Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time. As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl’s mother.
At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight. She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her. About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.
Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever. Though Alessa’s bittersweet journey is perpetually fraught with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way. But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.
First I have to say that, in my opinion, the synopsis is giving too much away and if you read it, then you almost know half of the story. So, maybe it's a good idea to just read the book or read the synopsis too. At least, you'll know what kind of read to expect.
To be honest I have very mixed feelings about this book and as the novel went along my interest kind of started to die. Because at some parts it seemed dragged off and in others a dozen of things happened. Then it's the ending too, which in my opinion it's not the best one.
I won't talk about the plot, because as I said the description is already giving away enough, but I can say that I liked this one. The idea is interesting and eye - opening, because this kind of stuff happens everywhere and at any time to children, women and girls. And if you read the novel then you'll see that we follow Alessa from her childhood untill she's around twenty something years old. But I didn't like the writing style and I felt nothing for the characters.
Yeah, I was very sad reading about Alessa's life and all the things that she had been through, but I couldn't feel something, anything, for her as a character. I wanted more and I didn't receive.
I think this book is worth reading because of the subject, because everything is sincerly told and nothing is hidden, because it presents a huge part of reality that maybe we don't see and understand or maybe we don't want to acknowledge it. Also, reading this book I realised how many things we have as humans and how happy and safe and thankful we should be, because we are not in danger or because we don't have to live Alessa's life or a life like that. Because it's not beaufitul at all and I don't think that someone deserves it.
I recommend this book if you want something real, ugly, full of truth, that will make you think and that will make you see how ugly and bad life can be to some people, but more than that you will see how bad people, espeacilly the closest ones, are to other people. DON'T read this if you want something sad or something emotional; yeah, it's emotional and sad but it's also very graphic, sexual and full of ugly stuff.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this!