The Truth about Alice – Jennifer Mathieu
Oh good God, this was sooooo good. I just want to run up to people in the street, push this book into their hands and run away to find someone else to force this book on. It is incredible.
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’s very unusual for me to want a book to be longer, but I never wanted this to end. The Truth about Alice is a book that is short and snappy, it packs an emotional punch. I’ve read a couple of YA books about school kids who are being picked on or having a tough time, and the theme of this is no different, but unlike any of the ones I’ve read before, this one is told mostly from the point of view of the bullies or the rumour mongers instead of the girl being picked on. It was an interesting way to tell the story and see how words can hurt and how stories can get out of hand so quickly. We hear the events of Alice’s life told through the eyes of girls that feel victimised by her for no real reason and her ex best friend, desperately trying to keep secrets. Each of the different narrators are desperately trying to keep Alice down and beaten for their own reasons.
This was such a good example of how terrible slut shaming, rape culture and generally being an asshat are and how those things can affect those around you. Brandon Fitzsimmons is such a vulgar human being because he thinks its perfectly alright to pin a girl to a bed and humiliate her, he thinks its ok to spread intimate rumours about another girl, aside from the fact that he is a complete douchebag, he isn’t alone in behaving this way, people do think those things are perfectly acceptable because of the society that we live in. This isn’t really the place for that kind of social analysis, but honestly, this is a wonderful look at social issues like those. And, slight spoiler alert, I’m glad Brandon died. He was a prize douche.
I seriously hope that this is one of the books that is talked about this year, it is a master piece, I loved every single word of it. It’s emotional, raw and incredibly well done. It gets my Nick Fury Seal of Approval and my fervent insistence that everyone must read this book!