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The Truth About Alice

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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.

209 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 3, 2014

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About the author

Jennifer Mathieu

15 books1,332 followers
I'm a high school English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My novels are MOXIE, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, DEVOTED, AFTERWARD, and THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND.

My fourth novel MOXIE is a film on Netflix, directed by Amy Poehler!

My sixth novel, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE, will be out in October 2021. It's a gender-flipped, feminist reimagining of one of my favorite books of all time, THE OUTSIDERS.

All my novels are published by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.

I live in Texas with my husband, son, dog, and cat.

When it comes to what I read, I love realistic young adult fiction (duh), creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks me on the first page.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,641 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
October 15, 2014
"Alice Franklin is a slut."

And Elaine is the evil popular girl. And Josh is your average popular jock. And Kurt is the school nerd and social outcast. And Kelsey is Alice Franklin's former best friend...

This is a book about stereotypes. And it's fantastic. The author went above and beyond what I could have expected from this book. She not only challenges the idea of the "school slut" that is all too popular in real life and in YA, but she also paints detailed and three-dimensional portraits of every school label and clique. This is also a book about blame: about how everyone shares a piece of it, but about how human everyone is beneath all their mistakes and selfish actions. I found it incredibly powerful.

The Truth About Alice is an ambitious book told from four different perspectives. It alternates between the present and the retelling of past events which led to Alice Franklin becoming the girl no one wanted to be associated with. Because Alice Franklin is a slut. And in the eyes of her fellow high school students, she is also the girl responsible for Brandon's death (he was the hottest, most popular jock). According to Josh, Alice was texting Brandon in a desperate attempt to sleep with him again on the night that Brandon died in a car accident. So really, it's all her fault.

More than two perspectives rarely works for me. Usually I find that this kind of split narrative means that I never feel a connection with any of the characters, that they are spread too thin and are not given enough characterization. Or I feel like they all start to sound the same. This is not the case here. I enjoyed reading each character's POV equally. I was initially unsure about the book in the first chapter when I got inside Elaine's ditzy head and had to read the word "like" way too many times, but I soon got used to all of them and I appreciated the author's decision to make every perspective very different.

This book essentially takes every stereotype and breaks it down into something more meaningful. It shows why teenagers sometimes decide to be cruel, shows the insecurities and uncertainties everyone feels, and it humanizes each stereotype - the jock, the queen bee, the nerd, the virgin, the slut - and tells a very moving and gripping story. I can't believe how much emotion and characterization is packed into just these few pages. I couldn't put it down.

The ending might be a little unsatisfactory for some but I found the absence of "neatness" really refreshing. I hate when contemporary novels sweep everyone's problems under the rug in the final chapter and people walk off into the sunset holding hands. This book wasn't about finding a solution, it was just a very important story that needed telling.

In my opinion, every teenager should read this book.

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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,864 reviews30.2k followers
July 25, 2019
4.5 Stars

Wow, talk about a sleeper hit.

This book has been languishing on my bookshelves for quite some time now and I seriously considered offloading it during one of last year's spring clean frenzies. I mentioned in another review that I have been forcing myself to read all the unread books on my bookshelves by grabbing the least appealing one (aka the ones that have been there the longest) and trying the first chapter.

And this is exactly the reason I'm glad I'm forcing myself to at least attempt each book before donating it, because otherwise I would have missed out on this story. And I seriously loved it.

This thing had so many important themes and underlying messages and I devoured it in one sitting. I thought the way Mathieu told the story from the alternating POVs was brilliant. I feel like she also captured the way that teenagers are in some ways cruel and heartless...and yet in others perhaps more brutally honest in a manner adults never are once they learn to censor themselves.

I went to high school in Los Angeles County, California. The schools were large and diverse and I never witnessed any of the clicks and jocks and popular vs unpopular crap you see in books and movies; however, I will never forget going home for Thanksgiving with one of my college roommates. I went to school on the east coast and she was from a very small town in Indiana. While attending a house/barn party (with Natty Ice, no less!), I learned that some of the aforementioned high school stereotypes absolutely come from a place of truth as it applies to small towns. It was fascinating from the perspective of someone who never lived that experience.

But I digress.

I think this was a wonderful book that said a lot about both the teenagers AND the adults in the story too. The way we actually are vs the way we want to be perceived...and the inner voice people will ignore...the lengths some people will go for the latter.
Profile Image for Angela.
685 reviews1,400 followers
April 3, 2017
I don't know what did me in with this novel... I don't know if it just came at the right time, or if it was the fact that in the last chapter of this book the song Wait by M83 started playing from my playlist, or if it was the fact that this book was what high school felt like for me almost to a point where it scared me... or if it was the fact that this book was a book that you didn't even realized touched you so much until you realized you were crying and didn't even know it.
The Truth About Alice is a simple novel. It's nothing over the top, it's nothing action packed with chase scenes or alien invasions; it's simplicity was what made it. I think this book was spot on about how high school really is. I know there are a lot of mixed reviews about this book, and maybe my rating is higher than others because this book touched a little closer to home for me than it might have some others. High school for me wasn't "the time of my life" or the "best years of my life", high was hell for me. If it wasn't for my best friend I wouldn't have made it out. Because like it says so plainly in this book a lot of times high school is about putting on this fake bitch persona and following a crowd even when you don't want to because it's just easier. 

“It’s like when we read The Diary of Anne Frank in seventh grade, and I
had the sneaking suspicion that I would have been a Nazi back then
because I wouldn’t have had the guts to be anything else. Because I
would have been too scared to not go along with the majority. Like, I
would have been a passive sort of Nazi, but I still would have been a
Nazi. I never said anything out loud, of course, but I remember reading
that book in Ms. Peterson’s class and everyone was all, “Oh, I would’ve
helped Anne. I would have rebelled. I don’t understand how people could
have allowed this to happen, blah blah blah.” I mean, I know that everyone wants to believe they would have been the brave one, and they would have been the one to hide Anne in their attic, and they would have killed Hilter with their own bare hands. But clearly if everybody thinks that way and in reality only a few people actually did it way back then doesn't that make me the honest one?" 

And yes I like everyone else in the world was guilty of going along with a crowd instead of doing what was right. Who hasn't? But my high school experience was more like Alice's than any other point of view in this book. My quirky-ness was something that I had to learn the hard way would only be lame in high school.This book touched every emotion I remember having, all the ache, heartache, and pain I felt. Remembering people who were my friends, then gradually having them not like me because I wasn't what was considered cool... and Jennifer Mathieu says it perfectly, it hurts way worse to have someone slowly eliminate you from their life than it ever does to just have them drop you. Because it is like a million paper-cuts to your heart. 

This book was about hiding truths, hiding who you are, and about realizing that at the time you think high school was everything and that it would define the rest of your life... and then it hitting you that it doesn't. That it's just high school. That the people or person who stood beside you through it all; the rumors, the torture, the lies, and saw who and what you really are, are the ones who will mean more to you than you do to yourself. 

The transition from character to character, the pov change, the time change all leading up to Alice's point was done in such a unique and interesting way. It gave this story layers that having one narrator could have never done.  Even though I hated one of the characters, Kelsie, in this story I think her sections were somehow my favorite. Probably because I had a friend (or two) just like her when I was in school and now it has me wondering what might have really been going on in their heads. Then Kurt and Alice's POVs would fall very close behind hers in how much I liked them. Most importantly though I think the true underlying thing that really hit was that rumors are just rumors and that you can overcome them and that if you have kids that you tell them this much. Not to feed into them, to stand up against them. 

