a literary gem

Two years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed Alyssa Rae’s debut novel, ‘A Lion’s Pride.’ So when I accidentally found that she has a new book, I snapped it up right away. And I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed—‘A Rebel Star’ bears the author’s distinct style and creativity. I’m not sure how she does it, or how she masterfully crafts these complex plots, but she’s obviously at the peak of her literary powers—a fact that’s obvious right at the get go. Check out the first opening pages and you’ll see.
‘A Rebel Star’ features a young British teenaged upstart named Marienela—or Mari to her friends. Mari lives a privileged life as a member of London’s upper crust. His father, a businessman, has business interests around the globe. Mari’s internal struggle begins when she learns about Nigeria at school. It just happens that Nigeria is the specific country that would soon be affected by a recent major business decision made by her own father. Rich in oil, Nigeria is being torn apart by various agents of greed and corruption—from the government officials to oil companies that want to exploit the oil to its fullest capacity. Learning that her father has a direct hand in the suffering of its people, aside from the questions Mari wants answered regarding her own mother, Mari does the unthinkable—she flies to Nigeria to witness first-hand how the locals suffered from the oil companies’ machinations. What follows is a rich, eye-opening tapestry of the kind of life those in London (and the rest of the First World) only so rarely, if ever, get to witness and experience.

The chapters devoted to Mari’s encounters with the poor folk and the in-fighting in Nigeria are worth more than the price of this book. Author Alyssa Rae has crafted a believable character in Marienela, one that you can deeply empathize with. The author manages to create an unforgettable character whose evolution from the pampered teen to one who so willingly stand among the oppressed is jaw-droppingly competent. ‘A Rebel Star’ is an engaging read. Devote a full weekend to be awed. Highly recommended.


This is the first book by Alyssa Rae that I’ve read, and I must say that this book exceeded my expectations of it. Going into the book, I thought this was a typical coming-of-age, YA novel. But the deeper I got into the narrative, the more about the story unfolded in many beautiful ways.

A Rebel Star by Alyssa Rae takes a closer look at a teenager’s life turned upside down when she realizes the impact of her father’s oil company business to a tribe in Nigeria. The narrative that follows is a wonderful epiphany and journey of a young girl in finding herself, looking for the truth about her mother’s past, and making a difficult decision when faced with a crossroads.

Apart from the brilliant voice that Alyssa Rae provides protagonist Mari with, the book is also filled with local color in parts where Nigeria is featured. The author cleverly captures the essence of these places and people, and creates a riveting tale out of it. A Rebel Star is a must-read book that I recommend to everyone.


"`A Lion's Pride' is a breezy literary delight, tight and tense in just the right places, but an immensely entertaining read nevertheless. I give it the five stars it deserves."


"Every detail and each event pulls you in further and I found myself completely engrossed in every word."


"In the end this is a simple story about evil and good, and the characters caught up and fighting for survival in this battle of opposing primal forces, is why we care...Alyssa Rae is certainly an emerging writer to watch."

Alyssa Rae Author

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