You guys may have noticed a pattern with my reads. While I read all over the place genre-wise, the books I rave over are always the ones that make me think about my life – or even better, society in general.
Maybe that’s a lot to ask of a book.
Maybe that’s a lot to ask of a YA book.
But I don’t think so.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE will make you feel, make you think…and probably make you glad that you’re not in high school anymore. (Apologies to any of our readers who are currently in high school. We still love you. We just don’t envy you. xo)
The Truth About Alice
by Jennifer Mathieu
Blurb: 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.
Muse KJ’s Thoughts
From the very opening of THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, you know it’s going to be interesting. After all, it doesn’t start with Alice at all. It begins with someone telling you “two definite, absolute, indisputable truths” about Alice.
Healy is the kind of town where you’re born there, and you die there. That’s just the way it is. Healy is also the type of the type of town where everyone knows everything about you. Which means everyone knows the truth about Alice. And everyone has something to say about it.
The story is told through multiple points of view. Each character has a really strong voice, making it easy to tell whose chapter it was without even noticing the header. Elaine is the girl with Healy wrapped around her finger. Kelsie is the former nerd who moved to town with a fresh slate and vows to never ever be that person again. Josh is the star of the football team now that Brandon’s dead. Kurt is the school loner, who nobody dares talk to in public. Alice is…well Alice is what this is all about. How they see her. How the town sees her. And at the end, how she sees herself.
The beauty of these characters is even when you don’t morally agree with their actions, you understand them. You know how they can come to this line of thinking. None of them are one-sided. They each have their high points, and their flaws. They each have opinions about Alice that maybe Alice wouldn’t want to know.
“It’s like when we read The Diary of Anne Frank in seventh grade, and I had the sneaking suspicion that I would have been a Nazi back then because I wouldn’t have had the guts to be anything else.”- Kelsie
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE is a bittersweet story about how we’re all just trying to find a place where we fit in. We’re all just trying to find a way to fashion ourselves into the person we want to be – or the person we want to be seen as. Every word we say, every action we take has power. And it’s amazing to watch that unfold in THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE. Layer upon layer is built, and when we peel them all back we can truly understand the impact of our one little action.
In short, this is the kind of book that sits with you. That makes you to stop and think about your life, your actions, about humanity in general. And maybe some would say that’s a lot to get out of a YA book, but really I don’t think it is. THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE is bittersweet, poignant…and hopeful.
So what is the truth about Alice? It may surprise you.
So far, I think this is my second favorite book of 2014. BIG DEAL, PEOPLE!
Just how much did I love it? It’s on my list of books I need to donate to the local library. No, not because I’d want to discard a copy, but because I think it’s a book that teens – and maybe everyone – needs to read.