Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I have a tendency to check out books with multiple POV. More often than not I end up being disappointed, but this don’t stop me from picking up another story with several narrators.

The Truth About Alice is a rather short story. With four (actually five) POV you may think it’s doomed to fail. Surprisingly it was a satisfying and thought-provoking book.

This book is about Alice Franklin, a girl who supposedly slept with two guys at a party. Now she is a school slut. But she become a total social pariah after Brandon, one of the guys had been killed in a car-crush because she distracted him with her inappropriate texts.

We have four POVs:

  1. Elaine – a popular girl, a queen-bee of her class.
  2. Josh – a popular jock and Brandon’s best friend.
  3. Kurt – computer nerd who lives next door to Brandon.
  4. Kelsey – Alice’s former best friend, who is now a part of Elaine’s popular group.

The author gave up a picture of how damaging and uncontrollable rumors can be. Once started, it’s like avalanche, it consumes everything and everyone.

The author also gave an insight on why people start and spread rumors.

  • Kelsey was an outcast in her previous school. Now she gets a chance to be popular, she is willing to sacrifice her friendship with Alice, if it means she would be accepted into school elite.
  • Josh is not a bad guy; he just went with a flow, being led by his best friend. Deep down Josh also is afraid not to be popular, to be left behind.
  • Elaine is a very popular girl, but inside she has her insecurities. Being on the top of hierarchy ladder means she must be mean and unforgiving.

I did have several issues. I found characters a bit too cliché, and the book suffers from simplicity. But despite this the book as a whole worded wonderfully.There was also a hint of a romance, which I liked.

On the side note: it speaks volumes about YA that I expect rape in every book.

Spoiler
It just made me realize that rape-topic is everywhere in YA (actually in NA and adult too). Often authors just use this topic to spice up their stories, and it makes me sad.

All in all The Truth About Alice was a solid book that brings the light on important topics, I recommend it.

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3 Comments on “Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

  1. I remember reading this book a long time ago, and I liked it quite a bit. The theme is pretty serious and I liked how the author wrote it, while making the reader aware of how rumors can go crazy once started. I found myself sympathizing with the characters too. I think it was an enjoyable read for me, since I always love reading books that touch on sensitive issues every once in a while. :) Great review, Ksenia!

  2. Oh yeah I totally know what you mean by multiple POV stories being disappointing because you just don’t (most of the time) connect with all the POVs. I’m so glad you loved this one though! I have heard so many amazing things and I’m really glad you found it a great one as well. I love issue books and I feel like this one points out obvious flaws in our societies. Also, I feel like Josh’s worry of being left behind is a legit fear that most of us have so I can totally relate to that. Oh yeah, rape is definitely being brought more into YA. It’s one of my few triggers which is why I haven’t continued some books, but if it’s not too triggering I can still read it. Though, I hate when it’s used as a plot device or a trope to help the MC move forward or come to a realisation (All Broke Down by C. Carmack is one instance; though I’m glad she will touch upon this issue deeply in her upcoming book in that series which I’m really eager to read, because my favorites will lead that book). I’ll keep my eye more closely on this one :)
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