Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
The Truth About Alice is… something different. Never before have I encountered a book that takes such a close look at slut-shaming and rumours that may or may not be true.
The whole book is set up in an incredibly smart way. In sync with the actual plot, The Truth About Alice is a story told by many people with all their own opinions… Except Ailce. Oh, this is Alice’ story all right, but much like the rumours around town, Alice herself doesn’t have much of a say in it. Things happen to Alice, happen around Alice… But they never truly seem to happen because of Alice. It’s only in the very last chapter that we get to hear Alice speak, though the storyline is mostly resolved before Alice ever uttered a word.
What is this book about? Is this a story about a girl who slept with two guys at one party, after which one of them got killed in a car crash? Or is it a close examination of society today, which seems to accept slut-shaming as a fact of life and seems to depend too much on rumours? To me, it was the latter. The Truth About Alice is powerful, gritty and real.
It’s not just that, though. The Truth About Alice also contains a story. It’s the aftermath of things, a big mess, but slowly everything is coming together again. There is a romance to root for, as well as two sides of friendships: one friendship that seems to grow in an unlikely time and one that seems to fall apart. Though this story is about Alice, it’s told through the POVs of four different teens, whose lives and secrets we get to know as we go along. Everyone has problems, and we get to know those problems intimately. Even though the majority of the characters aren’t very nice people, you still find yourself feeling for them.
My one complaint is the ending. Though most characters ended up in what I think is the right place, a few things were left unresolved and that bugs me. How does the relationship between two certain people work out? Will that one character figure out about themselves what seemed so obvious to me? (Trying to avoid spoilers here). Still, it’s only a minor complaint, and on the whole I thought The Truth About Alice to be a complex and important story. I’d recommend it to everyone not because the story blew me away that much (it did not), but because I think it’s just such an important examination of slut-shaming and wrong expectations and many other things that come with life.
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