Monday, January 23, 2017

The Crowd by Alleece Balts {Review}

The Crowd by Alleece Balts
Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 10th 2016 by CreateSpace    

Whitfield Preparatory Academy ought to be the perfect school…

Not only does the Academy boast a distinguished faculty and lavish campus, it is also home to the privileged youth of the upper class. They will one day hold the reins of power in the business world and political arena – but for now, they exercise absolute authority at the Academy.

For seventeen-year-old Ella Parker, acceptance into the prestigious Academy is a dream come true. But her delight quickly turns to dread when she finds herself in the crosshairs of an elite group of ruthless students dubbed “the Crowd.” Ella's been at the center of unwanted attention before – but never like this – and she'll do anything to make them stop. Anything, that is, apart from accepting the advances of popular and wealthy playboy Jackson Montgomery, the leader of the Crowd.

Will Ella be humiliated, or triumph over her tormentors?

An irresistible story of faith, friendship, betrayal, and romance, The Crowd will immerse readers in Ella’s tumultuous struggle from the very first page.


My Review: 2.5 Stars

I think I'm in the minority with this book. Ella ends up going to a boarding school when her mom goes out of the country for work and suddenly shows up at her aunt's house to live, through a misunderstanding on her mom's part. Ella's experience is anything but great and I feel so conflicted about it.

"The Crowd  rules the school and gets to decide who's in and who's out. The bullying that the kids in this school display is horrifying. I was appalled that a handful of teenagers had this much control over their school, as well as over society. If someone does something to earn a demerit, then s/he is punished, but if a member of  "the Crowd" does the same thing, the administration turns the other cheek and ignores it. If someone in "the Crowd" throws a tantrum and starts a fire because he's too young to enter a club, so what? It's like the whole community caters to this group of manipulating kids instead of disciplining them, like they so obviously need. I thought they all needed their entitled attitudes brought down a few notches.

I do like the loyalties and friendships that Ella shares with two of her classmates, as they bond together over being outcasts, as well as the friendship she has with the boy from church. I also love watching her use and develop her singing talent. I like the message that peer pressure can cause people to follow positive influences and not just the negative ones. When one of "the Crowd" decides to befriend Ella, everything changes.

Told in third person, there were times when I was inside of someone's head, reading thoughts and feelings, but I wasn't sure who's head I was in, as the story throws the reader into a couple of different heads. I almost felt like I was having an out-of-body experience at times and I found myself a bit confused because of it. There are a few other minor inconsistencies. Overall, it's a decent debut with some potential, but I, personally, had a hard time getting past the difficult content and connecting with the characters.

Content: While technically clean, there is an instance when Ella is hiding in a closet and hears a couple having an intimate session, and even though it's not described, it's definitely implied. There is some kissing and some crude talk. There is also talk of violence--suicide, shootings, death, underage drinking, etc. There are prayers uttered throughout, giving it a mild-moderate religious vibe.

*I received a complimentary copy from the author, which didn't affect my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


Buy Link:

About the Author:

Alleece BaltsAlleece Balts is an American YA fiction author best known for her debut novel, The Crowd, the first in a trilogy she is currently penning.

When she's not writing, you can find her studying the Bible, reading a novel with a strong heroine, or drinking (another) chai tea.

Alleece lives in Minneapolis with her cheesehead husband, three sticky children, a spoiled cat, and a shamelessly flatulent dog.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo when you are in someone's head and not sure how..that is a problem. Sorry this didn't work out for you.