Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice
By: Jennifer Mathieu
Pub. Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 208
Source: Netgalley

Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan.

I have never read a more realistic portrayal of teenage life. The slut-shaming that goes in this story is something that so many teenage girls experience on a daily basis, and it just breaks my heart. The Truth About Alice is told in the point of five different students, Elaine, the popular girl, Kelsie, Alice’s former best friend, Josh, a popular guy, Kurt, the school nerd who has a crush on Alice, and then finally Alice. What I found so interesting was that Alice POV was the last chapter. I enjoyed learning about everything through everyone else’s eyes. It brought a lot to the story. 

The rumor is this: Alice had sex with two guys at the same party. Despite Alice saying this isn’t true, no one believes her. Making matters worse, after one of those guys dies in a car accident, everyone blames her. The sad thing is, is that it isn’t just the students who are invested in these rumors, but the parents in this small Texas town are also participating in the gossip. It just goes to show you how shameless people can be.

Kelie and Josh both played a huge role in the rumors and it was interesting to hear their thoughts and reasoning for doing what they did. Usually with books about this same topic, the story is always told by the victim, so the reader never gets the chance to explore the minds of the other characters. This is what I loved so much about The Truth about Alice, finally being able to hear the other side.

Even though we don’t get to hear Alice’s viewpoint until the last chapter, Jennifer Mathieu did a wonderful job getting her side of the story through the other characters. I felt like I knew her already and I thought she was very strong and brave.

The Truth About Alice is a fast read that I really enjoyed. Its Mathieu’s first novel, and I can’t wait for more stories from this truly talented up and coming author!

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