"But if I do end up having a girl, there are so many things I'll do for her. So many things I swear I'll do for her. I'll never walk into her room without knocking. I won't fake emotions in front of her. I'll tell her she's special just because she's who she is. I won't act like I'm perfect. I won't scare her. I won't let her be scared of me. I won't tell her I know all the answers. I won't lie to her." 

And yes, my review for this book might be cheesy, but I don't care. The characters in this book felt real. The setting felt real. This book felt real. It might be a short and quick read and something you can chew in one sitting, but even that doesn't have me complaining. I guess there's really nothing else to say other than don't judge a book by it's cover or the he said she said about it. I'm really happy I read this book.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,608 reviews5,999 followers
March 15, 2014
This short little book blew me away. Told from four different perspectives and very well written. This author knows her stuff.
Alice is labeled a slut. You heard the rumors-she slept with 2 boys at a party. She is easy. Then come to find out one of the boys she slept with died..and guess what? Well he may have been drinking but it was Alice's texts that distracted him from driving.

You have his best friend speaking. The easy going second in command from the football team.
The popular pretty girl, she knows what she knows about Alice. It's all got to be true.
Alice's had been best friend who turned against her once the rumors started flying.
Then my favorite male character ever in a young adult book. Kurt. He is that nerdy guy who no one ever hangs out with anyways.

They all tell their stories of Alice. How they see her and their versions of events.

This book is pure delight to read. It does tear your heart out that teenagers can be so damn stupid. I wouldn't go back to that age for all the money in the world. Youth be damned.

Wanna be authors take note! This is how it is done. This is Jennifer Mathieu's first flipping book! She writes like a seasoned pro.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
September 9, 2015

The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should be treated with great caution. (Remember which famous character said this?)

You have to be warned that once you open this book, a super high-tech seatbelt will automatically wrap and lock itself around you and it wouldn’t release you until you finish it. That said, you also need to know that you have to inhale several tanks of air before starting this because you will only get to exhale after finishing the book.

What makes this a very gripping novel despite the fact that it involves high school clichés, stereotypes and teenage drama? It is HOW the story is told. The author deftly told the story of Alice through multiple POV’s- that of the most popular girl, the quarterback’s best friend, Alice’s best friend, the nerdest guy in school, and the entire town’s biggest "slut" turned pariah. How the author very effectively personified each narrator’s character is beyond impressive. It would be very easy to hate the pettiness of the characters and of their actions but the author made it possible for the reader to empathize with them. For a debut novel, Ms. Jennifer Mathieu definitely surpassed my expectation.

It’s punishing me because I want so bad to say so many things about this book but I’m afraid that if I said anything more, I would be spoiling it for you, so I just recommend that you read it in order to understand what I’m trying to say here and if you do read the book, please tell Kurt that I “adork” him and will you please do this to him for me?

Just one of his many “adorkable” lines:

Brandon was so incredibly different from me in almost every possible way…it was almost like anthropological research sitting on the roof next to him.

Again, I highly suggest you read this. Not only will you learn the truth or rather the truths about Alice, you will also earn loads of strength and inspiration from this book.^^

BTW, I just have to share Alice's image in my head:

What a coincidence!^^

Click here to see the answer to the question above:
757 reviews2,350 followers
April 22, 2017
EDIT: I finally got the gifs to work!

***If you have read this book and loved it, and you are reading my review about this book, do not feel offended :)***

Please excuse my language as well.

This book was total fucking shit. I hate this shit with all I've got. This book is filled with fucking selfish, disgusting, idiotic, two-faced cunts for characters and I hated every single one of these fucking characters.


This entire story was so fucking stupid. The only aspect of this book that made me want to read this was Kurt, Kurt, aaaaand Kurt. Everything else was a waste of my fucking time.

Proceed with caution. The following paragraph will be discussing how fucking stupid the characters were besides Kurt. :)

I don't think I have ever hated so many characters as much as I did in this book. Elaine was the popular mean, bitch who owned the entire fucking world because she has such great fucking boobs and ass and can get any fucking guy she wants. Kelsie was the biggest two-faced, disgusting, lying, cowardly desperate piece of dog shit of a character I have ever read about. Josh is just the biggest coward on the face of this earth. He is disgusting and a freaking dickhead. Alice was just a wuss. People were spreading rumors and saying shit about her and she did fucking nothing to stand up for herself.


Brandon was just a slimy fucking dickhead. All he did was talk about getting laid and fucking some. The way he talked about banging girls was just plain disgusting. I hated him probably the fucking most.



Overall, I hated this dog shit of a book. I do not recommend. Avoid it like the plague. ;)
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,355 followers
June 3, 2014
A very important story told through several outer point of view that is ultimately about not believing everything you hear. The Truth About Alice takes on stereotypes and rumours and high school life in general, and unravels its layers to show the truth underneath. To show that not everything - or everyone - is as it seems. It's pretty brilliant in that way: in its raw honesty, in its bluntness in showing us us how quickly and easily truths get distorted. And most importantly, how bullying is very real in all kinds of forms.

The Truth About Alice is narrated by several characters, not of the victim herself, which I find is part of the brilliance of this story. I initially feared four POVs would be overwhelming, but they are so well written that I soon realized it was perfect for what the author was trying to achieve. Each perspective has a voice that is incredibly distinctive, so much so that it was as if they were right in front of me, telling their story. It was never a struggle to keep track of each perspective like some books can be. They soon had the story flowing flawlessly. They're also varied in stereotypes: the popular girl who thinks she's the bomb, the jock who thinks he's king, the invisible genius, the wannabe who thinks popularity is more important than loyalty. It's a high-school all-star cast that tells an all too familiar story.

What's even more impressive for a book that has under 210 pages with so many perspectives, is how well developed every single character is. These people are not mere words on a page, they become real people with dramatic personalities and stories of their own surrounding this ordeal. Each one offers a new angle on what was happening to Alice, and the events that led to it. This gave us a real 360-degree understanding of the story, not to mention how incredibly thought-provoking it is on the spread of rumours and lies, no matter the intent.

Aside from bullying, this book also tackles several issues that gives it even more importance and power, like sex and homosexuality (and another that would be a mild spoiler). I was impressed by how tactfully these were handled; they send an important message to teens, but stay far from being preachy. I do admit to expecting more from the ending itself. While I loved how she handled the situation, I thought we would get more from Alice's character. A bigger character arc, maybe? More progress overall? I know that by the time we got a glimpse at Alice's POV, I though I'd feel more than I did. Still, it's a wonderfully written, powerful story, nonetheless.

The Truth About Alice is a book I would like to hand out to every single teen I know. On top of being a compelling story, it holds a valuable message that is so relevant no matter who you are or where you stand on your high school social ladder.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,746 reviews1,306 followers
August 12, 2016
This was a YA contemporary story about bullying.

Alice was a character that I felt sorry for, but it was a bit hard to connect with her as we saw everything from other people’s point of view rather than from Alice. I thought that her sort-of best friend was a bit of a hypocrite though, and the other kids weren’t much better.

