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Friday, February 2, 2018

*[Review] Alice Close Your Eyes by Averil Dean

Alice Close Your Eyes
With haunting prose and deft psychological insight, Averil Dean spins a chilling story that explores the dark corners of obsession–love, pain and revenge.

Ten years ago, someone ruined Alice Croft's life. Now she has a chance to right that wrong–and she thinks she's found the perfect man to carry out her plan. After watching him for weeks, she breaks into Jack Calabrese's house to collect the evidence that will confirm her hopes. When Jack comes home unexpectedly, Alice hides in the closet, fearing for her life. But upon finding her, Jack is strangely calm, solicitous . . . and intrigued.
That night is the start of a dark and intense attraction, and soon Alice finds herself drawn into a labyrinth of terrifying surrender to a man who is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. As their relationship spirals toward a breaking point, Alice begins to see just how deep Jack's secrets run–and how deadly they could be.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 288 pages (paperback)
Source: Book I Own
Available Format: Print/E-book/Audiobook
Publication Date: December 31st 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
You know how people always stop to watch a train wreck? 
That is exactly how I feel about Alice Close Your Eyes. I have never found myself so confused by a book after reading it. I am well and truly lost at see with this one. 

I bought this book a couple years back and it's another one that has been sitting, gathering dust for way longer than it should have before I finally got to it. In an effort to clean out my books I'm trying to read a lot of my older titles which is why I picked this one up when I did. I thought, that given how intense the synopsis was that I was going to be getting a hard hitting, complex, angsty romance bordering on bdsm.

Unfortunately I had a barely pieced together story about a young girl with some very obvious mental health issues, a man with serious control issues and how they came to be...what ever it was they were for a time. I wouldn't say they were a couple, because apart from weirdly timed, poorly written sex scenes and some definite boundary issues on both their parts neither were developed as individual characters enough for them to actually have a relationship in the story. Alice, our protagonist, is in her early 20s and a cutter. Jack is a guy of unknown age and he's recently out of jail for maybe or maybe not killing his ex-wife (we were never told what happened to Rosemary). Neither were likable. I hated them both right away but, I kept hoping that maybe I was just in a mood. Sadly, this wasn't the case. There was a definite lack of character development for both of them. 

In fact, I would say this is one of the most underdeveloped books I've ever read. I finished Alice Close Your Eyes feeling as though this was a rough draft of a novel someone pieced together from the jumbled remains of someone's cast off ideas. I just didn't see the real purpose of the story because the author wrote the story in such a way that it was obvious what Alice wanted with Jack, though her motivations were very cloudy due to her own issues. She was just completely distasteful. She was written as a tough character but just came off as a whiny little girl with some very serious problems. I found the same problem with Jack, although he was even more underdeveloped as a character that he may as well have been a prop.

There was no romance to this story as there really wasn't much of a story. There were actions, very little dialogue, lots of unnecessary inner monologues, awkward sex and very little plot. This was supposedly marketed as a psychological thriller/erotic read but lacked in both these aspects. I spent all 6 hours it took me to read this either shaking my head in confusion or disgust due to Alice's and later on Jack's actions. There was no cohesiveness and the broken timeline also added to the confusion. One minute Alice is cutting, the next she's remembering poisoning a dog in an act of revenge for a childhood bully calling her mother names. It was so out of whack I had no idea what was going to happen next in the mean time. 

This is not a book I would feel comfortable recommending just because of the lack of any substance to it. There were no redeemable moments, just pure confusion and if I hadn't bought the book I probably wouldn't have stuck it out to read it in the end especially given how slowly the book went. 
Alice Close Your Eyes was a definite case of overreaching for me,  and I wish I could have enjoyed it more as I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately it didn't deliver and gets my second one star rating of 2018.


  1. Sorry you didn't like the book. I don't think I would either, and would have probably given up and marked it a DNF.

    1. The only reason I think I didn't DNF it is because I'm just getting into reading again, and was worried if I DNFd that I'd lose my groove.

  2. Hard pass on this one. Awkward sex, confusing plot, and undeveloped characters doesn't make this sound like a book I want to read.

  3. Too bad this book sounds painful to read. Maybe if it was more fleshed out it could have been better. Everything sounds so underdeveloped.

  4. I won't be adding this on my wishlist. It sounds really bad. I'm surprise you stuck with it.

  5. EEessh. Sorry to hear about this. I'm sure this puts a damper on wanting to read your older books. I've been doing the same thing and every time I hit a book like this, it makes me want to stop trying to go through my older stuff and just pick up a new release I've been wanting to read instead.

    1. It really does dampen the mood doesn't it? This was my second 1 star read in a row I honestly have no idea how I stuck it out other than it was so bad I needed to see just how bad you know?

  6. Alice sounds like she is all over the place! It might be different if there was some change in her at some point, it silent sound that way though. Sorry, that it wasn't a good read for ya.

  7. What a bummer! It's too bad that this one didn't work for you as that's always a disappointment!

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