At the end of last year I read Tease by Amanda Maciel, which I reviewed recently, and I was pretty disappointed by it. I was really interested in the idea however, which is a book told from the perspective of a bully. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu tackles a similar issue, but this time I am a huge fan of the results.
The Truth About Alice is told from four perspective, but none of them (until a brief chapter at the end) are Alice. This is the story of Alice Franklin, who may or may not have had sex with two guys in one night, and then one of those guys, the much-loved, popular Brandon, dies in a car crash which is rumoured to have been Alice's fault. It doesn't matter anymore if the rumours are true, because everyone believes them. The book alternates between the popular Elaine, former outcast and Alice's best friend, Kelsie, Brandon's best friend, Josh and the loner, Kurt. Each of these people plays their own role in what happens to Alice, and just like when people are bullied, Alice's own voice is silenced.
The Truth About Alice is a very quick read, both in page number and in pacing. It alternates between four perspectives but I was never confused about who was who. Each character has their own bit of defining back story although it can be a bit predictable as there isn't a ton of depth on top of that. However, the setting itself is also a bit of a character, as it takes place in a small town where everyone knows what is going on with other people, which I thought added an interesting element to the story. Mathieu's writing is clear and easy to read although not especially gorgeous, it did a good job crafting a novel I basically devoured in one sitting.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed reading The Truth About Alice and I thought it tackled a lot of important issues well and I would definitely pick up future books by Mathieu.
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014 Pages: 208 Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Buy It: Book Depository