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.
I’m an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, will be out in the spring of 2014.
My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.
I live with my husband, son, one rescue dog, one fat cat, and another cat that is even fatter than the fat cat.
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I think 3.5 stars!
Everyone has an opinion about Alice Franklin and in the small town they live in… rumors about her life run rampant. And everyone seems to believe them.
The rumors about Alice are heinous and abundant that’s for sure and as the story progresses, the lives and thoughts of these 5 characters start to fall into place and thing start becoming more apparent. By the end I wasn’t sure what to expect and to be honest, I would have liked a bit more of what happens next. The catalyst to the rumors seem to center around Brandon… town hero, high school quarterback and Mr. popular. He starts a really shitty rumor but before anything can be cleared up, is in an accident and dies. And suddenly Alice is to blame for that too.
UGH… I don’t even know what to say about this story. The Truth About Alice was an intriguing read. It’s told from the perspective of 4 other people in the town and they all seem to fit some stereo-type. You have ‘Miss Popular’, ‘The Jock’s Best Friend’, ‘The Former Best Friend of Alice’, and the resident geek. Each of them has their own secrets and they’re quick to jump on anything that diverts the attention from themselves.
I am struggling a bit to understand ultimately what the point of this story is. Are we supposed to take away the idea that there are a lot of assholes in this world … or is it that we shouldn’t trust even the people who claim to be our best friends… or that high school and small towns can be shitty places to have to grow up? I guess my point is that there was so much hurt and mean and negative here that it was really hard to see the bright spots. Kurt for example… someone who has always admired Alice from afar and when everyone turns their backs on her makes the effort to finally get to know her. Even something that happens at the end in the salon was hard to put into perspective because how do you move forward from what these people did and said about you… and that I guess is why I think I would have liked a bit more at the end… I wanted to see more growth from more of the characters and some acknowledgement that there is good and good things do happen and we all grow up and have the opportunity to be better people.
Overall, I found the way the story is told, from 4 different characters, was unique and interesting and definitely kept me turning the pages.
This was a quick read, I think I finished it in a couple of hours, but definitely go into it knowing that there is a lot of things you’ll walk away from it feeling angry about…. Or at least I did. I should absolutely give Mathieu credit for that because it’s rare that I want to actually want to punch a fake character in the face, but Kelsie in this book had me feeling exactly that.
Thank you to MacMillan for the advance copy for review!