[Review] Alice and Freda Forever written by Alexis Coe

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

This book is unrated and only 50% completed. I’ll explain.

When this book became available on NetGalley I automatically lodged my request – “true murder” has always fascinated me and the story of a young woman, driven to murder the woman she loved in 19th century America caught my attention. Naturally, I was pleased to receive the approval email. What followed was irritation.

The book was only available via options not Kindle. The publisher stated file conversion issues, so I waited, checking back every so often to see if the issue had been resolved. A week before archive, I decided I would have to make the alternate arrangements.

It turns out, Bluefire is not user friendly, nor straight forward.

Once you download the app, register for an account with Adobe, change passwords and a few other steps, the download is finally available. The other mistake I made during this drawn out process, was doing it all on my phone. Why would this be a problem, you might wonder? It’s a problem because once the app and the book were downloaded on my phone, there seemed no way, at all, to download and share on my iPad. (Yes, I have cloud share etc turned on and yes, I wasted hours on the internet searching for the complete dummy version of file sharing. Nothing worked.) this meant I had to read it all off my phone screen. Far from enjoyable. I won’t be trying this set up ever again.

Now the book itself.

I really like Coe’s voice and style. She takes what was never going to be a boring story and creates the world in such a way you can see it. I feel as though I saw through the eyes of Alice, I feel I felt Alice’s heartbreak and her confusion and anger. Who wasn’t so intensely in love with someone at 19 they wouldn’t have suffered the same agonies or gone to the same extremes?

The part that jarred and irritated me was the use of a fancy font to signify a handwritten letter. Reading on a small screen, even when zoomed in, some of the words were lost to the swoops and curls. In terms of personal preference, indent and italics, would have served as well. For the most part, I liked the illustrations but again, would have preferred the real photos.

Please remember here, what I stated at the beginning. I only managed 50% of this book before Bluefire told me my permission for the title had expired. The real photos may well appear later in the book as may the explanation of the font and decision to use illustrations. If they appeared in the opening pages, I can only say I don’t remember and I usually don’t read the opening gambit.

When all is said and done, I will be seeking this title out at the local library and for what I’d read, the review was holding at a very respectable 4 out of 5 stars.

I look forward to reading what Alexis Coe does next.

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