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Review of Alis by Naomi Rich

by - May 25, 2011

At fourteen, Alis has never been outside her strict religious community. But when her parents arrange for her to marry a forty-year-old man, she flees desperately to the dangerous, unfamiliar city. She learns quickly that the only way to survive there is to become a thief?or worse. Facing an impossible choice between a forced marriage or life on the streets, Alis seizes control of her own fate. But the path she chooses sets off a disastrous chain of events that leave her accused of murder. Steadfastly loyal, Alis must decide: will she betray a loved one or sacrifice herself?

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It's difficult to know what to say about Alis. It's not really bad but it's not really good either. The story was interesting enough to keep me reading but some of the plot seemed a little unrealistic, like how quickly Alis found her brother. Another thing that put me off was that it kept skipping. Not a day or two, quite frequently weeks and months had gone by. I wouldn't mind this but the plot didn't really let me getting settled into any particular part of Alis' life before skipping again and I found it quite difficult to connect with Alis' character due to this.

The world that Alis was in didn't feel real to me. This may be because when Alis journey's from one place or another, she'd get in the wagon and BAM we're there. I wanted to get a feel for the city but again, due to the skipping I didn't learn much. As it seems to be a historical world unlike ours, that really didn't help. Although it felt very American. I no idea what the date was supposed to be or anything.

The only character in this story that seemed to have any substance was the Minister. He was very kind to Alis, considering she was quite horrible to him, even though he clearly wanted to be in that situation as much as she did. Other characters, like Ethan, Luke and Joel should have been memorable but due to the sheer lack of conversation (especially Joel, I remember him speaking once), I'm already forgetting them. I'm not even sure why Alis and Luke love each other. They just do.

There was just a general lack of detail that made the story feel a little washed out, like a painting that someone had done but hadn't bothered to colour it in properly. I don't think it will be a story that I will still be thinking about in months to come.


Received free from Andersen Press in exchange for an honest review 

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