By: Melanie | May 15, 2014 | (27) Comments

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: June 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 199
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

stickers-my-review (1)The Truth About Alice is smartly-crafted tale that I have definitely come to appreciate as the story progressed. While I didn’t find myself loving it as I had hoped, it’s definitely worth reading as it addresses some serious topics that need closer attention in the real world.

What caught my eye on this book was certainly the synopsis. Alice Franklin, one of the popular girls at school, was said to have slept with two guys in one night at a party. Soon the rumour mill starts churning and everyone is calling her a slut. But just when all the gossip was coming to a slowing stop, Brandon–one of the guys Alice slept with–dies. Now they all blame Alice, after all, who else could have been distracting him while driving his car?

Unlike what you’d expect, The Truth About Alice is not written in Alice’s POV. It’s written by the jock, the ex-best friend, the queen bee and the nerd. Typical much? However, I found Jennifer Mathieu’s idea of unraveling Alice’s story through the voices of bystanders to come stronger and give us the whole spectrum of the situation. So we have the jock–Josh. He was Brandon’s best mate and together, they were Healy High’s best football players. Girls would stalk after them and they were at the top of the social ladder. But when Brandon dies in a car crash, allegedly believed to be Alice Franklin’s fault, Josh feels lost and confused. We also have Kelsie who was Alice’s best friend until That Night At The Party. I was astonished to see how she ditched Alice so quickly just because she didn’t want to fall down the social ladder by association with “the slut”. Nonetheless, her intentions and reasons did become more reasonable after reading more about her back-story  Elaine is the Queen Bee. She’s a Mary Sue and a bitch, to put it straight-forwardly. And lastly, there is Kurt–who is Healy’s greatest genius. I definitely enjoyed his perspective the most, he was so sweet!

The reason why I didn’t love this novel was due to the characters. Like I said, the stereotyping wasn’t annoying, however I found myself really lacking an attachment towards them. At times, the characters’ voices came out contrived which really put me off. I think Elaine’s perspective was most awkward and unrealistic. Perhaps it’s because she was a Mary Sue but gosh was she up herself and irksome!

The Truth About Alice possesses a subtle amount of romance. Kurt’s the school nerd but I love how he doesn’t give a crap about being a social pariah and how he wasn’t stereotyped into being a guy without hormones and only thinks about maths equations in his spare time. I found it very cute how he’s always had a crush on Alice and didn’t judge her because of the rumours that lurk in every corner of the school. The fact that they bonded over him tutoring maths to Alice just made it even more adorable. It doesn’t really overpower the main focus point of the story line, and their relationship is written authentically, despite the book being so short.

A realistically portrayed novel about bullying, acceptance and trust; this is a novel that I highly recommend if you love high school dramas. I found it to be a very well planned story that shows us how out of control one rumour can get.

~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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27 Responses to Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

  1. Hmmm, I might check this one out. It’s on my TBR already so if I get the chance to grab a copy, I’ll read it. 😛 Great review, as always! 🙂
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: Emotional and/or Heavy Reads!My Profile

  2. I nearly requested this, but I’m kind of glad I skipped now. *sigh* I’m a bit tired of the whole slut-calling stories…it seems a hot topic at the moment?? Anywho. It’s mostly if you didn’t connect to the characters, I probably won’t either! and characters are THE reason I read. Sooo…yeah. 😉
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Love Letters To the Dead by Ava Dellaira (um…deja vu?)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      this doesn’t really focus around slut calling but more like bulling but I get if you aren’t interested. I overall enjoyed this novel, but the characters didn’t really matter in this story as the narration isn’t through the main character, Alice and the characters made the story interesting in the sense that we got to see different aspects of the story

  3. I don’t think I could read this because of the difficult subject matter and though it seems like such a powerful story, I’m not sure I’m ready for such a deep issue novel. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, though, Melanie, even despite a few qualms. Wonderful review!

    • Melanie says:

      Thank you, Keertana! I totally understand–sometimes I’m just not up to the dark and gritty–even though this one wasn’t that gritty.

  4. I love this cover so much better. I haven’t heard about this book that much but I’m glad to see you liked this one.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Review: Blue Notes by Carrie Lofty!My Profile

  5. Ooooh, I really like this cover better than the US one. I’ve had my eye on this book for quite some time. I definitely want to read it!! So happy to see you enjoyed it, Mel! Great review! 🙂
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

  6. I do want to read this. I think the set up is interesting, even if you didn’t connect to all the characters.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Theming Thursday: Camping PartyMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, and the characters didn’t matter as much as they normally do since they aren’t really there to be liked, but they are there to share their side of the story to what happened to Alice, who is the MC

  7. I have the ARC of this, and I need to read this ASAP before the release! Sad to know that you didn’t like the voices of the characters much, that’s very important to me, it helps me connect. But the rating you gave is enough for me to be a bit excited to read the book. 😉
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 171 : This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Dre, I don’t think the characters’ voices matter as much as they normally do because they are only there to share their story and what happened to Alice, who is the actual main character–even though we don’t get her POV till the very end. I hope you enjoy!

  8. This sounds kind of like Easy A until the whole “dude dying” thing. I really really liked Easy A, so I might end up reading this one 🙂 Nice review!
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl: such a beautiful storyMy Profile

  9. Michelle says:

    This one sounds great! I’m definitely adding it to my TBR list now. Fantastic review as always, Melanie!
    Michelle recently posted…Book Haul: ARCsMy Profile

  10. Sad to see you didn’t love this one as much as I did, Melanie, but glad at the same time that you enjoyed it to an extent! I remember reading this one, becoming very moved, and giving it 5 stars. I thought it was pretty well-done and original, as we see the story and mysteries unfold through the eyes of the other characters who were directly/indirectly involved in the shaming of Alice. It was interesting to see the bystanders actually the ones getting the character development rather than Alice herself. I do understand where you are coming from though – having so many POVs at once can be disadvantageous as we have to take into account the stories of too many characters, thus, resulting to less emotional attachment.

    Great review!
    Faye D’Social Potato (@kawaiileena) recently posted…Review: Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie and Becca RitchieMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Faye! Yes, I saw your rating on GR and get very excited. I did really enjoy the book and how it was written but yeah, the characters were hard to connect to even though it wasn’t much of a quibble

  11. I hate not connecting with the character, but I find it interesting that the POV’s are from the ‘other’ kids, not Alice. So different. But I hate reading bullying books. They always make me sad.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Writing & Publishing Tips: What is Story by Catherine E. McLeanMy Profile

  12. I love how this story is told from different characters’ povs but I don’t like how they sound stereotypical. Great review though Mel!

  13. Amir says:

    Although the characters are a bit cliché, I must admit that the different POV is interesting althouh I can understand why you ended up not loving this one because of some of the characters. I don’t really care for the ex-“best friend” or the fake queen bee but I find rgar subtle romance with the school genius and Alice interesting. I hate books about bullying because it’s really uncomfortable read for me but maybe I’ll give this a shot. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Amir recently posted…Review: Hexed by Michelle KrysMy Profile

  14. Melliane says:

    Oh it’s interesting to have another character speaking for the main chracter, I don’t see that a lot but I’m curious. Por girl, she really wasn’t lucky, rumors can be terrible… Thanks for the review.
    Melliane recently posted…Slated by Teri TerryMy Profile

  15. I ended up giving the book the same rating you did, Mel. I liked it, and thought the storytelling device was pretty interesting, but I never really felt all that moved by it, you know? But I appreciated what it did do well.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…All Four Stars: Blog Tour Sign-Up!My Profile

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