The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 14/10/2014
There are a lot of rumours about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether any of them are true.
It all started at a party, when Alice was supposedly with two guys in one night.
Soon everyone at Healy High has picked a side in this game of he said/she said. Do they believe Brandon Fitzsimmons, the most popular guy at school and the football hero of Healy? Or do they believe Alice, the girl who wears too-tight T-shirts and was caught kissing Brandon in a closet a couple years before?
When Brandon dies in a car crash, there are serious allegations that his death was Alice’s fault. As the rumour mill spins into overdrive, Alice’s small town becomes suffocating. And when the truth becomes a matter of opinion, something’s got to give.
This was my first time reading a Jennifer Mathieu’s book. It was a quick read full of undeniable truths and very relatable scenes.
Every chapter is told in the perspective of a different student that heard the rumors about Alice Franklin. We have Elaine, the popular girl with a mother that wants to be her best friend instead of being there for her as family. Kelsie, Alice’s ex-best-friend who after being the nerd in her old school does everything to reach popularity in this new town. Josh, best friend to Brandon who died in a car crash. And Kurt, the genius nerd who prefers to be alone most of the time and has a crush on Alice.
The unique thing about how the story is told, is everyone offers their point of view of Alice and what she did, so we see this girl being blamed and vicitimised without hearing her own opinion. Reading about how everyone recalled the events of the night and how they blame Alice to detract from their own involvement or problems was sad.
The Truth About Alice offers an interesting account of how bullying can spiral out of control through the eyes of different characters around the victim. Despite having some cliche characters and stereotypes, it offers a really powerful message about the effects of bullying on a teenage girl.
It’s a super fast read and also an easy one and at the end of every chapter I just wanted to read more. What I liked most was that it didn’t show Alice as a saint and instead as an actual person who does mistakes and is not perfect.
I thought this story was an interesting take on this subject. I liked the different perspectives and their knowledge or lack there of about what actually happened between Alice and the boys she is alleged to have slept with. These characters were believable. I recommend this book to everyone. It’s very relatable