The storyline in this was about a rumour that Alice had slept with two guys on the same night, and about how one of those guys had ended up dead. The rumour seemed to spiral out of control though until Alice was essentially an outcast at her school, and the bullies didn’t really seem to care about the effect they were having on her.

The ending to this was okay, and we did eventually get to hear from Alice, it was maybe a little too late for me though, and the bullying didn’t really stop either.
6 out of 10
Profile Image for Robert.
Author 10 books423 followers
July 26, 2016
I am in awe of this book. I want to put it up on a pedestal and stare at it for hours. I want to buy a copy for everyone that I know, so that they can read it and love it as much as I do. I want to plaster this review and project it toward the heavens, so that every single bastard I don’t know can buy a copy for himself, his 2.5 kids, his two car garage, and maybe even his dog or cat. This book is that fucking good. It’s the best book I’ve read this year. No question. But will all of those people along with all of their brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and grandmas and grandpas feel the same way about THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE that I do. Probably not. And that makes me sad. Like my stomach has sunk to the floor, and I might not be able to pick it back up again sad. And it makes me sad that I probably won’t be able to convince enough people to buy this novel, because I won’t adequately be able to project my feelings over the course of this review and I feel like I need to take a writing course just so I can properly convey my true love for this novel.

And it does feel like true love. When I reached the end, the butterflies in my stomach were floating around, and I wanted to sing and dance, but I also wanted to stomp and shout and cry, because I had reached the end and this world was over and all the feelings I had felt and the wonderfulness that consumed me would have to be set aside as I moved on to the next book and entered an entirely different world. But it won’t be the same, and I know I won’t feel the same way about the next book that I feel about this one, and it’s not really even fair to compare the two, because this book knocked me on my butt and flipped me down the stairs.

THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE ought to be required reading at every high school across the country, and across other countries, too, like China and India and Pakistan. Because the problems in our high school—the popularity contests, the hazing, the nerds and geeks, queens and outcasts and sluts, and the jocks and the cheerleaders—aren’t just confined to our high schools. So…every single bastard in every single high school around the world ought to read this fucking novel. And if it doesn’t make you stop and think about yourself, whether it’s for a minute or an hour or even the rest of your life, you might just have a major malfunction in your line of coding.

I mean, just over the course of this novel, we have Elaine and Kelsie, Josh and Brandon, and a bunch of other bastards who just follow along with the crowd, because it’s the easy thing to do. Because it might affect their status or their well-being if they actually lent a hand to someone else for once in their miserable lives. Because they aren’t strong enough to say, “No, that’s not right.” Because let’s be honest, people can be real shitheels, and it’s always easier and more fun to poke a finger at someone else than take a good hard look at yourself. So instead of self-reflection, you’re going to take the easy way out (again) and blame the poor bastard that’s already been kicked in the teeth a time or two, because well, she probably deserved it anyway. But, hey, that’s life…and high school.

Frankly, I’m glad I was Kurt in high school. The one that people just virtually ignored, because if I have to step on everyone to make my way to the top, then frankly, I don’t want to be there. Because it’s not worth it.

But this novel was so worth it. Like totally. What it had—strong characters, true to high school individuals, realistic dialogue, reflection (past) and present, multiple viewpoints, shallow pools and emotional depth, plot triggers and passion, a condensed story where every word mattered, a small town feel and atmosphere, and a journey that truly kept me on the edge of my seat—in less than 210 pages.

If I were smarter, I would have read it in one sitting. But I’ve never claimed to know what the hell I’m doing. Luckily for me (and you) Jennifer Mathieu does, and I have a feeling she’ll be around for a very long time.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Cross-posted at Robert's Reads
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews525 followers
June 1, 2014
…there is one thing I’ve learned about people: they don’t get that mean and nasty overnight. It’s not human nature.
If you give people enough time, eventually they’ll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world.

The things is, I’ve read this storyline a couple of times elsewhere. I’ve watched the teen flick and CW series portraying this issue with every possible embellishment and spin to repurpose the shock value of the underlying tyrannical machinery of high school politics and bullying into something fresh or fresh-like. To a certain degree, this still had the message powerfully delivered, a story that still deserves to be told and all that jazz but where this book’s strength lay, for me, was in effectively capturing the complexity of the personalities surviving and participating in that strange hyperreality of fictional high schools, or more exactly, small town high schools.

The Truth About Alice is relayed through the alternating perspectives of five personalities directly and indirectly associated with the widely renowned slut of the small town of Healy Texas, Alice of the Raspberry Lips Franklin. Alice used to belong in the upper middle echelons of the high school caste system and this chronicled her gradual slide down that strata, starting with a malicious rumor involving 2 boys from Healy High Royalty and ending with the death of one of them, Brandon Fitzsimmons, the star quarterback. This went beyond the Rashomon route of the different versions of the truth and instead revealed the intricate depth and texture of each character that figured into the reconstruction of Alice Franklin: Elaine the resident queen bee and Brandon’s scorned girlfriend; Kelsie Alice’s deserting best friend; Josh Brandon’s best friend blaming Alice for the accident; Kurt Healy High’s nerdy loner (or lonery nerd); and right at the very end, Alice herself.

Much like Speechless and Some Girls Are, this book did an impressive job in toeing the line between PSA and edgy. The insights on small-town archetypes and patterns was so well-explored in its minutiae (I LOVED Elaine’s insights on Manhattan!) that the town of Haley figures as much as the sixth character giving its own perspective of the story.

The dialogue and the narrative was sharp and the palpable respect Matthieu gave each character, making them fully-formed and multi-dimensional was impressive in that I was simultaneously hating and understanding them at any given point. But while I thought Elaine and Kurt were incredibly well-constructed, it is in Josh and Kelsie that makes this novel truly stand out. I think it requires a subtle dash of genius in creating in someone like Josh that makes you wonder what becomes of him in the after, but there’s a vat-full of brilliance in crafting a character as intricate as Kelsie.
It’s like when we read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ in seventh grade, and I had the sneaking suspicion that I would have been a Nazi back then because I wouldn’t have had the guts to be anything else. Because I would have been too scared to not go along with the majority. Like, I would have been a passive sort of Nazi, but I still would have been a Nazi.

There’s a level of ruthless survivalist in that girl that leaves me in awe. Make no mistake, I hated Kelsie right to the very end, but I’m also imagining Healy High’s 10-year high school reunion will not be too far from that of Romy and Michele’s and Kelsie will hopefully end up as Jeneane Garofalo. Probably owning the only drug company manufacturing suicide pills in the post-apocalyptic, nuked out world.

But the self-discovery, coming-of-age YA book in the context of Horrid High School Hell is one that I find gradually loses its impact on me upon second and third exposure. Because there’s realistic fiction real and then there’s reality real. There’s also internet real but that’s another discussion for another book. This hyperrealistic depiction of archaic notions in high school is not really a point of annoyance for me but it makes it difficult for me to reconcile this as “realistic contemporary fiction”. Because in my experience with reality, the quarterback and the prettiest girl in school hardly occupies the top of the high school caste system (it's actually the Kurts). Though in the context of small-town dynamics, I suppose what this was selling could also work.

