After reading Devil Side by Lacey Dailey, I became curious about her other books. That’s when I came across Alma Underwood is Not a Kleptomaniac. This book is really different than Devil Side, but it still sounded like something I would love. And I was right and today I wanted to share my review!
Alma Underwood is NOT a kleptomaniac.
But she does take things that don’t belong to her.
The best part about working as a maid in her parent’s motel is pocketing all the random objects people leave behind. From old ticket stubs to the glue that comes with a toupee, Alma has discovered it all and stored it in a tub beneath her bed.
Her greatest treasure isn’t what she found in room six at Great Lakes Motel, but it’s who she discovered in an old, abandoned train car behind her house.
His name is Rumor, and he certainly won’t fit under her bed.
After a quick scan of Rumor’s surroundings, it becomes crystal clear that he’s not just hanging out in the train car for a place to escape. He’s living in it.
With determination heavy inside her, she does the only thing that makes sense to her…
She brings him home.
Turns out, he’s looking for a treasure of his own, and who better to help him find it than her?
“I’d give up all my treasures just to keep one. Him.”
When I read the synopsis, I knew this was going to be like something I’ve never read before. Alma Underwood is Not a Kleptomaniac hit me in all the feels. This book had me laughing and even in tears and in the end I had such a warm and cozy feeling. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about this story anytime soon.
Alma is a kleptomaniac, but maybe not in the way a lot of people are expecting. She works at her parents’ motel and when people leave, she collects the things they leave behind. I know this isn’t exactly good, but I loved the way Alma thinks. She gives each item a story and makes them special. This gave it a whole other meaning than just stealing things because you can. Alma also has the biggest heart I’ve read about in a long time. When she discovers Rumor, the first thing she thinks is she needs to help. She doesn’t think it’s fair he’s living like that and grieving at the same time.
“I’m saying that I want other people to be happy more, and it sort of kills me that I’m not in control of it.”
Rumor is a character my heart broke for. He unexpectedly lost his father and his mother left when he was small. He’s hurting a lot and all he wants is to find his mother and hopefully be a part of a family again. I love how Rumor’s character was portrayed. He seemed so real and full of emotions. I also thought he was really strong. Only 17 and already have so much hurt. Rumor was also born without part of one of his arms. This didn’t stop him and he showed us there’s nothing he can’t do.
The journey Rumor and Alma go on to find his mother was so special. Alma has a big family and her siblings figure out Rumor has been living in her room (I’m still shocked her parents didn’t notice this at all) and decide to help. After a certain chapter I kind of figured out how the story would go, but that didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. This book was so unique in the fact that instead of getting mad when secrets were revealed, the parents were supportive and wanted Rumor to get everything he needed and deserved.
“You aren’t your grief. You aren’t your reactions to heartbreak, and she gets that.”
There is also a touch of romance between Alma and Rumor and I loved reading about it as it developed. It’s no insta-love, but we slowly see their feelings develop and it feels really special. I think they both needed each other more than they realized. Add the amazing cast of side characters who are just as quirky and lovable as Alma and Rumor. This book will be held in a special place in my heart from now on and I know I’ll be revisiting this one in the future!
Alma Underwood was such a heartwarming book and like nothing I’ve ever read. I love when books show that blood doesn’t always make a family! I highly recommend reading this one if you’re a fan of contemporaries. It’s really worth the read.