During the summer of 2014, I saw a lot of hype about The Truth About Alice. I was intrigued but also a little nervous to give such a buzzed about book a chance so soon after its release. I knew I was eventually going to read it, but I put it on the back burner because the bullying subject matter hit pretty close to home for me, as I was also bullied in high school. Then, not too long ago, I started to see people getting excited for Jennifer's upcoming book, Devoted. I knew right then and there that I had to read The Truth About Alice, even though the two books are completely different and unrelated. I just had to figure out why everyone fell in love with this book and Jennifer Mathieu.
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publish Date: June 3rd, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students--the girl who has theinfamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door--tell all they know.
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Thoughts:
For a book that's just under two hundred pages, Jennifer Mathieu's The Truth About Alice packs a punch and delivers the pain right to the guts. This book is one will wow readers so much that they'll want to savor it and make it last just a little longer. I did the latter, and decided to savor it, and it paid off. The novel is both heartbreaking and healing, though much of the book deals with heartbreaking issues, such as sex, drinking, and religion are brought up in the book, so it has a little something for everyone. Matthieu tackles these issues with grace and writes about them beautifully with such a vast array of emotions.
The novel is told from four different perspectives, and each character has his or her own opinion about the infamous Alice Franklin. Rumors are swirling around the small town of Healy, Texas, and teenage residents, Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and Kurt all have something to say about Alive and what allegedly happened at Elaine's party and the weeks that followed.
The multiple narrator aspect allows for a multi-faceted story that perturbs and engages readers as they turn every page. I really liked that this novel was told from the different points of view. As the book progresses, readers are able to put the puzzle pieces together to figure out the truth until Alice finally comes out to tell her side of the story. Each character had his or her own voice, and this springboards Matheiu amongst some of the best contemporary YA authors. I was never confused about who was narrating each chapters, and I loved each character's unique voice.
I did feel like the four narrators represented the typical high school stereotypes and were clichés but the inclusion of that feature made the book more realistic and believable. No matter where you go to school, there are popular girls, jocks, nerds, and quite possibly, back-stabbing friends. I really enjoyed reading and learning about these characters they all conform to their respective stereotype in certain ways, but they are still able to break the mold and surprise readers by doing unexpected things at unexpected times.
Every teenager (and fan of young adult books) should and must read The Truth About Alice. Even with it's more mature content, it's such a powerful and emotionally slaying read because it realistically shows just how vicious teenagers can really be. On the other hand, it seems like all hope is lost. I would recommend this book for fans of gut-wrenching books and movies like The Breakfast Club and Mean Girls. If you're looking for something realistic and suspenseful, read this book.
I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads
About the Reviewer:
Erin is a reader, teacher, blogger, and lover of all things bookish. When she's not reading or teaching, she's coming up with book ideas, playing with her two kittens, or discover new-to-her TV shows on Netflix. She collects beach glass, notebooks, pens, and magentic bookmarks.
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