“ Genre: Fiction / Author: Abby McDonald / Paperback / 432 Pages / Book is published 2010-07-08 by Arrow Books Ltd „
Amazon recommended this to me and after having a quick read through the synopsis I thought that it might be a good chick lit to add to my collection! It took me a while to get around to reading it but when I did I was glad because I really enjoyed this book.
Alice love's life is perfectly organised, and to be honest a bit dull. She desperately wants to move to agenting at the firm where she works as a lawyer but doesn't want to take a risk with her boss, her life stays the same day in day out. Then suddenly her bank card is declined and she gets bills for cookery classes, gym memberships, posh lingerie and basically things that she would never even dream of doing. With thousands of pounds worth of debt for things she's never seen, she hires a fraud investigator, and ends up getting very into the investigation hunting for her thief. A trail that takes her from London to Rome where she makes many discoveries about herself...
Its totally tackling a current issue since identity fraud seems to be on the increase nowadays, it did make me feel a bit concerned that it could happen to me although I'm not sure I'd have any idea how to stop it! It was really addictive and I wanted to keep turning the page because so much was happening! For once the ending of the book didn't disappoint me, it panned out very nicely and wasn't actually that predictable - I got to thinking that everything would work out perfectly and it didn't quite do so.
It was fairly cheap on amazon so grab yourself a copy!
You can just picture Alice Love standing before the panel on X Factor.
'And what do you do?' they like to ask.
'I work in the film industry...'
'...as a lawyer.'
Like all those accountants they're always showing, you can imagine that Alice too would receive a rather luke-warm welcome on the show. And Alice would concur that her job isn't all that glam, even if her industry itself is a bit swish. But it's an appropriate job for her, since Alice is very sensible and by-the-book. She's certainly not the type of person to go overdrawn, or run into any kind of trouble financially, so when her card is declined one day she's pretty sure it's just a computer error.
Someone has stolen her identity, accessed her accounts and run off with all her money, every last drop of it.
It might sound rather far-fetched when described in the flip way I have just done so, but with a suitable build up and back story, combined with the reader's knowledge of the world we now live in, it seems more than plausible in the book. Alice is distraught from the start, but really bubbles over when the details come through and she finds out exactly what this imposter has been spending her money on. While real-Alice has been saving hard for the deposit for a home in London, this fake-Alice has been frittering it away on pretty and fun things, from beautiful lingerie to membership at a superb gym and cookery classes. In other words, all the things Alice has been denying herself in order to start off her nest egg. But, with the help of her brother in law's friend and the half-hearted cooperation of her bank, Alice is intent on tracking down the thief and confronting her. In order to walk in her shoes she takes a rather unorthodox approach to fraud investigation by mirroring the lifestyle fake-Alice has been living for the past few months, in an attempt to get inside her head. Every trip, from the London suburbs to the bustle of Rome to the hype of LA, brings her a little closer to understanding who stole from her and, more importantly, why.
Like Alice, I intended to travel with this book, but an exceptionally long flight delay (thank you Ryanair) left me ploughing through this for half a day straight and it's a wonderful way to read the book as with every new plot twist and turn you're reluctant to put it down and want to get through just one more chapter. I was intrigued by the blurb on the back as the premise seemed rather novel and of definite interest, but it was the actual story itself that reeled me in and kept firm hold of my attention for so long. This is clearly and exceptionally well researched book and would be a reassuring read and friendly ally for anyone recovering from identity theft.
This is chick-lit to a degree, with lots of pretty things to play with, handsome men to deal with, and tricky friend and family relationships to navigate, but it's not silly in the way some books can be, and the tone is intelligent and sincere. In response to the Bookbag's review of a previous title, 'The Popularity Rules', the author noted that her next book - this one - would feature some good men, and it certainly does, from the delicious Nathan to the sensible and helpful Stefan. In this book the frustrations and stress come from crime, not heartbreak, and it's refreshing to see some nice guys for once.
Definitely recommended. I only hope I can find something else this good at the airport for my flights this weekend.
I got my copy from the Bookbag where this review first appeared. You can get yours online or in most supermarkets at the moment.
