Kaleena reviews The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

By Jennifer Mathieu
Published on June 3rd 2014
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Source: Publisher
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

OMG! Wow. I totally loved this short, little book! The Truth About Alice is Jennifer Mathieu's first book and it won't be her last. (And, I'll be waiting around to read them all!)

Overall, the book is told from four points of view: Elaine (the totally popular girl); Kelsie (Alice's ex-BFF); Josh (the star quarterback, Brandon's, best friend); and Kurt (the school nerd). Obviously, this book is about Alice, and the final chapter is her own and by the time you get there... you can just feel exactly what she has to say. It's not confusing - each voice is completely clear and different - and she nails the stereotypical personality/gender with each of them. It was phenomenal.

The story itself was a bullying story and delves into just how cruel and heartless the crowd can be. It goes to show how out-of-hand things can get when rumors start flying. One person can start something and like a wildfire it rages on full force. Truthfully, from the tone of the book, I thought it was going to go a different direction in the end than it did, and for that, I am grateful. I don't want to give anything away, but teen bullying stories these days seem to have a formula that always ends in one thing - and I'm glad this didn't. It took on a positive light and I think that's important.

I was excited by this book and I hope other people are as well. It was excellent and I can't wait to see what Mathieu puts out in the future.

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