Rating: 5 stars
At the age of sixteen, Alexis Singer was solicited by, manipulated by, and eventually became involved with a married thirty-seven-year-old man over the Internet. He coerced her into having cybersex with him and sending him explicit photos of herself.
In her debut memoir, Alexis Singer describes how she, a bright student at an arts school in Pittsburgh, first encountered an older man on a message board and how he posed as a friend and father figure who could support and advise her when her own father was physically and emotionally absent. Over the course of a year of online communication, Alexis became emotionally connected to and dependent on this man, whom she had never met. Alexis is the heart-stopping and raw account of Alexis’s Internet affair, the turmoil and confusion that plagued her as she became more and more attached through her cyber encounters, and the dark details that ultimately led her to end the relationship. Alexis’s recovery from the collateral damage of an affair gone awry continues to this day.
Wow. That is really all you can say when you finish Alexis. When you read her story, it really does just suck you in. It’s horrifying that there is such people in the world. Alexis is a brilliantly-written debut from a talented young writer I hope we see more from in the future!
Reading Alexis’s story brings me back several years. A girl I used to be friends with went through something somewhat similar. She had met a guy on an online game called Tibia. She had met this guy randomly while playing the game. She talked to him all the time for hours, she’d be sneaking in her basement, hoping her grandparents wouldn’t find out. This guy said he lived in New York, and she sent pictures in the mail to him of herself. They also exchanged phone numbers. One day, I got a call from her. She was panicking. This guy, who claimed to live in New York, had called her grandpa and threatened to kill him. They traced the number back to Puerto Rico. Her parents wanted to know where he had gotten the number, and she said it was my “boyfriend”. She called me to tell me she had told her grandparents and mom this. I told her No, I wasn’t going to take the blame. I had been concerned from the beginning about this. My mom had happened to be listening in the at the time, and she told my friend that I would not be taking the blame. Luckily that one incident was the final one and nothing followed. While Alexis’s story is something more traumatizing, horrible, and more permanent, this incident was something that made me connect more with her story. It hurts to think about the fact that those people are out in the world.
Alexis made me so angry at times. I hated this man. The thing about her story is its real, and that’s the horrifying thing. In a fiction book when something horrible happens, sure you get upset, but no one was actually hurt in it. Her story is something completely different. This book will give you the creeps, but in a good way. I was discussing with Nicole about the book, and our words were the same. How it gives you the chills and you get the creeps, but they’re good creeps. It is so well written and has a great style of writing that you like reading it despite the horror the pages contain.
About the author:
Alexis Singer is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 19, she is about to begin her junior year at Chatham University where she studies political science and women’s studies. She attended the Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts as a writer. She is a writer, a read, an activist, a feminist, and an avid home cook. Her heroes include AlicePaul, Conan O’Brian, and her mother.
Deborah Reber, editor of the Louder Than Words memoirs, is a bestselling author of nonfiction books for teens, including Chill and In Their Shoes. Visit her popular blog for girls, Smart Girls Know
For more information on the Louder Than Words books here: http://www.louderthanwordsbooks.com/
Check out TLC Book Tours for more stops for all three of the Louder Than Words books: Alexis, Rae, and Hannah.