Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; 208 pages
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.
When I started reading, I am not gonna lie I was a bit turned off. I didn't care for the characters who told the story. I found them to be vindictive and cruel. Until I got to Kurt's point of view. Kurt saved this story for me. At 30 pages in I almost DNF'ed it. I took no pleasure in reading about lying self centered teens who tortured a classmate. But Kurt gave me hope. And I am glad I kept reading. Because even in it's short page number (just under 200 pages) I actually started to care about the characters that I wrote off in the beginning. Even if I found their actions unforgivable, as you get to know them and truths about them are revealed.
The author does a great job at keeping reader interest though. Even when I contemplated DNFing it I did want to find out what really happened with Alice. And I had decided that I would look up spoilers, if I decided not to finish it. I want to be clear that the story itself is really good. And never while reading did the story not intrigue me. It's just it can be difficult to read a story when it's told in first person and you have a dislike for a character. But then after I finished reading, I came to the conclusion that you're not supposed to like them. You're supposed to be repulsed by them.
The Truth About Alice is a story about things not always being what they seem. It shows that peoples actions usually affect their own emotions and issues, as opposed to others. There are reasons behind cruel actions. I hope that teens can take away a lot from this story. That words hurts. The old phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." is so false that it's not even funny. Because bruises can heal, emotions can be permanent.