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Title: The Crowd (The Crowd, #1)
Author: Alleece Balts
Published By: CreateSpace (2013)
Synopsis: Whitfield Preparatory Academy ought to be the perfect school… Not only does the Academy boast a distinguished faculty and lavish campus, it is also home to the privileged youth of the upper class. They will one day hold the reins of power in the business world and political arena – but for now, they exercise absolute authority at the Academy.
For seventeen-year-old Ella Parker, acceptance into the prestigious Academy is a dream come true. But her delight quickly turns to dread when she finds herself in the crosshairs of an elite group of ruthless students dubbed “the Crowd.” Ella’s been at the center of unwanted attention before – but never like this – and she’ll do anything to make them stop. Anything, that is, apart from accepting the advances of popular and wealthy playboy Jackson Montgomery, the leader of the Crowd.
Will Ella be humiliated, or triumph over her tormentors?
An irresistible story of faith, friendship, betrayal, and romance, The Crowd will immerse readers in Ella’s tumultuous struggle from the very first page. (Taken from Goodreads.)
I don’t even know where to begin. I loved this book so, so, so much. The plotline was clever, amazing and naturally felt realistic, and the romance was sooooooo sweet!
I loved the way the “crowd” was done…though I do feel it wasn’t exactly the prominent feature of this story but more apart of Ella’s story as a whole; the story was really focused on Ella’s journey and growth, and the crowd was just apart of that. I can’t wait to see how the next installment works with this one. It was just a unique and beautiful story with great themes and the characters tying everything together. I thought the author did a fantasic job especially with the characters; they are just so perfect for this story, any other characters and the story just doesn’t work. It was so beautiful! I appreciated how the Christian message was hinted at, subtly, in the background, always guiding but never being shoved down the reader’s throat.
The one thing I didn’t like was that Jack and Ella were kissing before they were even sure they liked each other—that’s not really a message I think of as positive to send to young readers—but it was super sweet, and, considering this book was painted to be more of a fairy-tale like story, I absolutely loved the romance after that. It was the first story I’ve read with an actual good love triangle—in terms of two actual options—though I am totally team Jack just saying!
From the summary, I was a litttle nervous becuase it described Jack as “a playboy” and I was concerned with how that would translate in the book. However, having finished it, I feel it was almost a mis-label. This book was completely clean. There are quite a few kisses, but not in a way that I’d say was dirty. There are a few times a character would make an implication to more sexual things, but it was never in a wrong light and I was not uncomfortable with anything presented. As a whole everything was presented in a wholesome way. I found it very refreshing and sweet and I LOVED IT!!!!
Recommended to: Ages 13+!