The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Pages: Hardcover, 208 pages
Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


It was so easy to just inhale this book and fly through the pages to get to the truth.  The entire time I could just feel the drama and hate of high school.  The mean girl nature of the "popular" girls and football players who love to brag; it all just felt so real even though their roles were rather cliche.  The cliche-ness of the high school roles made the plot some what predictable but still suited the story.  

The overall message was an interesting and meaningful one.  A small rumor or lie can spread uncontrollably and just destroy a person.  Each chapter is from a different point of view from the previous chapter; almost all the characters involved in the story have a couple chapters from their point of view.  It took a while to get used the various point of views but the format fit perfectly with the rumor fragments. The various vantage points of each character has a role in the giant game of telephone in which Alice is the victim.  

The ending was similar to Side Effects May Vary.  It was not a warm and fuzzy ending.  It left you thinking about some of the mean spirited actions that happen during high school and even after than can really snowball out of control.  My main reservation about the story was that even with a strong message the overall feel and tone of the story were on the younger side young adult.  

Bottom Line

The Truth About Alice is not a book I would recommend to everyone.  I think the book sends an important message about the toxic nature of a rumor mill.  It is easy to become entranced in the drama and hope for a heart warming ending.
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