I’ve been privileged to work with Alex Poppe in the run up to the release of her new novel Moxie and have organised a Publication Day Blog Blitz to celebrate it’s release. Today however I am swapping from my tour host hat to my book blogger one in order to offer my own thoughts on this new release. Enjoy!
Jax, a magazine-cover model, has had half her face destroyed in a bomb blast. Drowning in whiskey and self-loathing, she must rebuild her life now that her beauty is gone. Part love letter to New York, part commentary on social justice issues, Moxie is a timely and raw portrayal of the sometimes self-destructive search for identity and redemption.
Jax has only ever known a life of modelling after she left school early to pursue her dream career, but the course of her life changed perpetually when she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Caught in a blast whilst working abroad, Jax’s once ‘picture perfect’ looks have been left permanently disfigured. Finding herself adrift in an unfamiliar sea, she is no longer able to use her beauty as currency and is left questioning who she really is.
We join Jax’s story as she adopts rescue dog Moxie to be her new companion, however less than 24hrs later Moxie decides to run away whilst on a walk. Distraught Jax embarks on a journey to find her dog, along the way meeting a whole host of New York’s colourful characters. As the story progresses the emphasis becomes less about finding Moxie and more about Jax’s road of self-discovery as she spirals into an alcohol fuelled pit of self-loathing.
The trauma Jax has endured throughout her life is starkly played out amongst this book’s pages and her often short-term relationships with those she meets, all have their own unique effect on her emotional state. Her often sexually driven encounters are soulless and lacking emotion, only leaving her feeling lower than before and left trying to make sense of the life she now has to live.
Moxie is a heartbreakingly honest and raw story that is written in a unique, slightly chaotic narrative that perfectly reflects Jax’s state of mind. The narrative is wonderfully descriptive throughout giving the story a fabulous colour and substance which allows the characters and New York backdrop make the easy leap from the page into reality. As someone who has always dreamt of visiting NY I absolutely adored the descriptions of the ‘real’ city written through the eyes of one of its residents.
Author Alex Poppe has done an amazing job of tackling some emotionally hard-hitting issues and combining them to make a great page-turning story. Her characters are all flawed which is what makes them so real and relatable as not one of us can honestly say we are perfect. I can’t think of another book I’ve read like Moxie; Alex’s written voice is so completely unique it would be futile of me to try and drawn comparisons with any other story. I thoroughly enjoyed Moxie and I am already contemplating rereading it thanks to the thought-provoking impact it’s had on me.
**TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, DEPRESSION, ALCOHOLISM
About The Author
Alex Poppe is the author of the debut novel Moxie (2019) and the story collection Girl, World (2017). Girl, World was named a 35 Over 35 Debut Book Award winner, First Horizon Award finalist, Montaigne Medal finalist, and was short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize. It was also awarded an Honorable Mention in General Fiction from the Eric Hoffer Awards. Her short fiction has been a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Family Matters contest, a nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and commended for the Baker Prize. Her non-fiction was named a Best of the Net nominee (2016), a finalist for Hot Metal Bridge’s Social Justice Writing contest, and has appeared in Bust and Bella Caledonia. She is an academic writing lecturer at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani and is working on her third book of fiction with support from Can Serrat International Art Residency and Association Cultural LINEA DE COSTA DUPLO Artist in Residency programs.
Why not check out some of the other stops on this fantastic tour?
*I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.