Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication Date: June 1st, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Number of Pages: 208
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?
It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.
The Truth About Alice is written in multiple POVs. It passes around a number of people before, as expected, Alice’s perspective is portrayed. I’m not sure if this was intentional on Mathieu’s part but the use of multiple POVs was very effective in comparing the stories that people knew of. Since most of them were incorrect accounts of Alice’s situation, the one POV that supported Alice felt purer and more sweet. I felt like it brought an element of realism to the story although it was undeniably, one of the most predictable books I’ve read. Each POV was pretty easy to recognize from the others. On top of this, I had grouped all of them into the antagonists and viewed them as one mob against a duo.
In many cases, having a cliche, sterotyped character, such as the mean girl, or the wannabe, or the nerd, or anything of the sorts is a detrimental addition to a novel. Many hate it because of how superficial they are. But in this case, I didn’t mind it. If anything, it helped Mathieu prove her point that nobody really knows the truth but the people involved and that the truth can be warped quickly and rumors can spread quicker. What makes it even better is that each and every character had dimension. Mathieu gave each character it’s own personality and showed that although each was a representative of a stereotype, each person was still their own individual.
This book didn’t really have much of a plot. It was more of a collection of a bunch of different testimonies of people that were involved in the conflict. I liked being able to piece together each individual piece of information (which wasn’t too hard because of the predictability) and learning about the emotions of each character.
The romance was kind of forced. It felt one-sided for the whole book, even when Alice and Kurt ended up dating. However, I can tell that the two will have a strong relationship, even if it won’t end up being romantic. Kurt was a great role-model for how a guy should win a girl’s heart. Well not the stalking part (which is kind of cute because of how big of a crush he had on her), but the part where he stood by Alice’s side and helped her when nobody else would. That is what a guy should do.
I absolutely loved this book. Poignant and thought-provoking, The Truth About Alice teaches about the spread of rumors in a slim 200 pages.