Monday, October 13, 2014

True Stories Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway of Alice + Freda Forever by Alexis Coe!

Welcome! I'm happy to be today's stop on the True Stories Blog Tour from Zest Books! Today I have an interview with the author of Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis Alexis Coe. In addition, you can check out my review and enter to win a copy of your very own!

Title: Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis
Author: Alexis Coe
Format: 208 pages, Hardcover
Release date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Pulp/Zest Books

Book Description:

In 1892, America was obsessed with a teenage murderess, but it wasn’t her crime that shocked the nation – it was her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell planned to pass as a man and marry seventeen-year-old Freda Ward, but when their love letters were discovered, they were forbidden to ever speak again. Desperate and isolated, Alice pilfered her father’s razor, and on a cold winter’s day, she slashed her ex-fiancĂ©e’s throat. Now more than 120 years later, their tragic but true story is being told. Alice + Freda Forever, by historian Alexis Coe and with illustrations by Sally Klann, is embellished with letters, maps, historical documents, and more.

Advanced Praise:

“This is a captivating account, and readers will quickly become absorbed in the suspense surrounding Freda’s murder. Additionally, the book provides a foundation for discussion of sociocultural themes, such as how LGBT relationships have historically been viewed by society, gender and femininity, and even journalism.” –★ School Library Journal [Starred Review]

"The murder was a national sensation at the time, but is little known today. Alexis Coe....retells it here with the color and liveliness of a novel." - The New Yorker

Buy it here:
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | TBD | Zest Books

About the Author:
Alexis Coe is a columnist at The Awl and The Toast. She has contributed to The Atlantic, Slate, The Millions, The Hairpin, LA Weekly, The Bay Citizen, Mission at Tenth, The Paris Review Daily, Los Angeles Review of Books and other publications. Before moving to San Francisco, she was a research curator at the New York Public Library, where she co-curated the most popular exhibition in the library's 101 years, and a project-based oral historian at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Check out the rest of the tour here!



Four and a half stars.


I was really intrigued when Zest Books invited me to read this title. Alice + Freda Forever promised to hit all of the buttons of my literary interests: young love, LGBT themes, history, and murder. This book definitely delivered, and made for a book that I couldn't put down.

The great thing about this book is that it seems to be really, really well researched. I'll be the first one to admit to you that I had never even heard of this murder until I came across this book. Coe includes historical settings, background information, family information, and even hand-written letters in this book, making it feel authentic and accurate. It's clear that history and representation was the forefront of this book, and I think that's great. I learned a lot, without it being so preachy that it seems like a text book. Coe managed to make fact read like gripping fiction, and it really worked for me.

I also really liked that this book was full of illustrations. It was a nice touch and helped me more easily visualize what was going on. Plus, if you take off the sleeve on the hardcover edition, there's an illustration embossed on the book itself. I think that was a really pretty, nice detail that I wouldn't have thought about.

And then of course, there's the story itself. It's fascinating. It's disturbing and creepy and morbid but you can't help but to keep reading, and even sympathizing with the characters in this book. I started out thinking "who could possibly commit such a crime against the one they love?" but the more I kept reading into their personal stories, the more I started to get it. That's another part of what makes this tale so disturbing, it seems so... Normal. Relatable almost, as strange as that is to say about a murder. I was sucked in from the first page, and thanks to the great writing and good pacing, I devoured this book.

I'd recommend Alice + Freda Forever to anyone looking for a teenage history story, a murder case, or LGBT history. Thank you so much to Zest Books who provided me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.


-This giveaway will run from October 13th to October 20th, 2014
-This giveaway is open to US/CAN
-This giveaway is open to those 13 and older (with parental permission of course)
-It is open to anyone over that age who can legally enter, receive, and use their prize.
-One (1) winner will win a copy.
-This giveaway is sponsored wholly by the publisher. I am not responsible.
-This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity.
-Winner will have 48 hours to reply, or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen using
-Invalid entries will be removed, so please don't cheat.
-Void where prohibited. Odds will vary. No purchase necessary.
-My opinions are my own. Information will not be stored or sold, and will be used only to contact the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I don't think there's just one crime or criminal that interests me, they all do really. It's a morbid curiosity of wanting to know what it was like at the crime scene and how the criminals think. I think that's partially why I enjoy cop dramas like Criminal Minds and Dexter (though I don't really watch them anymore unless I happen to catch a rerun). I've never heard of this crime before though, and I must admit I'm really intrigued, I'd love to read all about it.

    1. Dexter <3 one day I will read those books too.

  2. I'm intrigued by the Tate-Labianca murder in the Manson murders. Mainly because my hubby is a nephew of the deceased Labianca. Hard not to be intrigued by it.
    Still, with this book, you had me at Freda. :-)

  3. I'd never heard of that murder either, until this post! Now I'm very intrigued. The Lizzy Borden murders intrigue me....most crimes of passion pre-1930's are fascinating because society's view of psychology was so different. And there seemed less of a fascination with why than how.

    1. The Lizzy Borden case is one that fascinates me as well.

  4. I have always been fascinated by the Black Dahlia case. It should have been solved after all these years but probably never will be. It was so gruesome and has haunted me since the day I read about it and saw the crime scene photos.
    This is the first I've heard of this case but it sounds very interesting!

    1. I know the Black Dahlia case by name, but it's not something that I know all too much about.

  5. I don't know much about crime, never heard of this one before, but it sounds great.

  6. I used to be really into serial killers, Bundy, Dahmer and their ilk, a little less so these days but for some reason true crime is really interesting to me, trying to figure out what makes these people do such crazy stuff. Thanks for the giveaway.