Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting story about slut-shaming and stereotypes but unfortunately while it was easy reading I never really connected to it.


THE BLURB

From the author of Zoella Book Club book MOXIE comes a startling book about stereotypes, slut shaming and the battle for popularity.

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.

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

In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students – the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex 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.


MY REVIEW

Umm, I’m really not sure about this book. I didn’t hate it but I’m not convinced I liked it either. I think I’m just struggling to work out what the point of it all was. Plot wise it reminded me a little of 13 Reasons Why, being about a teenage girl who’s slut shamed, bullied and ostracized by her so called friends who would rather be popular than loyal. It looks at the damage rumors and gossip can do particularly to girls giving it a little bit of a feminist vibe.

It is pretty easy, although slightly troubling (are all high school students really behaving like this), reading and I thought the style was very interesting. It’s told from the point of view of four different characters, none of which are Alice, and jumps around in time to reveal the truth behind the rumors.

Some voices were more likeable than others, I kinda liked Kurt, but all were very distinct and you could tell immediately whose story you were hearing. You do get a very real sense of them and what’s behind the stereotypical facade.

My biggest issue though is that the story doesn’t really go anywhere. There are lots of rumors about Alice, we find out if they’re true and if they’re not how they came about but to be honest I didn’t particularly care. The decision to tell the story from other points of view meant I felt no connection to Alice so while I was a little curious I wasn’t invested and the narrators weren’t likeable or intriguing enough to hold my attention.

It was only at the very end when at long last we get Alice’s chapter that I thought “yes, finally I’ll start to feel it” but nope the ending turned out to be the biggest let down of the story.

It’s very possible it’s just me and the mood I’m in right now but given my love for the author’s other book Moxie this was a bit disappointing. There do seem to be a lot of rave reviews so please don’t let me thoughts stop you from picking this up.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy. As always all views are my own.