Book Review: Stop! by Alison G. Bailey

Title: Stop!
Author: Alison G. Bailey
Genre: New Adult
Length: 278 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Every life has a different path full of sharp turns, smooth curves, and steep drop offs.

Hollis Murphy has a plan—college, career, boyfriend, love, marriage, family. A predictable, normal life. She’s on track until an outside force causes her to crash and burn. They call it an accident, because that’s the only word they know to explain what happens to her. It helps everyone move on with their lives, except for Hollis. She holds on to the belief that she’s been targeted for a reason.

Risher Stevenson is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the hottest boy Hollis has ever laid eyes on. He fits perfectly into her original plan for a normal life. Everyone loves him.

Benton Daniels is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the bravest boy Hollis has ever met. He doesn’t fit into her life but gives it purpose and makes it extraordinary. Everyone hates him.

One is bullied. One is tormented. All are judged. How will it STOP?

Grace Review

This is one of those books you should read in the comfort of your home, maybe with a bottle of wine and a box of tissues. I made the mistake of starting this during lunch at work and I spent that hour trying to hold back the tears. I’m sure my co-workers think I’m whacked. This book carries a lot of emotion with it and I think letting those tears flow can be cathartic.

This is the story of acceptance, strength, and the power of love.

I’m usually not a fan of weak heroines, but I admired the strength in Hollis’ weakness, if that makes sense. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to live in her skin. With judgement, evil looks and harsh words thrown at her with each appearance in public. Yet she bravely goes off to college, leaving the love and safety of her home.

Then we meet Risher, who should be the definition of a book boyfriend. He has the looks and personality to make you swoon, but it’s how he treats Hollis that will truly win you over. I swear, every time he interacted with her, my eyes would water. And I’m not lying that just writing about him has me getting emotional. His only fault would be not being more blunt with Queen Bitch, Leah.

I swear, if this boy tells me he’s made of chocolate, I’m going to curl into the fetal position and weep like a baby.  He’s perfect.

Like Hollis, I constantly questioned why Risher was so interested in her. I never thought he was playing her, as Leah insinuated, but I did wonder what motivated to be with her. And he has his own story, which showed that he understood her pain. He proves his loyalties repeatedly, so don’t lose faith in him. He’s the real deal.

“Hollis, whatever that makeup is hiding won’t ever cover up how beautiful you are.  I knew that the first time I looked into your eyes and saw your light.”

This book has a surprise twist that I didn’t see coming, with Benton. I won’t give it away but his story seems very timely given a popular story in the media right now. And his story will break your heart. Seriously, ouchy!

The true character of someone is not visible with a brief glance from the naked eye.  In that moment, the purpose of my past came into focus.  The details of mine and Benton’s circumstances may have been polar opposites, but our souls craved the exact same thing.  Acceptance of who we were and not what we looked like.

The dynamics between the three were very interested. For those who don’t like love triangles, don’t worry, this isn’t one. But both men mean something very special to Hollis and both give her strength.

I loved the character development in the story, for the main characters and the secondary characters. Maggie and Chuck, as Hollis and Risher’s respective BFFs, were a hot PDA loving mess, but they added some much needed humor to the story.

In the end, Hollis, despite her insecurities, manages to find love and new friendships within the heavily judgemental college crowd. This story carries a strong message about looking past flaws or differences. Focusing on a persons inner beauty rather that outer shell. There are some hard lessons in the story that will cut deep. But the beauty of the story will ultimately warm your broken heart.

“But your’e not a one-shot guy. You’re an every minute, of every day for the rest of my life kind of guy.”

– Grace

*An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.



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