Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The Truth About Alice
Jennifer Mathieu will be at the North Texas Tenn Book Festival in March! Since the festival is so early in the year I decided to start looking at the writers early on and was quick to discover this book I have been meaning to read for so long is on the list. Now I really want to find the book they are spotlighting and read that one because she is fantastic!
The Truth About Alice is about the power of rumor. From the very beginning the reader is told the truth of the situation: Alice is a slut and responsible for the star quarterback's death. This is what everyone in the small Texas town knows because someone told them. In this way the reader hears the details of the situation from the point of view of four different students at Healy High, people who knew Alice and saw parts of what happened. Only, they don't always tell the truth, and rumors spread like wildfire.
Mathieu captures perfectly the harmful impact of a rumor. Someone is a little upset, says something maybe they shouldn't, and suddenly a girl's life is ruined. This book reminded me strongly of Thirteen Reasons Why, so if you liked that one, I am sure you will enjoy this one. Now, things don't get as drastic, there is no suicide in this one, but looking at Alice as she is shunned and starts slipping away from herself, I could see things getting worse if one of the characters had not stepped up. Because this book is also a beautiful reminder of what the power of one person can do if they reach out. It is a great book!
I must point out that Mathieu is writing from the point of view of teenagers, something I have complained about in the past, but she does it wonderfully. Yes, three of the four main characters kind of tick me off, but as a person, not as a reader too annoyed by the voice of the narrators to read it. Mathieu does a great job of writing characters I loved to hate.
My only complaint was that with the way the stories are told it is a little hard to understand the timeline. When I first began I assumed that the events that sparked the rumors all occurred on one night. No. There were two distinct nights that led everyone to telling stories and many small events in between that spawned more. As the characters tell their sides of events all this becomes clear, but in the beginning it was rather confusing.
All in all the book was wonderful and I can't wait to pick up more of Mathieu's work and meet the woman to tell her how great her writing is! I hope you pick up the book as well!
A great way to start off the year of reading!