I had issues with the time shifts between recollections and present tense and I expected a better fleshed explanation in Alice's chapter as to why she behaved the way she did over the entire course of the story (because she didn't come across like a doormat kind of girl who'll take all that abuse quietly). I did have a question that went unexplored about the Kurt-Alice relationship towards the end when Because I wanted Alice to ask him I love that without the benefit of an epilogue, I can imagine the kind of life these characters will have down the line but I wish that this could have resolved that one little question so it would stop niggling in my thoughts until now.

Review Copy courtesy of the publishers. Quotes were taken from uncorrected proof and may not appear in the final edition.

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Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,785 followers
November 4, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

This review is brought to you by the television program Awkward. My apologies, but I watched about 47 episodes in a row last night and it does a pretty dang good job presenting how awful teenagers can be. Also, this book almost made me have a sad so I don’t want to go there again.

Everyone knows Alice is a slut. I mean, only a slut would go to a party and have sex with not one but TWO guys in the same night. And it’s not like she doesn’t paint her lips all raspberry red every day and wear shirts that flaunt her perfect rack, right? Nice girls don’t do that. And nice girls definitely don’t “sext” a boy trying to get another roll in the sack – sending so many distracting messages that the boy ends up dying in a car accident. Alice is a whore and she deserves whatever she gets.

Alice may or may not have had sex with one (or two) guys at a party. It doesn’t really matter. All that matters is Elaine was always the H.B.I.C. until 8th grade when she caught Alice making out with her boyfriend, Brandon. Ever since then Elaine has known what kind of a ho she was dealing with. And it’s time the entire school knows . . .

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When Kelsie moved to the area a few years ago she was afraid she would find herself still a nerd, sitting at the losers table. She was sooooo lucky when Alice talked to her that first day. But, Alice has lied about sex stuff in the past and there is no way that Kelsie is EVER going back to being a no-name, bible thumping, weirdo like at her old school. Plus, Alice probably did do both of those guys . . .

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Brandon was the big man on campus with a reputation for being the best player both on and off the field. Sucks that he’s dead, but at least he went out with a bang, right????

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Brandon died, but Josh walked away from the accident with only minor injuries. It’s not like he knew how wasted Brandon was. I mean, in Healy, Texas drinking and driving is pretty much the norm. And if Brandon hadn’t been so caught up with that skank Alice it never would have happened . . .

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Everyone else has labeled Alice a slut and most are even calling her a murderer. The other day she told Kurt she wasn’t a sideshow attraction. “And she wasn’t. Not to me. She was the main attraction. But I had no way to tell her that” . . .

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Alice has nothing to say about the rumors. What’s the point? All she can do is countdown until graduation and hopefully find a way to escape . . .

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Sound familiar? Have you heard teenage girls (and boys) talk like this? Have you seen text conversations that could curl your hair? Have you looked on Facebook or Instagram lately? It’s terrifying. The Truth About Alice is a remarkable little book. Although it deals with extremely grown-up issues, I encourage parents to read it along with their children (or at least discuss the subject matter it’s about).

I started this book with zero expectations. In fact, I didn’t even remember what it was about – I had put my name on the waiting list back when it came out and it finally queued up. When I ended up with a free couple of hours and a 200 page book, it was a no brainer . . . and I was blown away. Jennifer Mathieu has written the most honest book about real “slut shaming” that I’ve read – and having everyone else EXCEPT Alice tell the story? Genius.
Profile Image for Vanessa J..
347 reviews605 followers
September 2, 2015

Review also posted on here (September 1, 2015).

Buddy read this with Chantal (click for her review).

There are rumours about Alice. People say she’s a slut. People say she slept with two guys in a party. People say one of the high school’s most popular guy died because of her. But… is she in fact responsible for his death?

This was a really powerful book about bullying. It’s told from the perspective of four teenagers who are in a way related to Alice. They all have their POVs and their opinions about this girl. From page one, you will notice these characters are not easy to trust. Sure, they’re honest, but what they have to say is biased because of their feelings (not necessarily romantic ones) towards Alice.

I liked what Ms. Mathieu tried to do with this book, and as I said, it was a powerful read, however, I didn’t feel as invested as I wanted to.

First and foremost is the writing. It’s not bad nor all over the place. In fact, it’s pretty decent, but it was all telling. When the writing in a book is like that, it’s difficult for me to feel, and ever since I added this book to my TBR I was so sure I was going to be a mess – I was sure I was gonna feel angry, sad, etc, etc, etc. – but I ended up feeling as if I were a mere witness of the story, not part of it.

The characters were another reason why I felt detatched from the story. You see… they’re the stereotypical high school mean girl, nerd, popular guy, virgin, etc, and their voices sounded all similar to me. If it weren’t because each chapter started with the name of the character who is narrating, I wouldn’t even know who was talking and who was not.

Not only did their voices sound similar, but also the cliches and stereotypes surrounding them made it even more difficult for me to relate to any of them, and you know it’s hard for me to like a book in which I feel nothing towards the characters. I think I’d rather hate them than feel neutral about them – at least hatred is an emotion.

I must say, though, that I liked the ending. It was realistic for me, and to be honest, had it been different to what we got, it would have felt kind of forced and cheesy, and all the value of the novel would’ve been lost, so praise to Ms. Mathieu for not being afraid.

I kept this review short because I am on a reviewing slump and I didn’t know what to say finished this a day ago, and since I wasn’t able to connect with the book, my thoughts were starting to get blurry and messy and I was already forgetting things. Regardless of all I’ve said, though, this is a book that should be read by every teenager. It shows an interesting view to bullying, slut-shaming, etc, and it provides a poweful message in barely 200 pages. I’ve no doubt Ms. Mathieu is talented and can provide a little hope to the YA genre.

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Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
983 reviews749 followers
October 19, 2019
“How much did it hurt? It was like a million paper cuts on my heart.”

I want to come up with a good review about The Truth About Alice so I can prove it to you how good this book was but I know I can't so I won't force myself to write one. Hahaha.

Anyway, here's my short review...

The Truth About Alice is a heart-breaking and heart-warming novel. It tells a typical teenage high school life full of gossips, shaming, bullying and whatnots. The drama queens, the jocks, the geeks. The usual. There's nothing new, actually. But compared to other books with the same theme, this book really felt real and genuine.

Real and genuine in a sense that I'm affected with what I've read with regards to Alice. That I've got emotional with these people especially when they've revealed the truth about them and not about Alice anymore. Their struggles, their motives, good and bad, their perspective, their true selves all added up that I sincerely appreciated the novel. I truly recognized its importance.

Besides, writing on the perspective of the people around Alice really worked for me. It's convincing. It's compelling. It is heartfelt. It is frustrating. It is great. Evidently, the character development was there, strengthening the plot and the strong emotions conveyed by this book.

The Truth About Alice pierced through my heart and luckily healed it afterwards. It got scars but at least it also got hope that even life is unfair there are still people who aren't.
Profile Image for Erica Ravenclaw.
340 reviews97 followers
May 29, 2014
☆ ☆

No spoilers and colorful language abound! I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Meh. This entire story was fucking stupid. The only two aspects of this book that spoke me, even a little was Kurt and the ugliness of the characters. Everyone and everything else can suck it, especially Alice. So here is the deal, this hot mess is is told from five different perspectives in first person narrative, we've got Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, Kurt and finally Alice.

