Friday, July 11, 2014

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication Date: June 3, 2014

My Pre-Reading

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.


Review: I think this book is something that every kid in high school should be made to read. It doesn't have a fast moving plot or an epic world. Instead, it's very real. It shows what happens when rumors are started and how people can be hurt by the smallest amount of gossip. And how important the truth can be.

I didn't expect to actually enjoy this book as much as I did. It's told from four different perspectives, and it's really interesting to see how different people see the situation. Elaine and Josh don't really care about Alice to begin with; they tolerate her because she used to be moderately popular, but they're not all that interested in actually learning the truth. Kelsie is too worried about her reputation to sit down and actually talk to Alice. And then there's Kurt, the shy genius who lived next door to the football star Brandon. 

All of these people felt like people I've known or do know. Each character has his or her own distinct voice, but they all need to keep the truth about Alice a secret in order to be the top of the pecking order. It's crazy, but I can totally see something like this happening to a girl in real life. In fact, I'm sure it has happened. High school kids are often mean and don't think about the consequences of their actions and their words, and this book really shows that. 

I also found myself actually liking most of the characters in this book. I mean, I would never want to be friends with someone who would turn on me in an instant, but they all have their problems and their reasons. Kurt was definitely my favorite, although I wish he would have shared his truths sooner. Alice reacted to things pretty much exactly how I expected her to, but I'm glad she ended up with a decently happy ending. 

Overall, I would totally recommend this to anyone who is looking for a real contemporary book with real characters and real consequences. This is not your feel-good contemporary romance (even though there's a little bit of that in here), but it's definitely one that will make you think. And want to give to your teenage kids/friends/cousins/etc. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, and I found that I just couldn't put it down as soon as I picked it up. A 4/5.


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