victim is crazy/deluded/depressed for no reason. They don't stop to take into account what is really happening around them and the victim is made out to be the predator.
Very similar to the situation I know, the parents were the cause for the turmoil. Just like Alice, they had ripped apart and ruined any semblance of a life the poor girl could ever wish to have. She is left alone, no longer able to trust, no longer able to love and afraid to show anyone who she really is. This makes it very hard for the person to make friends, making the pain even worse. Just like Alice, the person tends to blame themselves for all the problems, believing that they have brought it on themselves.
I was very glad to see Alice had the strength to persevere. She was on a destructive path, but she continued to fight for her life. She knew she was being destructive and wanted to change it. She was so lucky to have met and understanding and caring friend, who could help her through it all.
Seeing Alice open up to friendship, herself and love was amazing. She grew tenfold, as a girl/woman, the moment she left her bad situation and started her life fresh. (I think this happens to a lot of people in this situation, who manage to get out. They need to get out and start fresh, often somewhere new)
I know Alice was the bully, but I love that this story opens us up to idea that not all bullies really want to be what they are. Not all of them actually enjoy bullying others. I don't condone bullying at all, but this book really opens the eyes to seeing what is really inside someone. Perhaps, just like Alice, it can lead to a friendship that was never expected, just like her and 'Virginia.'
I loved everything about this story. It had the turmoil, emotion and gritty sense of self-destruction that I have seen in cases just like this. It has the emotional roller coaster of a self-exploration and sudden rebirth. It hits every emotion to a T and really does make you feel the emotion with Alice. I found myself, on more than one occasion, either tearful or ready to spit fire with my anger.
I thought the characters had depth and they responded to situations in ways that I would expect from the characters. The pace of the book was perfect, as it was a slightly slower pace - allowing the full detail and emotion of each event to really hit home, without them the story would have been lost.
OVERALL: I HIGHLY recommend this book. Though, I admit, that my falling head over heals for this book may be linked to my personal experience with similar situations, it is a book that, if you open up to it and the emotion/turmoil within, you can really feel what it is like to be an outcast, to not love yourself and have to start over. It is heart-wrenching, heart-warming and blood boiling, all the way until the last page.
Do to the nature and content of the book, I would say it is only appropriate for upper aged YA and adults, but it is a book that you need to stick with until that last page, even if you don't understand where Alice is coming from. It really is an absolutely brilliant read.
Alice is the mean girl who always tried to make Lena's life a living hell. She's definitely earned her nickname Malice by being vindictive and vicious. She decides to drop out of college and is working at a hotel instead, which means she's no longer the school's worst bitch. Both her enemies and her so-called friends are happy to be rid of her. She's all alone and has nobody to turn to. Fortunately there's Charlie, the only family member she likes. He's four years old and he's the center of her world. When she's with him Alice can let her guard down. Then she's sweet, kind and lovely. She meets Zac at one of these moments and he's the only person besides Charlie who's seen the real Alice. When she no longer has a roof over her head Alice is fortunate enough to be able to stay with Zac. Together they're making some much needed changes in her life. Unfortunately she can't erase her past. Will Alice succeed in starting over or is it too hard to show people who she really is?
A Girl Called Malice isn't a light and cute romance, but I flew through it nonetheless. I couldn't put it down. Alice is intriguing and I couldn't wait to find out more about her. There are two sides to every story and I'm glad Aurelia B Rowl decided to tell Alice's version as well. Her path crosses with Lena's again and I liked the way things developed. Alice has a lot to hide from everyone around her. She has to live with so many secrets that they have changed her into someone who's insensitive. She causes pain and she lashes out. Even though there's a good reason for that behavior she takes full responsibility and doesn't hide behind the injustice that's been done to her. I liked that about her. I actually liked a lot of things about Alice. It was also really nice to read more about Zac. He's such a nice guy, but there's a lot more to him than just a kind personality, and he's got his priorities straight. He's wise as well, but that doesn't mean he can't mess things up. There's a lot he needs to discover about the girl that dropped into his life. I can only say good things about this book and the ending of A Girl Called Malice is amazing, I read it with tears in my eyes.
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