Title: The Crowd
Author: Alleece Balts
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Alleece Balts has written her debut novel, and it absolutely resonates contemporary realistic issues that many young people deal with in today’s American culture—friendship, fitting in, bullying, standing out as a leader, feeling alone, love, and loss.
The main character, Ella, is very believable and models what many teens feel as they navigate life. Ella is the new kid at a prestigious private school, and she doesn’t feel as if she fits in. The elitist students who think they are in power don’t help her feel welcome either as they have their own set of rules about who is acceptable and who isn’t. And what is worse, most of the other students are afraid of the “in kids” and their influence, but Ella learns to overcome as she eventually becomes accepted because she is admired and respected by the richest boy at the school. Even the phony and fake among the elite treat Ella as part of the inner circle once Jack Montgomery, the assumed leader of the elites, befriends her. But Ella thinks that Jack is not who he pretends to be.
There are many aspects of The Crowd that I think are not only enjoyable but also educational in learning many life lessons. For example, several of the students, including Ella, make assumptions based on rumors and gossip about how certain students have the power to control the school’s administration. It creates fear of those that are “in charge” along with going along with them to bully those that are considered outsiders. People in general, not only teens and young adults, can easily fall into this trap and make wrong assumptions about people’s motivations and character just as Ella misjudged Jack and the other boy in her life—Lucas.
Ella learns to become confident in herself and how to fight against the falsehood of the so-called crowd’s influence and bullying through showing kindness. Along with Jack’s help, as she finds out that he is not the jerk that she thought he was, Ella sets the stage for attitudes to change at the school. She also finds love, pain, and the strength to forgive.
One thing that I must say is The Crowd by Alleece Balts is one of the few novels that I have read that I had to pry away from reading in order to get the sleep I needed. I wanted to finish it with only about forty or so pages to go, but at 1:30 AM, I decided that I had to put it down until the next day even though it was difficult to do so. I look forward to Alleece Balts second book!
My rating is 5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also, follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457