Review of ‘Alone’ by EJ Noyes
Uff, this one was intense!
I just need to start at the beginning of my experience reading this novel. Literally, as I read the first sentence, I smiled. Yep, happy sigh. First person POV, you have become my favorite. First person POV written by EJ Noyes, I love you! Ms. Noyes, at the risk of sounding like a lunatic to you (again), you singlehandedly are responsible for my first person POV obsession. Your first person POV is simply genius. I’ve read other books written in first person, but none that resonate with me like when written by this author.
Did I mention my smile right? Well, that’s the last time I did until later, later in the book. This is Celeste Thorne’s first-person POV recount of her participation on a psychological study. The goal is for her to endure four years in close to complete isolation from human contact. The story begins after the third year, when suddenly Olivia Soldano, a lost hiker, appears on the edge of the compound. Suddenly Celeste must readjust to this person who is simply everything she ever wanted. The problem is that after such isolation, Celeste’s feelings are in disarray and she struggles to determine what is real and what is part of an elaborate lie.
Both characters are very likable. However, Celeste’s turbulent past suffering physical and emotional abuse from a mother who was addicted to meth makes her incredibly endearing. We find out about her past, not on typical flashbacks, but in the auditory hallucinations that Celeste is suffering from after such prolonged isolation. This was a brilliant way to introduce characters in an otherwise desolate place. And FYI Bella Books, it will make a fantastic audiobook with someone who can nail the voices.
As the mains connect, the first real touch is an embrace. Such a common and ordinary thing that Ms. Noyes turns into such a sweet and heartfelt experience. If you read this author before, we had The Incident, now The Lie. It may sound exciting, but unfortunately, both events are gut-wrenching and will leave you in tears. Ms. Noyes is just so talented that the words suck you in and you can feel the agony and despair right alongside the characters. Does Ms. Noyes even know how good she is?! On that note, I hereby declare Noyes’ five novels a must read for every lesfic fan. Period.
There is an interesting concept throughout the book regarding time and how at times it is linear vs erratic, slow vs fast. Thought that was interesting as slow time is regarded as one living life at its fullest. It makes me concerned that my time flies by…
Quick shoutout to Judith Fellows, who designed such a beautiful cover. It has been taunting me for months!
And before I forget Ms. Noyes, is the goat trapping scene based on personal experience? 🙂
I would definitely recommend, but beware of the angst. 5 stars