I kind of liked Elaine, she was the popular mean girl but she owned it. I respect characters that are who they are with a bit of gusto. Kelsie is the fucking worst, sniveling, slimy piece of shit that she is. Josh is disgusting, I cannot and do not relate to him in any way. Kurt rules, just straight up. Alice is a spineless wimp. The reason my rating is not lower is because of how much I disliked the characters and their actions, but that is sort of the point in the whole thing, I guess you can say it worked, except for Alice, I hated her the most. I'm trying really hard to talk about her without spoils, but basically she never stands up for herself even though she knows that everyone is spreading lies about her. She tries to shrink into herself, where are your balls Alice? There is strength in the truth and I cannot fathom how she never once decides to stand tall and tap into that.

In short, this is how a bunch of snotty, backwater hicks destroy one of their peers, and she just lays down and accepts it. When she gets the hint of a life boat , she latches on and then it ends. I can tell you right now not one ounce of me wouldn't be raging, shoving the lies back down the rumor machine as quickly as it could be spit out. I don't give a fuck, this shit was stupid.

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Profile Image for Chantal .
343 reviews832 followers
September 3, 2015
3.5 stars

Buddy read this with Vane (click for her review).

Most of us know what it feels like to have rumors spread about us, to have people talking behind our backs. It’s not a good feeling, but usually these stories are forgotten after a while. People move on. These things happen and it seems we just have to accept it.

What to do however, if a rumor causes you to become a social pariah? If you lose all your friends? If you live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else and it’s impossible to get away from what people are saying. If nobody is willing to forget.

That’s what happened to Alice Franklin. She’s a slut, slept with two guys at the same party. One of them died because of her. Just ask anyone. They’ll tell you the story.

The Truth About Alice is a powerful book that sends a strong message. The novel addresses so many important issues that can’t be brought up enough: bullying, slut-shaming, prejudice, to name a few. The book is very blunt and honest, making the reader aware of how our judgments can affect other people and how easily the truth can be distorted.

What makes The Truth About Alice special and different from your average contemporary high school drama is the way the story is written. The novel is told from four different perspectives. We have Elaine, your typical mean-girl Queen Bee. Kelsie, Alice’s former BFF who dumped her for fear of loosing her treasured popular girl status. Josh, the best friend of the hottest and most popular jock in town. And Kurt, the school genius and nerd but also the social outcast. Using all these voices was both a great and ambitious idea and I think it worked well; this type of storytelling really lends itself to giving the reader a broader spectrum of the situation.

In terms of what this novel was trying to do, I believe it succeeded. It unraveled stereotypes, brought empathy and respect to various issues and showed how it’s always a matter of perspective. Jennifer Mathieu takes the well-known stereotypes of high school labels and transforms them into three-dimensional characters. We are all just humans, we make mistakes and we all have our own reasons for doing selfish things. As I said above, it’s a powerful book.

But despite all these positives, despite the fact that I really appreciate what Jennifer Mathieu tried to do here, something was missing for me. This book has to be read, but I didn’t love it. It didn’t make me feel anything. I had no attachment to any of the characters and constantly felt like a bystander; someone who was watching the story unfold before them but wasn’t actually part of it. Although I could sympathize with all of the characters, I couldn’t actually empathize with any of them and thus the story lost some of its power.

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint why exactly I felt this detachment. For one thing, there is the writing. I understand why the author chose to use this type of writing style to tell the story since it’s very authentic to how teens think and speak, but ultimately, I just didn’t like it. I found the overuse of words such as “like”, “really”, “so” and “very” to be tedious and the language didn’t have the nice flow I enjoy. I did get over it towards the end, but as a whole it still bothered me. The other problem I had with the writing was how much it felt like telling instead of showing. I feel like I never saw any of the characters have a truly strong outwardly emotional response; I was only told they felt a certain way but could never witness it for myself.

I also felt quite detached from the setting. The stereotypes used in the novel are ones I only know from movies and have never experienced for myself. Maybe that was part of why I never felt any attachment to the story, I’m not sure.

I had mixed feelings about the ending: On the one hand, I loved how realistic it was and how the author resisted wrapping everything up neatly. On the other hand, I was hoping for a little bit more.

Regardless of my complaints, I still highly recommend this book. I know I’m repeating what every reviewer has said, but I really believe this is a novel every teen should read. It’s an important story that needed to be told and Jennifer Mathieu did a good job at it. Props to her for creating such a story in only 200 pages.

Profile Image for Thomas.
1,521 reviews9,015 followers
August 11, 2015
I remember being bullied a little over half a decade ago (wow, writing that makes me feel super old.) For me, the worst part about rumors centered on how you could do nothing about them: people could - and can still, I suppose - say all of these horrible things about you, and aside from communicating with them or others you literally had no way to defend yourself. The Truth About Alice tackles the brutality of high school drama and shows the multifaceted reasons why people spread rumors, bully one another, and act out in cruel ways overall.

Jennifer Mathieu sets up her book with this focal rumor of Healy High - Alice Franklin, also known as the school slut, slept with two guys at one party, and then she killed one of them by sexting him in the middle of his drive to the grocery store. Four narrators share most of the story: Elaine, a popular girl on the dance team, Kelsie, a transfer student with a difficult past, Josh, Brandon's best friend before he died and fellow football player, and Kurt, the intellect who lives next door to Brandon's family. As the story progresses we see how each of these characters affects the portrayal of Brandon's death and the downfall of Alice Franklin.

The Truth About Alice excels in its development of Alice Franklin's infamous reputation. Mathieu reveals the inherent flaws in each of her characters in a non-sententious way, and the novel as a whole pays homage to the damage we so often inflict upon one another when we ourselves are hurting. Mathieu creates a memorable plot that readers will remember with fewer pages than most YA books.

The characters and the ending of The Truth About Alice felt too simplistic for me though. While it appears that other reviewers have forgiven Mathieu for the cliches she uses, I saw several ways in which she could have developed these characters (e.g., expand on Kelsie's , make Josh more than just his , etc.) The resolution with Kurt also lessened the story's complexity; a more open-ended, unclear denouement may have increased the impact of the story. In particular I wish that Alice or that her true actions were a bit more ambiguous, which would have forced us to think on our own about these characters and their motives.

Still, a good read I do not regret spending time on. Would recommend to fans of YA realistic fiction, high school drama, and fans of Courtney Summers (though Mathieu's prose is less raw). Looking forward to this author's next work.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
596 reviews3,590 followers
April 15, 2016
"Alice did Tommy Cray AND Brandon F. at Elaine's party. OMG."

Two hundred pages. This little gem of a book only has two hundred pages, yet it contains four different POVs and I could always tell who was narrating at any given time.

The premise goes that Alice is the school slut. Rumors swirl about her, who she did, who she blew, her supposed abortion from doing it all the time... But the twist is, unlike most issue-driven contemporaries, we don't get to see the shitfest from her point of view. Uh-uh, we are told her story and journey from people whose lives have connected with her at some point in their life.

And they have secrets of their own.

First, is the Barbie-like popular girl, Elaine:

"I know this is going to sound totally conceited, but, like, as the most popular girl and guy in our class, we naturally ended up together sometimes."

Her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Brandon, was killed in a car crash because Alice was supposedly sexting him. So naturally, there's some tension there...

I would categorize her as one of the popular girls in Before I Fall. Although she has it all, she has her own set of worries and problems. A three-dimensional character.

Second, is the on-the-fringe, desperately-wants-to-be-popular Kelsie.

