Friday, August 29, 2014

{Book Talk} The Truth About Alice: Jennifer Matthieu

Rating: 9/10
Series: None
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Fiction, Young Adult, Romance,
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Page Count: 199
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.

But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?

It's true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

***If you haven't read a review on Loving the Language of Literacy before, be aware that a "Book Review" means all of my NON spoilery thoughts, while a "Book Talk" means a full-out discussion of the book, spoilers and all***

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

Fans of Falling Into Place (Amy Zhang), Tease (Amanda Maciel), Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver). Hard-core realistic fiction.

Would I Buy It?

This question goes hand in hand with re-readability. It definitely wouldn't be my first purchase with an allotted book budget, but if I was buying books for the sake of adorning my bookshelves with beautiful novels I love.... then 100%.

Background &  Backstory

I have been wanting to read The Truth About Alice probably since the beginning of March when it first showed up on Netgalley. I wasn't approved *tear slides down cheek* but after reading a ton of reviews, it quickly became one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 and let me tell you, it DID NOT disappoint.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?

Why are you so short? Why? After I've gotten so attached.

So there are FOUR different points of views and intertwining stories that all tell the main character's -Alice's- story. Now I have never read a book like this (unless you count Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang which is an entirely different story), and don't think I ever will again. These four characters -Josh, Elaine, Kelsie, and Kurt- all know Alice somehow. Even if one of them wasn't her former best friend (Kelsie) or had been in love with her since the first time they had met (Kurt), they all knew at least a little bit about her.... the truth. 

Kurt: I loved this guy. He was the quirky nerd that wasn't liked by that many people, and his piece to the puzzle was, at least in my opinion, the most heartbreaking because of the relationship that had evolved between him and Alice by the time the story ended. It just seemed so perfect to add him to the story as someone who idolized Alice and became her one true friend in the midst of the hurricane/disaster that had became her life. Their friendship never turned into a romance. I thought this was a wise decision because of all the rumors about Alice being a slut and then the two of them never do anything that would prove that statement correct. The prospect of them being together, at the very end, just warmed my heart and filled me with ambrosia and nectar goodness.

Kelsie: Why is this b*tch allowed to be in the story? Per human society, it doesn't hurt as much when an enemy does something versus a former friend who you believed would always have your back. Kelsie hurts Alice in such a hypocritical way, and what she did -writing on the "slut stall" that Alice had had an abortion- was so despicable and utterly atrocious.  

Elaine: I get that Elaine's mother had body issues and then proceeded to drag her daughter through the cracks. I get that we needed a front-seat antagonist. I get that Elaine is popular. She was the least likable of the quartet, probably because she was the "popular girl." This angle worked for her in the story, as do most, but I couldn't relate to her, and she was so shallow I wanted to pull my hair out.

Josh: Why the frick would you tell Brandon's mom that it was Alice's fault Brandon died? I mean, what was going through your freaking head? So much of Alice's pain and struggle in this story could have been avoided if Josh could have put his big girl panties on and dealt with the truth/consequences of what he did. He was the classic football jock, but the trope worked for him. I got so many hints throughout the story that Josh was gay and had had a crush on Brandon, and by the looks of reviews.... I'm not the only one.

Even though the plot twist was predictable.... I didn't predict it (as always), but I do think that if you haven't been spoiled or if you aren't very smart when it comes to plot arc (you and me both) that you will enjoy the story so much more. Similar to Falling Into Place, scattered bits and pieces of plot was revealed as the story went on, and the reality of the matter was quite astonishing. 

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?

What I loved about The Truth About Alice was the masterful way everything fell into place, so we could learn the Truth About Alice. After knowing the ending, I'm not sure I would want to re-read it cover to cover. So the re-readability isn't very high because in that aspect..... it's like a mystery novel.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Other Books Written By The Author?

The Truth About Alice was Jennifer Matthieu's debut novel, but it definitely has a place in my mental "list of debut authors I really need to read more books by" and we already have a title for her next book -DEVOTED- which is being released in 2015. I don't know anything about the book or its premise, but I am so looking forward to more of Jennifer's wonderful writing.

How Likely Is It That This Book Could Become Required Reading?

(New Review Category! *does happy dance*) I think The Truth About Alice would have a decent chance at becoming required reading. If you have read the novel, you will have seen the power of rumors, gossip, and slut shaming. I think this is an extremely important lesson for adolescents (such as myself), and The Truth About Alice is short, yet concise enough to get the message across without becoming bored with the story.


What Were Your Thoughts On.....
-The fact that it was actually Kelsie who had the abortion, but then turned it around to accuse Alice?
-How far everything went
-Do you think it was right that Kurt held in the information that could clear Alice's name?
-Do you think Elaine had the right to try to make amends with Alice?
-Do you think Josh was gay?
-If there was an epilogue, do you think Kurt and Alice would become a couple?

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