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Publisher's Summary

Days after Alex Cooper told her parents she was gay, they drove Alex from their home in Southern California to Utah, where they signed over guardianship to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.

For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed "residential treatment program" modeled on the many "therapeutic" boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused and forced to stand facing a wall for up to 18 hours a day wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. "God's plan does not apply to gay people," her captors told her, using faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex would eventually escape and make legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law's protection as an openly gay teenager.

Saving Alex is a horrific yet uplifting story of identity, faith, courage, acceptance, and freedom that reveals what happens when religion goes too far and how a group of dedicated Americans and one young woman fought for her rights, including finding the strength and courage to be herself, and how her story has inspired countless others along the way.

©2016 Alexandra Cooper (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ronald
  • Prattville, AL, United States
  • 03-30-16

I'm a Christian straight, divorced man, with 2 kids that lives in the heart of the Bible Belt.... Alabama

I enjoy reading/ listening books about things I know nothing about. As stated above, I'm a Christian who has battled drug and alcohol abuse. Having been clean for 4 years now, I am still labeled. So this book intrigued me because I wanted to see what being labeled from another point of view was like, the things others went through. It is a great book! I had no clue the struggles the gay community goes through. This book made me a better person!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Important story for our LDS community

As members of the LDS church, when we hear horror stories like this we must shout from the rooftops. Until members pressure the leaders to develop a modern understanding of psychological development in teenagers, especially LGBT youth, these tragedies will continue. The church needs to transition from feelings based morals to data driven ethics. When LGBT teens are often abused this way and the data mounts against doctrine, it's time to alter our conclusions about God's rules concerning homosexuality. LDS leaders have been wrong and have altered the doctrine so often, we should expect changes when the evidence becomes overwhelming. Embrace being part of making positive change; speak up to LDS leadership to change the hurtful doctrine and help heal the damage that's already been done.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Crazy story, great reader...

Hard to believe this horrible treatment is still happening to this community! Good for her in having the courage to take a stand for herself at such a young age.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Heartbreaking journey of a young, gay woman who suffered spiritual and physical abuse due to her Mormon parents belief that the grievous sin of homosexuality must be repented of. This story reveals that when belief and fear are chosen over love, it will ultimately destroy the family units the religion purports to revere.

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  • Drew
  • Seattle, WA
  • 02-14-18

Groundbreaking! Magnificent! Helps anyone regardless of what beliefs are and is a MUST MUST MUST read.

You cannot go wrong with this book.

For those who are seeking to understand a loved one:

Regardless of your beliefs or opinions contrary to the topic, you will gain more insight into what it is exactly that your child, friend, spouse, or loved one is experiencing that any other book in complete and total magnitude. That is, if your goal is to actually understand your loved one versus trying to force change into them. Look, “if you want to know the truth, hold no opinions.” You cannot accept truth if you are constantly trying to ‘create’ the truth to validate your current beliefs. Truth does not bow to opinion or popular belief; it just...*is*. So it is a matter of whether or not one is willing and courageous enough to accept the truth and leave all bias behind.

For those who are running the stride to figuring out how to handle their own ‘confusion’ with sexuality — or haven’t yet figured out how to accept themselves as they are, you must read this. I haven’t struggled with this, but I have experienced the affects that ‘loss of love of self’ has had as a result of spiritual abuse. And I went through very similar experiences with a different ‘set’. It all comes down to one thing. One single thing, whether it be addiction or sexuality, or gender dysphoria. And that is *love of self*. When you have true love of self, you do not need any person or external belief system, or city mandates to validate your worth. You can stand alone as a powerful giant and not be moved by other people’s actions or words. You are worth it and words can’t change it. Just like the truth. To refer to Mormon scripture, the truth is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And so goes your worth. Love you Alex and you now have an extra giant on your side. Don’t stop inspiring!!!

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Loved this!!

I loved this book, so inspiring and eye opening! must read for everyone I know!

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Harrowing

Would you listen to Saving Alex again? Why?

This is a very harrowing story, one that "reads" like a suspense novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Alex, for her determination and sense of self.

Which character – as performed by Luci Christian Bell – was your favorite?

Alex and her lawyer. Both great-- and real, obviously-- characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Alex's parents yelling at her to get out of the house when she came out as gay.

Any additional comments?

Listen to this. You'll find yourself speaking aloud in horror at certain moments!

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Omg so sad

This book is so sad and makes me angry that people would do that to such a poor girl just Bc she is gay

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good

love it still reading it but so far its great and I would recommend it

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I'm angry, I'm sad, and I'm inspired

What did you love best about Saving Alex?

I've not really read many autobiographies, and those that I have, have generally been fairly sappy inspirational ones, hardship on the scale described by Alex, is something a little bit alien to my reading/listening experience...

I'm still clenching my jaw after finishing the book, and I'm still feeling happier about the ending, but more than anything, I'm just glad I had the chance to read the story of someone so strong, and inspiring.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Alex started getting strong for the first time, there was a time I got sad she had been beaten down and stopped trying to escape, and I thought about what I would have done in her shoes, but I realised, I'm 33 years old reading this, and when I was 15 I didn't have a fraction of the strength, or creativity she had back then, but when she began getting stronger, it brought tears to my eyes...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I've been half joking while reading, that it's a good thing I don't have a time machine, because if I did after reading this book, I'd be heading back to expose Joseph Smith as a fraud when he was inventing mormonism...

I'm still angry.... but I'm glad she is free.