"Back when I lived in Michigan, I was a nerd. A nobody. In Healy, I am popular and this blows my mind."

I sure have a lot of Broadway tunes in this review.

Not much to say about her unless I want to give out massive spoilers, but I love how the author addressed

Third, is Josh, the popular jock.

"Brandon was like a God in Healy, and I guess I was like God's best friend."

He's an ass, but fleshed out enough so I can see why he's an ass.

Lastly—I saved the best for last—there's Kurt. Magnificent, socially awkward Kurt.

"I see no need in taking part in forced adolescent social rituals that would do nothing but stir up emotions of dread for all involved."

He's like a young Leonard from The Big Bang Theory. He has a high IQ, limited social skills, and a huge crush on Alice.

Someone needs to write me a romance involving those two. Stat.

Profile Image for Anne .
183 reviews264 followers
February 3, 2017
This story is a story about Alice, not told by Alice

It's told from the different perspectives of Alice Franklin's classmates, so of course you can expect the garnishing, inaccuracies and outright bloody lies that come with their relation of the story about Alice Franklin, the world class slut . This book is filled with every heinous element that makes up highschool life and it relates the painful consequences of those elements on the quality of life of people, on people unfortunate enough to find themselves on the lowest rung of the ladder, on people unfortunate enough to have that unforgiving world turn against them, on people unfortunate enough to get picked out for target practice. Elements like: Gossip, rumors, slut-shaming, ostracism, victimization, hierarchical discrimination. It's all in here, and it's one of the ugliest tales I've read concerning the brutality of highschool life. It's like this messed up mash up of Thirteen Reasons Why(without the suicide of course), Story of a Girl, Some Girls Are, and Carrie. Oh, I wish these characters were real. I would like to see them say some of the nonsense they spat out in this book out loud with a straight face.

One thing that's common among all the characters in the listed books above is they all kept hurting themselves and everyone else around them by seeking out the extremes. Like there was no room for a middle ground. Who says you can't be smart and nice, popular and thoughtful. Who says you have to be a tyrant to wear eyeliner and strut around in stilettos and raspberry lipstick. Apparently, high school does.

" That was back when all of us were students at Jefferson Elementary, and our quirks and strange rough edges hadn't fully formed yet"

In other words, the world was a better place...

You know it's like the moment you get into highschool, your whole life presents itself on either side of that world, and you start filing everything into before and after highschool. I don't know about anyone else, but that's how it was for me. Highschool was that big of a deal, that big of a hurdle, and that big of a mess.
So I reveled in the messiness of this story. I do have to point out the lack of reoccurring or lengthy dialogues and exchanges, the writing style of this book is one that some might not be welcoming to or consider difficult to embrace.

I wanted to hang them all. They made me want to rip all my hair out and form nooses to hang every one of them. Except Kurt though--God, am I the only one who thought that boy was the only normal character in this book? I'm 4 years older than the characters in here and reading about them made me feel like stale bread. I've never been that crazy, not even in my most feverish moments. The things they did...the things they said...

Things I'd love to say to them if they were real.
Josh: Pftt. Be a man

Elaine: Are you really sure you're not an idiot? Think about it again. There's a very great difference between Tyranny and Popularity. Look it up.

Kelsie: SMH. *SIGH*

Brandon: You died. All the better for the book, but did you really have to take Alice down with you??

Kurt: Bless you my child. You remind me of Clay from Thirteen Reasons Why and that's why I love you.

And Alice: You're no saint. But your truth isn't what they made it to be.

I truly believe whether you come to love or hate this book, it is an affective read. And maybe that's the point, it doesn't seek love or massive credibility. It just needs it's message to be acknowledged. And I read it loud and clear, there was never any other way to go but a five star rating.
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,818 followers
April 10, 2014
I had mixed feelings about this book, although I did like it over all. It uses multiple points of view to tell a story about a girl named Alice, who everyone blames for the death of a popular boy at school (because she was supposedly texting him when he crashed his car and died). We get the perspectives of various other kids from Alice's school and their reactions to her and the whole situation.

I thought the use of point of view changes was interesting. It almost had a "documentary" sort of feel to it, as if each character was being interviewed about their experience––and it was their collective voices that brought all the little pieces together into something whole.

That said, I found the characters themselves a little lacking. I had the same issue with this book that I have with a lot of other books that use multiple points of view; for the most part, the characters' voices weren't very distinguishable from each other, and a lot of the time I kept mixing up who was who.

In addition to that, I felt like the characters' "teenage" voices were a bit forced. That is, they didn't sound like actual teenagers to me––but more like stereotypical teenage characters from TV shows. The dialogue came off as kind of robotic and a lot of the terminology the characters used sounded outdated. (Like, when's the last time you heard a modern-day teenager refer to someone as "freaky deaky"?)

But while the writing style and characters fell a bit flat for me, there were some things I still enjoyed and appreciated about the book. It addressed a lot of important issues––bullying, slut-shaming ... plus some other issues that I won't name so as not to spoil the book. Sometimes I felt like it was kind of juggling more issues than it could handle, especially because a lot of them were kind of brushed over and didn't contribute much to the actual plot. But at least the thought was there.

Probably the best thing about the book for me was the friendship between Alice and Kurt. I thought I was going to absolutely hate the whole plotline, since the whole "tutoring someone to get closer to them" trope is so so so overused. But somehow, I did find myself really rooting for them to be friends and I thought their relationship was sweet.

Obviously, don't read that spoiler if you haven't read that book yet (unless you don't care for some reason). But without spoiling anything: basically, I was kind of expecting some eye-rolling ending, but it didn't quite go in the direction I expected and I was pleasantly surprised by that.

The final word: I feel like there was a really good story somewhere in this book, and I don't know if it was quite realized. I wanted the characters to be developed further and based less on stereotypes, and for their voices to be more realistic and more distinguishable from each other. But I do think the book is about an important subject, and there were parts of it I did find powerful. I didn't think it was amazing, but I do still think it was worth reading.
August 5, 2019
The Truth About Alice is a book that I've been wanting to read for a long time. I was so excited to pick it up, and ultimately it didn't disappoint. But when it comes down to writing a review, I really don't know how to explain my feelings for this book. It hooked me, yes, so much so that I finished it in just a day. But it was also brief, and I feel like if the story had come full circle a little bit more, I would definitely have upped my rating.

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody.

Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

Perhaps one stellar thing Jennifer Mathieu has done is her fleshing out of every character. Because of the ample insights into every point of view, I really felt like I knew each one of them so well and I even began to empathise with them. Now don't get me wrong. Everyone except Kurt is a self-absorbed, conceited, selfish jerk. Elaine was the popular mean bitch, Josh was the star quarterback's best friend, always silver to his gold; and Kelsie was the most despicable, sniveling, revolting piece of scum I've ever seen, and whatever she went through was no excuse at all. But all these characters were real. They might have done some stuff that was really low, but at least I knew what was going on in their heads and why they did what they did. And that's something every author should strive for: to make you empathise with the villains, so to speak.

I wished we'd gotten more from Alice, instead of just one chapter from her point of view. I wanted to know more about her family background. And when everyone spread the slanderous rumors about her, why didn't she confront them knowing those rumors were untrue? Why didn't she defend herself instead of withdrawing into a shell? I had so many questions.

