Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication date: June 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
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Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.
Everyone knows that Alice Franklin is a slut.
She has slept with two guys in one night in someone else’s bedroom during someone else party. Her sexting caused the super famous and gorgeous Brandon Fitzsimmons aka the king of Healy High died in car accident. She had abortion not long after, and who knows whose baby belongs to! Alice Franklin gets a stall dedicates just for her – slut stall – where girls can write all the things they believe Alice has done. Because Alice Franklin is a slut, and everybody knows it.
But is she really?
The Truth About Alice is a powerful book about what rumors can actually do. Events in this book remind me of snowball effect. Things roll and they get worse and worse. Told in multiple perspectives from the famous cheerleader to finally Alice herself, this book was a short and enjoyable ride for me.
I love the multiple POVs the most in this book. It was awesome to get to know Alice from different characters first and slowly unveil why each of them keep their own Alice-related secrets. Some of those secrets actually took me aback, like Kelsie’s secret. Kelsie, the ex-best friend of Alice and a social climber, is one of the most intriguing character I’ve ever met. She’s horrible and made me so mad, but she was an interesting character to read.
I think the only underdeveloped character in this book might be Brandon, the dead guy. Every character describes Brandon as gorgeous, super funny, a bit of jerk but still so awesome, and it ticks me off a little because he’s not the person I see from the pages. If the author wants readers to have some sympathy to him, I think it would be better to show more humane side of Brandon.
While reading this book, I was also driven to think of the double standard in our society. While Alice is treated like a slut for allegedly sleeping with two guys in one night, Brandon with his never ending conquest of girls is treated like God instead. I think hypocrisy is one of the greatest themes in this book – people keep saying one thing while they act different.
All in all, The Truth About Alice was a thought-provoking book with great narrations. I also love the glimpses of hope in this book despite of how bad the situation is. While this book is not entirely flawless, it’s certainly worth reading.
The hard truth is I think I knew we weren’t going to be friends anymore the day after Elaine’s party when I read that text about her and Brandon and Tommy Cray. It sounds terrible and shallow and not at all like something the Kelsie Sanders I knew in Flint would have said, but I’ve spent too many years sitting alone in the cafeteria, and I just can’t handle doing it again.
And I won’t.
3 cups of tea!
A quick and enjoyable ride.