Monday, November 23, 2015

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Alice was a popular girl... until a rumor changes everything.  Brandon Fitzsimmons says she slept with him and another guy at a party... and then Brandon dies in a car accident and his best friend says it's Alice's fault.  Now Alice is the talk of the school and the town.  Everybody knows about Alice's slut status- including her former best friend, the most popular girl in school, Brandon's best friend, and Brandon's nerd neighbor.  They all give their perspectives on a girl that hasn't had a voice, a girl that didn't choose to be the target of an entire town's anger.  In the end, the only person who can tell the real story of Alice, is Alice herself.

Talk about love at first page!!!  I've been going through a major reading slump.  Everything I've been trying to read just hasn't been doing it for me.  Then I pick up this book and I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.  I loved every single second of this book, my only problem with it is that I wish it was longer.  199 pages went by way too fast.

The first thing I loved about the book was the honestly.  This comes from 4 different perspectives, and all the characters are honest about who they are.  Alice's former best friend, Kelsie, tells us up front that she's a coward.  She wishes she could be the kind of friend that sticks up for her bestie, but she doesn't ever want to go back to the time when she had no friends and had to eat in the cafeteria alone.  Elaine, the most popular girl, doesn't hold anything back either.  She doesn't like Alice, and hasn't since an incident in 8th grade.  She's tolerated her, but now that these rumors have come out, it just validates the feelings she's had for years.  She also is unapologetic about not wanting to get out of her small town.  Most people can't wait to escape small town life, but she's perfectly content living in a place where she's happy and well-liked.

Kurt, the odd-ball genius, has always liked Alice.  When she goes through her downward spiral, he ends up tutoring her.  Kurt reminded me so much of Kent from Before I Fall, which obviously made me love him.  I loved the way he was there for Alice without her even realizing it.  I also loved that he wasn't a saint.  He wanted to help Alice, but he was quick to say that he was still a guy who was attracted to her.  And that maybe all his feelings towards her weren't completely pure.

Asides from the bullying Alice goes through, this book is about a lot of other issues.  All the characters have issues and secrets they're dealing with... some of them especially heartbreaking.  Even though I should have totally hated Elaine and Kelsie, hearing the story from their POV made me understand where they were coming from, while also, yes, feeling anger at some of their actions.  I liked the complexity of that.

I would definitely put this on my list of Must-Read Contemporary.  If someone were to ask me to name a book that I think showcases a genre, THIS is definitely one of the books I would respond with.

Quote: "I really can't handle talking about this for too long because it just hurts too much, but I do want to say there is one thing I've learned about people: they don't get that mean and nasty overnight.  It's not human nature.  But if you give people enough time, eventually they'll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world."

OVERALL:  A book about mean girls, rumors, bullying, and high school.  I could not put it down and loved every second of it.  This has to be one of the best debuts I've read in a long time.  Can't wait to read more from this author.  Everyone should read it!!

This Book Contains:
  • Small-town Texas
  • Football
  • Religion
  • Mean Girls
  • Raspberry Lipstick
  • Parties
  • Drinking
  • A Slut Stahl
  • Abortion
  • Religion
  • Weight Watchers
  • S'mores Poptarts!!

My Rating: 4/4

Date Published: 6/3/2014
How I got this book: It was a gift
Publisher: Roaring Book Press

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  1. That's awesome that it got you over a reading slump! It sounds pretty great. Wonderful review.

    1. It was JUST the book I needed to pull me out. That reading slump was TERRIBLE!! Thank you!

  2. It looks like an amazing read; I don't know why I haven't gotten around to it yet. What I specifically love about this type of narration, though, is that the protagonist is Alice, but we're seeing the world from everyone's perspectives but hers! I would be delighted to try that because it sounds very unique. Lovely review, Michelle!

    PS: 199 pages? That IS too less, lol

  3. I'm not sure if I have asked you before (sorry if this is a repeat), but have you read the author's other work, Devoted? I really liked Alice, but Devoted totally just blew me away. I am seriously excited for any other work that this author has for the future.