There is a lot of depth to this book too, but like I said the ending, although tinged with hope, was a little too soon (or so I felt). It definitely gives you an insight into the extent to which rumors can spread from just one person's mouth. And in turn, bullying can happen and people can form untrue opinions about the victim. It isn't nice and it isn't tolerable. But it's reality. This story is a glimpse into reality.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

(Also: Kurt is a soft cinnamon roll who is Too Pure For This World and no one can fight me on this because It Is True)
Profile Image for Erin.
3,095 reviews484 followers
December 1, 2019
This book idled on my to-read shelf for far too long, but what a powerhouse of a story. When rumors swirl at a Texas High School about female student, Alice Franklin, it isn't too long before the court of public opinion finds her guilty. Did Alice really sleep with two guys in one night? Is she responsible for the death of the school's beloved football player? Using the different voices of high school peers, Jennifer Mathieu explores the destructive nature of malicious gossip, slut shaming, and exclusion.

There is one thing I 've learned about people: they don't get that mean and nasty overnight. It's not human nature. But if you give people enough time, eventually they'll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world.

I know that I am not recommending a very pretty book and that Mathieu's characters are filled with pettiness and down right horrible qualities, but the fact they're unabashedly proud of their opinions makes them an interesting character study.

Goodreads review published 10/11/19
Profile Image for Angigames.
1,270 reviews
July 13, 2017
Un libro molto intenso. Un libro che centra perfettamente il punto della situazione. Un libro che tutti gli adolescenti dovrebbero leggere, dove non ci sono persone buone o cattive, ma ragazzi che decidono di prendere una determinata via e sono costretti, poi, a fare i conti con la propria coscienza.
Un libro che mostra cosa significa essere adolescenti nel mondo di oggi. Un mondo fatto di scale sociali e popolarità, di famiglie distratte e tutt’altro che amorevoli. Un mondo che è una vera e propria giungla dove bisogna combattere con le unghie e con i denti.
Lo sa bene Alice, magnifica ragazzina al 4°anno delle superiori, che in soli due mesi viene additata dai suoi “amici” come una troia/assassina. Nessuno le parla più, nessuno vuole avere un qualsiasi contatto con lei. A causa di un (presunto) errore Alice si ritrova un’emarginata non solo nel suo liceo, ma in tutta la cittadina di Healy, che conta non più di 3 mila anime, dove tutti sanno.
Un romanzo crudo, dove l’autrice ha avuto un lampo di genio: la storia non è raccontata da Alice, la vittima, ma dai suoi carnefici, dai suoi presunti amici, da coloro che conoscono la Verità. Mi sono emozionata, davvero, perché in fondo questi carnefici non sono altro che ragazzini spaventati e soli, adolescenti in balia dei primi problemi adolescenziali, pieni di voglia di crescere eppure piccoli, non ancora pronti ad affrontare il mondo e incredibilmente, indiscutibilmente soli. Senza una famiglia che crede il loro, senza un punto fermo, senza nient’altro che la reciproca compagnia. Di questo, ne sono pienamente consapevoli, così tanto da essere capaci di lanciare merda su una loro amica senza pensarci troppo. Eppure la coscienza si fa sentire, il senso di colpa li investe, alcuni sceglieranno di nascondere la testa sotto la sabbia, altri saranno più forti e capiranno di aver passato il limite e chiederanno scusa, a modo loro. Ma in realtà nessuno di loro merita il perdono di Alice, ne il suo affetto. Nessuno tranne Kurt, ovviamente, l’unico che non è trascinato dalla corrente, la pecora nera che riesce ad andare oltre.
La cosa più triste è che queste cose nelle nostre scuole e in tutte le scuole del mondo succedono davvero, ci sono tante Alice ma in pochissime, purtroppo, hanno un Kurt che le sorregge.
Lettura meravigliosa e consigliata a tutti!
589 reviews1,029 followers
June 20, 2014
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

3.5 stars

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!~

Profile Image for Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice).
1,157 reviews160 followers
May 6, 2018
T/W- Bullying, Slut Shaming, Abortion

The Truth About Alice was honestly a difficult book to read. I found out that this book was being published in the UK which has a bright yellow colour to it. Seeing it at the library, I quickly borrowed a copy to read. As this review goes up, I haven't read Moxie but do have a copy of it on my shelf. This is definitely not a book for readers under the age of 16. The content (see trigger warnings above) made the majority of the chapters quite graphic at times. Although this novel is very quick (my edition was 212 pages long), I just didn't feel fully settled and often, got confused between the changes in POV. The POVs all followed students at a High School which the girl Alice Franklin attends. After a student from the school Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, many people blame the actions of Alice, rumours fly and no-one knows who to trust. Some of the behaviour I read throughout the novel was shocking, that Alice's family knew what was going on but wouldn't do anything about it. That fact didn't sit well with me.

The saving grace was a character called Kurt, even though he does hide something away from Alice, he read like a decent, kind student who only wanted to help Alice with her failing grades. His POV was refreshing to read because it wasn't so negative. The ending was abrupt and would liked to have seen what happened after the final chapter. Overall, this was a very difficult read for me, I probably wouldn't read this book again in the future.
Profile Image for Alex.
576 reviews74 followers
June 21, 2016
Può un libro racchiudere, in poco più che 200 pagine, tutta la cattiveria che gli adolescenti sviluppano durante il liceo?!
Credo proprio di sì.
Jennifer Mathieu racconta, in maniera semplice e cruda, l'universo adolescenziale e le sue dinamiche all'interno della ristretta cerchia scolastica.
Pochi fatti reali mischiati, con crudeltà ed estrema minuzia, ad una valanga di menzogne e cattiverie.
Ostentazione del nulla.
Rivalità e gelosia.
Tutto, ma non amicizia e spensieratezza.
Prendo le distanze da questa storia, non perché io mi senta estranea a queste tematiche, ma semplicemente perché per me gli anni del liceo sono stati tra i più belli da me vissuti.
Fondamentalmente perché io non competo e non l'ho fatto in passato, per la popolarità o per accaparrarmi consensi o amicizie.
Ho sempre scelto e di rimando sono stata scelta dalle persone con cui stavo bene, a mio agio.
Non sono brava a portare maschere e di conseguenza adoro mostrare la mia vera personalità . Ragion per cui tutte le Elaine, Kelsie o Tommy, Josh, campioni di football etc... Mi hanno sempre montato un omicidio assurdo, anche ai tempi del liceo.
Questo libro è così pieno di verità che fa male leggerlo, perché tutta la cattiveria entra dentro la mente e viene metabolizzata come qualcosa di triste ed inevitabile.
Uno pettegolezzo che diventa un virus che si diffonde con una velocità pazzesca, per moltiplicarsi in maniera esponenziale. Un circolo vizioso di bugie che diventa il mantra comune, indirizzato verso una ragazza che suo malgrado ha fatto ben poco per meritarsi tutto ciò.
Vorrei poter parlare ai protagonisti di questa storia per dire loro che la popolarità non è un traguardo, semmai uno stato transitorio; che l'amicizia vera ha un valore inestimabile, che non conta quanto si è corteggiati ma quanto e per quanto tempo si è amati.
Vorrei dire loro di pensare prima di agire e di non riversare le proprie delusioni, frustrazioni ed errori sugli altri.
Coraggio a tutte le Alice del mondo ❤️
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
April 7, 2016
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

I can’t even begin to describe the amount of hatred I felt during this book. The point of views switch from the Most Popular Girl in school, her ex best friend, the Most Popular Guy’s Best friend and the Loner Nerd. Sorry to label everyone but that’s how it is in this book. On my first list of people that I detest has to be her ex best friend. The girl who is selfish enough to keep spreading rumours about her old friend just so she can stay in the popular circle. Second to that list, is the Most Popular girl and she blames Alice when in reality HE is to blame for his own actions. The pacing is pretty much perfect because you really do want to know who was behind the death and the mystery surrounding it was exactly what I thought it would be, yet it still surprised me.

