Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review | The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Words Can Hurt
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.

This novel did not beat around the bush, it went straight with the dilemma of the story. It depicted how gossip can move around and destroy people. Armed with the so-called “idea of a person”, people tend to tinder gossip, architect a certain belief, and then ostracize the person.  The thing about rumor-mongers is that they assume the role of the offended party, even though they spread gossips out of malice, hate, and self-gain. All this simply based on the preconceived opinion that the person in question deserves such treatment and that every other righteous person has the power to look down on other people.

The novel was stirred from different perspectives, people who will gradually reveal themselves and their contribution to the destruction of a human being.  As much as I hated these people, their perspectives gave a clear picture as to how these kinds of rumor going around. Alice’s point of view will come in the very last part of the novel. It wasn't exactly the happy avenging ending that readers will expect, but it was a reassuring one.

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.

I am very pleased as to how Ms. Mathieu gave Alice the demeanor and resilience to go all through this traumatic part of her life. She’s not exactly a well-rounded teenager, but it serves to point that not only good girls deserve fair treatment. In an age where people are too busy being angry and labeling others, this is one of those stories that needed to be read by teens and adults alike.  A story that this generation will have to hear and examine closely.  There are plenty of misimagined people in the world, and that’s prejudice.

A realistic story with a great voice, I recommend THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE

Book details: 
Author:  Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher:   Roaring Brook Press
Publication:  June 3, 2014
Genre:  Fiction, YA
Source:  Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:  ★★★★

*Thanks to Roaring Brook Press and Netgalley for loaning me a copy.


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