The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu



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.

So here’s a typical small town where everyone knows everyone, especially each others business. Alice Franklin is the designated town slut after rumor spread that she slept with two guys in a party. The story is being told in the recollection of four Healy high school students, with the one last chapter saved for Alice.

The truth is not all of the rumors are true. As much as I wanted Alice to defend herself and be all bad ass and prove the hell out of the people wrong, I know that hiding in that big, old sweater was the closest thing to reality that a teenager like Alice would do, of course she could have dropped out but where else would she go? Thank goodness the story did not resort to a more extreme and permanent fix.

This is reality. Everything that was said in the book by these fictional teenagers are the truth. As readers we are given the chance to take a glimpse of the inner workings in a teenagers’ thoughts and feelings. Parents should read it, to understand, if only a little, of what teenagers go through on a regular basis.

You have to hand it to Alice, with everything that’s going on in her life, and without a support system (what mother?), she’s one strong girl. She survived because she couldn’t care less what people say and think, yet I couldn’t understand why she hid herself under the hood of a big sweater? Probably to avoid awkward eye contact? Make herself invisible?

The author had done such a great job in building up her characters. They truly are a symbol of each kind of teenager: the popular, the jock, the nerd, and the outcasts. I wish there wouldn’t be these kind of labels anymore, but alas they do exist and I think it’s hard to reform from it.

Here’s the thing, if we show our kids that we love them, then they wouldn’t have been finding love in all the wrong places. That’s easy enough to say, but unfortunately we don’t know every family’s story. If this story had had a much lighter theme to it, I would’ve loved this quiet, small town of Healy and its citizen.

3 stars

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