How incredibly insane it is to put forth blame on Alice. How people are so adapt to judge and poke fun and bully people when they don’t know the truth.

This book you guys.. This book broke me. It’s raw and emotional and real. So real that I’m sure it will be true to most high school girls around the world. I’m pretty sure they can relate to some of the things in the book as well.

Overall, I suggest grabbing this book for a quick relatable read. Make sure to keep an open mind though, it was an infuriating read especially if you have strong opinions about bullying.
Profile Image for Rapunzel.
112 reviews38 followers
March 17, 2014
4.5 stars


I want to photocopy every page of this book and run through my high school hallways to fling it in the air like a madman. I actually read this book in two hours.

The best part? Alice is not a Mary Sue.

How can I describe this novel? It’s so powerfully, heart-wrenchingly, bitterly, hair-raisingly relatable – and it better garner some attention from young adult readers, otherwise I’m going to smack them over the head with it. For reference, this book is like a mash-up of Thirteen Reasons Why and Just Listen.


The small town of Healy, Texas, practically has it’s own Scripture; God is good, football is great…and Alice Franklin is a slut. She’s not just any slut, she’s the slut who fucked two guys in one night, and because of her, the school’s star quarterback Brandon is dead. We watch Alice struggle through the aftermath, through the eyes of popular Elaine, football star Josh, Kelsie’s desperate-to-be-accepted ex-bestfriend, and Kurt, the shy, intelligent boy who is possibly the only person in the school with less friends than Alice. And slowly but surely, the truth about Alice may not be as black-and-white as everyone likes to think.


I’m not going to paint this book out as perfection – there were clichés, there were predictabilities – but I found myself not minding. We get a glimpse of four different ‘kinds’ of high schoolers, each of whose lives have impacted and been impacted by Alice’s downfall.

There’s Elaine , the popular girl who used to accept Alice – before the incident, Alice was pretty - cool even – but after her slut status is raised to a new level, Elaine is disgusted, and pioneers the anti-Alice movement. .

Equally satisfied with Kurt . He’s shy, introverted, and nerdy. But he’s not pathetic, despised, bullied, whingy. No, Kurt is reasonably happy with his life. And that is an incredibly important message. I hate it when YA books portray the outcast as completely and utterly miserable. Sure, Kurt does say that he sometimes wishes he had more friends, but in relative terms, he’s a character that holds equal fortitude as the rest of them.

Kelsie was great too. She was Alice’s best friend before Alice became the most hated person in Healy – the friend who completely abandoned her. Kelsie struggles with her guilty conscious as well as her dark secrets, but none of it is enough overcome her fear of ostracism and reach back out to Alice. It’s something I think a lot of high schoolers struggle with – between doing what’s right and knowing that doing just that could ruin you. Mathieu presents such themes in a way that’s not cringe-y or derived… just, relatable.

My only issues character-wise was… Josh . He’s a football star, popular, well-liked, not overtly academic – and he was also Brandon’s best friend. His story was the most predictable, and that was my only qualm.

And lastly, Alice. As the book starts, she’s the only voice we don’t hear from. Symbolic, considering it’s meant to be her story we’re discovering. Alice is not a Mary Sue, because she’s not perfect. She makes stupid decisions and to some extent, her reputation isn’t undeserving. But there is no doubt that she doesn’t deserve any of the treatment she receives at the hands of her classmates. The way they treat her is disgusting, because they believe she is lower than dirt. But Ms. Mathieu made Alice incredibly strong, which I admire, and also makes sure to emphasize that it’s not only the good girls that deserve to be respected. And yet it’s also important to point out that the story doesn’t completely revolve around Alice. Sure, some of the narratives do, but [one in particular] shows that Alice was the scapegoat to the real issues at hand.

It’s handled brilliantly.

As you can see, this book is 99% it’s characters. Each of their stories intertwine so seamlessly.

In terms of writing, it’s not the kind of incredible emotive writing you get from Melina Marchetta, but considering the kinds of narratives we get (jocks, popular girls, & social climbers), it doesn’t take away from the story too much.

I was surprised to find that some of my fellow reviewers thought that the way Alice was treated was too harsh. I can honestly say that if some adults went back to live the lives of high schoolers nowadays, they would hardly last a day. It is brutal .

And schools now aren’t harmful in a way that’s tangible –their harmful in a cruel, covert way, like it’s all fine on the outside until you experience what’s really going on. The Truth About Alice captures that perfectly. No one tries to approach Alice, or hurt Alice, or beat her up. No… they verbally abuse her, mentally breaking her down with their anonymous proclamations of hate scribbled on the bathroom stalls and their whispers taunt her through the halls. That is what high school is like for people who are ostracized, and I think it’s important that it wasn’t glossed over.

It’s an excellent portrayal of teenage cruelty – even their parties are the most realistic I’ve read to date.

RECOMMEND FOR: Almost everyone. It’s a great YA read, and I sincerely do believe it can teach lessons to the more impressionable generation (incoming high school freshmen?) But not only that – it also has a relatively happy ending, and I mean that honestly, it’s almost anti-climatic in how simple it all turns out. And I don’t mean that in the sense that all things are la-dee-da fixed, but that once the town’s heart begins to thaw, it’s about the main character overcoming adversity. Alice does not let her pain and suffering consume her: she is strong enough to rise above it.

Excellent read, and I’m pleasantly surprised.
Profile Image for Jason.
808 reviews48 followers
June 2, 2014
I dunno, this whole book feels pointless, with a cast full of boring one-dimensional characters.

Elaine’s whole POV seems like it could lift right out. She doesn’t add anything. And she’s horrible.
Josh’s POV is only good for one reveal. Otherwise, he’s nothing but a high school jock. And a horrible person.
Kelsie in theory could be interesting because of her secret, but honestly, her secret seems less dramatic than she builds it up as. Also, she’s horrible.
Kurt’s okay. But he’s just a Nice Nerd with a vaguely creepy crush on the Beauty. He seems to have no personality outside of this.

I suppose the author’s kinda going for an absent center thing here by not giving Alice a voice until the last chapter. But given the nothing that is the plot throughout the book, maybe it could have been a bit better if we got more of her. Boo on Amazon for claiming this as one of the best YA books of the month. And I guess the Goodreads reviewers for claiming something similar.
Profile Image for Greta.
455 reviews
April 2, 2022
"Davvero non riesco a parlare di questo per troppo tempo perchè fa troppo male, ma voglio dire che c'è una cosa che ho imparato sulle persone: non diventano così meschine e cattive da un giorno all'altro. Non è nella natura umana. Però se dai alle persone abbastanza tempo, alla fine faranno le cose più dolorose del mondo".

Un libro verità dedicato a tutte le Alice Franklin. Da leggere.
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