Alice Love is a stickler when it comes to keeping her life and finances in order so when her bank card is declined, she thinks it's just a simple clerical error. However when Alice goes to see a mortgage advisor so she can put down a deposit on a flat of her own, Alice learns that not only was her card being declined not a mistake but that all of her bank accounts have been emptied and her debts now run to thousands of pounds. After having a mini-crisis, Alice enlists the help of a fraud investigator, Nathan, to help her discover just who it is that has stolen her identity and plunged her into so much despair. As Alice - and Nathan - follow the clues to uncovering the thief, Alice finds that instead of being repulsed by such dramas and searching, she's actually enjoying being different to her usual self. But as Alice's little white lies start to stack up, is she starting to lose focus on who exactly is the real Alice Love?
Abby McDonald, to put it simply, intrigues me. She's only 25 but has already had four books published, two teen titles and two chick lit titles. I haven't read any of her books but since reading about her chick lit debut The Popularity Rules I've been interested in reading one of her books, simply because she's only 25 and I totally admire the fact that she's a published author so young. So I was thrilled when I received The Liberation of Alice Love to read as it sounded like such a complex and exciting plot plus I couldn't wait to try out one of Abby's books to see if she was a writer I'd be keeping my eye on for all future releases.
I'm pleased to report that I hugely enjoyed The Liberation of Alice Love. It had a little bit of a slow start, easing us into the plot, before the blow was dealt to Alice that her entire life savings had been taken and she was now not only thousands of pounds in debt, but also had creditors and loan sharks and what not on her back, chasing their money. It's not a plot I've ever come across before and once Alice decides she's going to hunt down her thief, the book really takes off and from then on I found it near impossible to put the book down. On the one hand I couldn't wait to finish it to see how it all panned out for Alice, but on the other I didn't want it to end because I enjoyed seeing Alice transform from a run-of-the-mill kind of character to figuring out who her real self was.
Alice was such an intriguing character. As I said, she was a bit dull and non-descript to start out with but over the course of the book she really comes into her own. It was as if the Alice before the theft was just passing through life with no real purpose and wasn't being 100% herself so when she suddenly decides that she wants to confront the person who stole all of her money she comes out of her shell and we get to see the real Alice. I admit, I did like the predictable Alice, despite how boring she might have been perceived. But I liked the new Alice a lot more, she acts in a way I'm sure a lot of people wish they had the nerve to act and I loved her. Alice carries the story mainly on her own but there are a lot of background characters who all add to the storyline. The first person I want to mention is Flora, Alice's step-sister. At first, it doesn't seem as if she's going to be a central character for Alice to rely on, but as the book progresses, so does Flora and Alice's relationship. Flora was probably my favourite character, bar Alice. Despite her sunny exterior and seemingly never-ending optimism, there was another side to her, one that asks a lot of questions as the book goes on and I was intrigued to learn what was troubling her. The only male interest in the book comes in the shape of Nathan, a fraud investigator. He and Alice sparked off each other really well and I quite liked him. There were a further few characters; Julian, Alice's friend, Cassie, another friend but the book mainly featured Alice, Flora and Nate, as well as Alice's thief, of course.
A lot of the book focuses on Alice's work life, too, as a lawyer for an agency. I was surprised at how much time was given to Alice's job in the book but it was important to keep that in there as it's a focal point of Alice's life. The most surprising thing about the book, though, was how far Alice was willing to go to unmask her thief. She tells some pretty innocent lies in her bid to track down the person who stole so much from her, but as expected, the little white lies all start adding up and I knew it only became a matter of time before it all exploded in Alice's face. To see such a character have such a big turn-about in a matter of 400 pages was equally unreal and totally readable. I knew that I should probably have disliked Alice for what she herself was doing at some points during the book but I understood it all perfectly. Abby McDonald pulled that off perfectly; making Alice so sympathetic to the reader. The book was incredibly well written and once it got into it's stride, I really ate up the pages. I was slightly worried how you would end a book with such complex ties to finish up, but I was satisfied enough. There was an interesting sub-plot about Alice and her friend Julian that I don't think was tied up right, generally because I wanted to know why what happened between himself and Alice happened. However the actual ending of the book was good. It was ever-so-slightly open-ended but enough was tied up for me to be satisfied with it.
Overall I loved The Liberation of Alice Love. It had everything needed to make a fantastic read: a great (unique) plot, great writing and a really great lead female character who, along with her stunning red dress, adds up to a fantastic read. This is an absolute must-read for all chick lit fans and despite it's relatively slow start, it does come good quickly and I was soon fully engrossed. Abby McDonald is certainly an author to keep an eye on and I will definitely be seeking out her debut chick lit offering The Popularity Rules as well as any further chick lit books she produces.