The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Posted February 8, 2015 by shooting in Uncategorized / 17 Comments

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu 

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Everyone knows Alice slept with two
guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon
Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with
Alice. Ask anybody.

Rumor has it
Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the “slut stall” in the
girls’ bathroom: “Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers” and
“Alice got an abortion last semester.” After Brandon dies, the rumors
start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four
Healy High students tell all they “know” about Alice–and in doing so
reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the
realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly
what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to
ask: Alice herself.

Review: Last semester I took a children’s literature course and I would share some of the books I read through reviews. This time around, my class is all about Young Adult literature, so I hope you enjoy hearing about the many books I’ll be reading. The first week of class we had to choose a realistic fiction novel that had been published in the last year. I’d been wanting to read The Truth About Alice, so it was a great reason to pick it up.

This book is quick, but I felt like it dealt with the various issues in a realistic way. Besides Alice and all the rumors surrounding what she may or may not have done at a party, everyone telling this story has their own worries, fears, and secrets. There is Elaine, the popular girl who had the party; Josh, Brandon’s best friend and the reason people know about Alice supposedly sexting him the night he died; Kelsie, the ex-best friend of Alice who turns against her after all the drama; and Kurt, the smartest boy in school who lived next door to Brandon and who has been in love with Alice for years.

Each of these narrators tell the story of Alice as they know it. As readers, we eventually learn the truth, but it’s heartbreaking to see all that Alice had to go through. It’s horrible that there is such a stereotype against women who are comfortable with their sexuality being “sluts” or “whores.” Alice is accused of sleeping with two guys in one night, but what about the guys? They are seen as heroes, in a sense, and it’s wrong. Regardless of the truth, and like I said, you do learn it, there shouldn’t be such a difference when regarding men and women and their sexuality.

In the end, this was a really good book. You get Alice’s perspective in the end, and I thought it was done well. I suppose I would have loved to hear more from her, but I think the idea of other people telling your own story makes sense. It often happens after all.

17 responses to “The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

  1. I feel as if this would be a really tough book for me to read as I'm not a fan of issue novels but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! Wonderful review! 🙂

  2. I loved this one too Lauren, it was so incredibly raw and realistic. I think not initially including Alice's point of view was really powerful, but rather hearing from her peers and those who made her life feel insignificant. So glad you enjoyed this one too Lauren, looking forward to seeing what others you've read as well <3

  3. I have great things about this book, so I'm glad that you really ended up enjoying it. It always good when the different narrations actually work too. I think I would totally feel for Alice too in this book. I shall have to try and get a copy of this book soon! 🙂

  4. It's awesome that you're taking a YA Lit class! I wish they gave one of those in my college. Anyways, I remember reading this book, and really enjoying it. While it was short, it definitely added something different to the "bullying" theme of other books. I like how Alice's POV wasn't seen until the very end. Great review!

    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well, Lauren! I thought they way the author decided to write this from other people's perspectives was really interesting and gave the readers so much insight.

    Nice review! <33

  6. I NEED TO TAKE THAT CLASS. Seriously, would be so much fun. This has a Thirteen Reasons Why feel about it, but exactly, this is one thing I hate about YA books (slut-shaming, a negative feel on women exploring their sexuality) so totally agree, guys who "sleep around" or been with multiple partners, are seen as heroes with male friends, and okay, they sometimes get called man whores, but it's like a medal, whereas if a women does it, it's a disgrace. Uh, no. Obviously there's more to it in this book, but what's the problem if she did sleep with two guys in one night if it was consensual and she wasn't dating/or slept with guys dating someone?
    The way the author wrote it from the perspectives of the classmates definitely is fitting, other people make with what they hear, or see, or think they see, when you don't tell your own story, they do.

    I so need to read this one when I can! 🙂

  7. I heard a lot about this one but I haven't tried it. The topic is really interesting too! I'm glad you had a good time with it. I should try too one day.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.