Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Release Date: 3rd June 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Find on: Goodreads
Quick Review: 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.
Detailed Review: Whenever I approach a contemporary, it's usually with a sense of fear and curiosity. Why? Usually I find some books that are really very hard to connect with because the characters seem too perfect and the setting is simply too unbelievable (no high school, just a beach? What do the kids do these days?)
The Truth About Alice, was not one of these books. Instead, it relates with high school life very easily, making it so much easier to imagine the story in my head. The setting was a great setting, because it somehow set the boundaries for how far the stories would go.
Another good thing about it was that it was written from 4 perspectives about the main character, rather than letting Alice herself be the voice of the story. This makes it even more intriguing because you see the main character through the perspectives of four very different people with different intentions:
Kelsie: She used to be Alice's best friend, until the rumors started. She just stopped hanging out with Alice anymore, for fear that if she did, she'd become what she used to be: a friendless dork.
Elaine: She's on the top rung of the popularity ladder. She sets trends for people to follow and everybody worships her. She may not hate Alice but she sure as hell doesn't like her either.
Josh: Brandon's best friend. Football player. Hot and popular. But he does have one secret that could change people's perceptions about Alice in a minute.
Kurt: He's had a crush with Alice since the first time he saw her. And he also possesses one secret that could change everything and possibly tear apart his friendship with the used-to-be-friendless Alice.
All four of these characters have the power to change Alice's life. This is what hit me the hardest. They are like determinants in Alice's life. What they do, what they say, dictate Alice's life. And this led me to think, doesn't this apply in real life too?
Yes it does.
The Truth About Alice describes high school perfectly. It reminds us that these things actually happen or have happened.
There was one thing I dislike. The lack of swoon-worthy romance. But I think Jennifer probably thought, "Alright, I'm not gonna put in much romance in it, we still need to stay focused on Alice, not some love story." So I'll probably let this go for this book.
Brief Review: Jennifer's use of four different perspectives give us much more insight than Alice could have given about herself. Not only is it intriguing, it shows awareness of the other characters and also lets us know more about them through what they say about Alice. The Truth About Alice highlights high school life in its ugliest and prettiest: the price of popularity, the leaving of fake friends, and the discovering of real friends. This book does not make out high school to be what it seems to be, and this will be what pulls most readers in; the truth will draw you in. Overall, a truly positive debut to Jennifer's writing career!
Final Rating: 4.5/5 'Really Liked It!'
To everyone in the world, who believe the lies so easily
The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.- Maya Angelou