Author – James Rice
Publication date – January 15th 2015
Publisher – Hodder and Stoughton
Genre – Contemporary/Thriller (I can’t really label it.)
Rating – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It’s about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it’s about love. Finding love – in any of its forms – and nurturing it.
Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition’s caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I’ll flood out all these tears and it’ll all be ok and I won’t be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can’t think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories – Herb’s death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah – but none of these are what caused the phobia. I’ve always had it. It’s Them. I’m just scared of Them. It’s that simple. – Publishers site
Alice and the Fly is a very unique and emotional book. The story wasn’t like anything I’d ever read before and I loved the way in which this book was written. It’s set out like a diary at first but there are a few chapters set out as police interviews with people who are familiar with our main character. It’s really intriguing to learn why they are being interviewed and how the story progresses.
I think that the author’s take on Greg’s mental illness is very well written though sometimes I thought the way it was treated was slightly unrealistic but not enough to detract from the story. It was really sad reading about the stigma surrounding Greg’s illness and it makes you think about how mental illnesses are sometimes not taken as seriously as other illnesses even though they can be just as painful, if not more.
I enjoyed how the story developed, how we began to learn more about Greg’s story and those of the people around him such as his sister Sarah and obviously Alice. It was upsetting to see how Greg slowly started to become more and more obsessive and how nobody around him seemed to take notice. I definitely loved this book but sometimes I found it a bit too much. Mental illness is a hard subject to write about and though James Rice did a very good job something just didn’t sit right with me for some parts of the book. It’s probably different for other people but this was just my personal experience.
Despite this Alice and the Fly kept me gripped from start to finish and I’ll definitely look out for more work by this author in the future. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for an intriguing, fast paced thriller-type book because it was a really interesting read. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to read this book or if you already have, what you thought of it! 🙂