Today I will be reviewing: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani which was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day for March 3rd!
About the Book
Fifteen-year-old Courtney wants to be normal like her friends. But there’s something frighteningly different about her—and it’s not just the mysterious tattoo her conspiracy-obsessed grandfather marked her with when she was a child. The last thing Courtney wants to do is end up crazy and dead like her grandfather—but what about the tattoo? And the alien scouts who visit Courtney in her bedroom at night, claiming to have shared an alliance with her grandfather?
With her new friend Agatha’s apocalyptic visions, Courtney begins connecting the dots between the past, present, and future—of her bloodline, and the ancient history that surrounds it. So is she going mentally insane, like her family claimed her grandfather did, or is she actually a “chosen one” with ancestral connections to another world? Either way, Courtney has a mission: untangle her past, discover the truth, and stop the apocalypse before anyone from school finds out she’s missing.
This actually reminded me a little bit of stories like the Sixth Sense and the idea that one person can see something that no one else can. Courtney has some fascinating problems to deal with in this story, like the idea that she might actually be seeing real aliens, and that turns this into a psychological thriller as much as a sci-fi story about aliens.
I liked Courtney as a character, and it was nice to see the plot center around her and really bring her to the forefront. It was like trying to piece together a puzzle and find out if this was really happening or some sort of a mental illness, and the fact that everyone else around her was so well-written made the story that much better. Everyone else seemed to be trying to come to terms with what she was dealing with from the perspective of reality, so they were wondering if she was going crazy or something else was wrong, and it formed a realistic separation between her and her family and friends.
This was one of the better stories I've read in a while, and I have to give it a five out of five rating because it was really well put together and unique, but if anything I would say that the cover artwork could use a little bit of work to really help this book out! I feel like a lot of people might miss it simply because it is difficult to tell what the story is from the cover, and it certainly doesn't do it justice.
About the Author
Brady G. Stefani has a bachelor's degree in creative writing, and a graduate degree in law. During law school, he interned with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, where he interacted with patients suffering from severe thought disorders, including numerous patients presenting with subjectively real memories of being visited and abducted by alien beings. It was through his study of these patients, along with his own struggles with anxiety and cognition, that Stefani became aware of just how deceiving, mysterious, and powerfully resilient the human mind can be.
In an effort to provide awareness of mental suffering, and spread hope to all those touched by it, Stefani is focused on writing YA novels that explore the experience of being different, and the other-worldly places our boundary-less imaginations can take us. Alienation is his first novel. But with two works currently in progress, the journey has just begun.