Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 1 June, 2014 (Aus)
Source: Hardie Grant Egmont. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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.
Review by Nara

My god, this has got to be one of the most stereotypical high school drama books I have ever read. We've got the bitch cheerleader, the socially awkward nerd, the ostracised slut, the asshole jock, the gay character who is sort of afraid to come out of the closet, the girl who betrays her friend to get in with the "populars"... LOOK AT THAT MYRIAD OF STEREOTYPES AND CLICHES.

But you know what? I honestly didn't care. This book is like one of those TV shows that are full of drama and backstabbing and secrets; one of the ones that are ridiculously addicting. The I-must-know-what-happens-next kind.

Two things we know as "fact":
1. Alice slept with two guys at Elaine's party.
2. Shortly after, one of the guys, Brandon, died in a car crash. And it was all Alice's fault.

It was rather interesting seeing the events from so many different points of view. You might think it would be confusing, but the explanations and weaving were done so well that it honestly wasn't a problem. While perhaps the narrative voices weren't quite as distinct as I would have liked, I suppose considering there were five points of view, it wasn't a bad effort.

Also interesting was that even though these characters are stereotyped beyond belief, the multiple points of view meant that each person was shown to have multiple, and often hidden, facets. What one character notices about themselves may be different to what another character notices about them. In this way, the characters aren't perhaps as stereotyped as you initially think- small glimpses from different POVs pull back the layers and let you dig deeper into their unique personalities.

The Truth About Alice is a relatively short book, but dayum, there's a lot of entertainment crammed in there. I shall say nothing about the plot of the book, because I do think it would be best experienced for yourself.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3.5/5