Book Reviews

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

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“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.” ~Goodreads

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I wasn’t going to write a review initially after I finished this ARC but then changed my mind. Just because I didn’t love it or even at times like it, doesn’t mean other readers will feel the same.

According to the 800+ reviews on Goodreads, the average rating is a 4.13 out of 5, so obviously I am in the minority here. The Truth About Alice (June 3) is young adult contemporary about what happens when the rumor mill ruins your life in high school. Not just any rumor but blatant lies about having sex with two guys in the same night and being involved in the death of one of them. Then there is a third lie (I can’t reveal) that basically puts Alice’s social standing to non-existent. There is only one decent character in the book and it is Kurt, a nerdy brain, who is the only one who will give Alice the time of day. But even his initial interest in Alice is because of her looks and his long time crush on her. With no one in her corner, he has the perfect opportunity to make his move.

Jennifer Mathieu is a high school teacher and I am guessing she has seen incidences like this happen with her students. I remember many horrific rumors being spread about people I attended school with and as a bystander, I didn’t dispute nor join in on the gossip. How would anyone really know what went down between people unless you were directly involved? But what made me upset about this book was the fact that some of the narrators and supposed friends of Alice didn’t do more to stand by her or ask her for her side of the story. Alice never tells her side of the story in the book and I was hoping and waiting for some redemption on her part.

The importance of this book is why I am reviewing it. Maybe readers will think twice before bullying, joining in or just standing by. Maybe it will upset readers enough to make a shift in their behavior to do what is right rather than stand by and watch someone be treated poorly. Jennifer Mathieu is a great writer and captures the voice of high school students pretty well. Some reviewers stated that they thought this was very realistic to what goes on in schools. Boy, I hope not because I will be home-schooling my kids when they reach that age. Well, not really, but I hope adolescents today are smarter and stronger to do the right thing. I think YA fans will like this book more than I did and if you do happen to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

To learn more about Jennifer Mathieu and upcoming events please visit her site here.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for the advance reader’s copy. I was not compensated or required to review this book.

 

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