14 March 2014

{Book Review + Giveaway} The Truth About Alice


The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Pages: 208
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: ARC
Rating: 5 Birds

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.

There is both beauty and horror in simplicity, and Jennifer Mathieu perfectly captures them both in THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE.

One might think that nothing particularly life changing could happen in just 208 pages. I'll be the first to admit when THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE arrived in the mail, I was taken aback by it's lack of heft.  If you're going to tell me the tale of the social and emotional demise of Alice Franklin, I was sure you would need many more pages.

It speaks to the state of the world we live in, that a few texts, and awful rumors scrawled on a bathroom stall can destroy someone so fast.  It also speaks volumes of the talent of author Jennifer Mathieu, to be able to capture so much with so few words, yet never allow you to feel like you are being rushed, or missing something. Mathieu chooses not to tell you this tumble down the social ladder through the eyes of the tumbler (a.k.a Alice) , but through the eyes of those who, for the most part, push her down it.

Each of the four POV's you encounter in some way directly effects Alice, and the simple lack of full truths when combined create the tornado that takes her out. What's left in it's wake is a broken teenager, something so brutally honest and real it will break your heart to know that this is not just fiction, but happening across the world to millions of young girls in some manner every single day.

Page after page, I was astounded at the simplicity of how this story begins. Like every lie, like every omitted fact, it spirals so fast holding on for dear life isn't even an option. I was thrust back into both the terrible memories of being the victim of this kind of social take down, and overcome with guilt for having been on the delivering end when I was in high school.

THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE is a beautifully crafted, brutally honest, and an immensely important debut from Jennifer Mathieu. It belongs on every library shelf in schools and in my opinion should be required reading.

If her novel helps just one person not spin that first lie, or pass it on in whispers.  If it helps one person at the bottom of the social well realize that there is light at the end if they simply hold their head high and look up. If it helps an adult realize that it's not just "high school drama" and that being emotionally pummeled by your peers constantly can directly correlate to your ability to simply function and move through your day to day life. That you never really leave it behind and that phrases like "get over it" and "this won't matter in 2 years" are unhelpful and make you part of the problem not the solution. If this book can do that, just once, it will be a success in my eyes regardless of sales. And I believe, that these reasons I just listed are exactly why Jennifer sat down and put pen to paper in the first place and gave us Alice.


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Want to read ALICE now? Enter to win my copy + some awesome swag I designed for author Jennifer Mathieu
Must be 13+ To Enter, Ships in US only.

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  1. I'm dying to read this book! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I do hope I get to read it soon! Too bad I can't join your giveaway since it's only US. Great review! :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I loved this book so much, and your review is spot on, Amber!


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