Revelations by T. Marie Alexander (2017)
YA Fiction | Contemporary
“Have you ever craved something so badly that all reason was just an excuse getting in your way?
Have you needed something so desperately that you didn’t care how you got it or who you hurt in the process?
I have—and not that long ago.
Acceptance… from family and friends…
Acceptance of the person I am inside and not outright rejection.
It didn’t come easily for me, and now I believe the world needs to know just how ruthless life can be. How that overwhelming yearning for acceptance can mold you into someone you don’t recognize when you look in the mirror. I’m through hiding behind one façade after another—it’s time for the world to meet the real me.
Expected Publication Date: January 27, 2017
pooled ink Review:
YA Fiction. Okay. Contemporary. Okay. A book about a teenage girl who doesn’t fit in at her new school, she’s a bit of the ugly duckling. Okay. So far you’re probably thinking what I thought: seen this movie, read this book, what makes this story so special?
The book blurb had me intrigued but yeah when you think about the book in broad strokes it’s hard to see why this particular book should stand out amongst the hundreds of other books written around a similar skeleton. Teenage girl is nerdy and doesn’t fit in? Check. New school and struggle to make friends? Check. Woes of being a teenager because high school is the worst? Check. Boy swoops in and becomes a shining light in an otherwise dismal life? Check. So easily this could become a rom-com or a teenage drama and yet somehow this was…neither.
This was not at all what I expected. The depth of this book was shocking and the path that the protagonist’s life carves is not generic or commercialized. Antoinette’s life is seriously messed up and yet somehow despite the never-ending changes, trials, and betrayals, she remains strong and good. She struggles deeply and reaches some heartbreaking lows but she refuses to let go of her values and her standards. Between that inner strength and the few loyal people in her life she manages to grow into a beautiful, strong, and admirable young woman.
Most of these types of books try to convey just how stressful and trying life can be for teenagers, but I’ve never read a book with a character who has been more tested than this one. Antoinette is the daughter of a wealthy man who had an affair with her lower class mom. She’s biracial, she’s nerdy, she’s girly, she’s kind, she’s understanding, and yet she somehow can’t catch a break. No one is interested in being friends with the child of a home-wrecker. It doesn’t seem to matter that her daddy is rolling in wealth, or that she’s intelligent, or that she’s a good-hearted person. No matter where she turns she finds no acceptance, not even from herself.
And that’s really part of her troubles, that even she doesn’t fully accept who she is. I think in some ways she does love herself but sometimes it’s too hard to be overwhelmed by all the rejection to believe it and that’s where she continues to push herself to win acceptance from others and blame herself when they refuse to give it. She has a messed up family and even when she manages to make two friends they’re both older and soon graduate leaving her “behind.”
The men in her life are truly awful. Except Brad…and Nick I guess (no spoilers on how all that turns out). Brad is awesome though. I honestly wish I had a friend as great as him in my life.
Anyway, I will say that everything sorts itself out by the end but it’s not without a lot of tears. There are plenty of happy moments too though; it’s just that sometimes it’s the darker days that really become the important days that shape who we become. Antoinette’s life is nothing like I think I’ve ever read before. It seems far from typical and yet it’s so obviously very real. With every page I wanted to read more, to learn more, to hear her story. This book is written in the style of a diary where Antoinette writes about the most important moments in her life. This style worked perfectly for this story, it unfolded in a way that felt natural and made the time fly by.
The whole beauty with books is that you can open them and glimpse another life, another viewpoint, another opinion, another path, another world. I know my life but it’s by learning and trying to understand the lives of others that expands my mind and heart. I can’t say I relate to most of Antoinette’s story but I found her captivating.
Conversational and honest, the plot danced at the perfect pace and varied the tone just right. I know Antoinette is a fictional character but I feel happy that she got her happily ever after. I hope you get the chance to read this book, I surprisingly enjoyed it and am intrigued to know others’ thoughts.
Dark, honest, poignant, Revelations confesses those life-altering moments that shape the person one becomes. This story is captivating and unique yet speaks to many with deep understanding.
Purchase here: Revelations
Meet T. Marie Alexander!
Hi! I’m La’Teaikia, and I write YA Science Fiction, Paranormal, and Contemporary. I’ve been an avid reader since ninth grade when I first discovered Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. I know, I know. Most people think sparkly vampires are just wrong. I am NOT one of those people.
Even though I’ve only been reading for a short time, unlike most authors, I’ve been writing since I was seven.