Dec 15, 2016

Review: Alice and the Fly

Alice and the Fly Alice and the Fly by James Rice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

REVIEW by Aunt Meanie
Book description is after the review.

Alice and The Fly. By: James Rice
I fear THEM. If I see one of THEM it causes me such terror that I have fits where my whole body
shakes, trembles, and I am compelled to run to get away from THEM. I seem to have always had this
phobia. My condition may have been caused by some traumatic incident in my past that I keep
hidden deep inside my mind. That’s just one of my teachers theories.

The main character, Greg, is an extremely shy, socially awkward teenage boy who doesn’t speak…. To anyone. He is bullied at school all the time. Even though he attempts to stay emotionally distant
From the acts of bullying, the hurt and emotional scars caused to him remain painfully obvious to the reader.

The story is written in the form of a diary that Greg writes to a girl named Alice. Greg is obsessed with Alice, a girl from his school, yet he never “really” gets to know her. His friendship and developing love for Alice is only a reality in his delusions.

Greg shows us “his” world, through his eyes and his life experiences. It is sometimes difficult to comprehend what is actually happening in real life because Greg's view is a bit distorted.
Greg shows us that for people with mental illness, life can be cold, harsh, emotionally lonely, frightening and often cruel. Most of the people he encounters daily have no knowledge or understanding of mental illness and very few offer friendship, much less compassion. Even his parents fail at providing the care he needed.

I realized the book was about schizophrenia about half way through. Many parts of the book, unfortunately, are probably very accurate in the way that people with schizophrenia are treated. The book leaves me sad that his parents were too concerned with their appearance of being a well to do “normal” family and Greg's mental illness was hidden and his medical (psychiatric) care was neglected.

I guess the Greg's parents acknowledging and accepting responsibility to provide Greg with proper
psychiatric care is the closest thing to a “happy ending” that is possible.

Reviewed by: AUNT MEANIE


Greg is cripplingly shy, afraid of spiders, and obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's not exactly the most popular kid at his high school. In fact, he pretty much goes out of his way to avoid talking to anybody he doesn't have to. And it doesn't help that he has a severe lisp.

But Greg's English teacher, Miss Hayes, can see that there's something different about him. He's insightful and sensitive beyond his years, and maybe--just maybe--he'll use these strengths to break out of his shell someday. Miss Hayes urges Greg to keep a journal. "This isn't an assignment," she tells him, "just write down your thoughts."

Greg begins to write about everything from his mother's ill-conceived interior decorating ideas to his job at the local butcher's shop. When Greg begins to take an interest in a girl at his school named Alice, he realizes that he will have to face his most paralyzing anxieties if he wants to befriend Alice and help her escape from her violent family life.

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