Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice

I scooped up this book when I saw it arrive at my local library. I was meeting a student for tutoring, and after our session I sat and read the book. I finished in less than three hours. I visit classrooms often, and kids always, always ask for book recs. This will be one of them- I think the conversational tone with appeal to fans of contemporary.

Admittedly, during the first chapter (Elaine’s POV) I wasn’t so sure if I would like the book. She’s catty and opinionated and narcissistic (but isn’t that the point??). She’s true to her character, likable or not, although I found myself liking her more and more as the story progressed. My opinion of Kelsie rollercoastered throughout the story – again, this was the obvious intention of Mathieu. Kelsie’s questionable actions have a questionable reason. Same with the others. There are hidden motives, guilt, and meaning, and all of their actions intertwine.

It’s difficult to consistently alter POVs without 1. Confusing the reader or 2. Annoying the reader. At no point did I have to flip back to the chapter beginning to figure out who was speaking. The characters are that distinct. And the switching of perspective never interrupted the flow of the story.

I finished the book and thumbed through it again, just thinking. The dedication resonated with me: To All the Alice Franklins. Because they exist. I knew Alice Franklins in high school. Lies spread like viruses. I knew Alice Franklins when I was teaching high school. It’s sad, but she is present in so many schools. The same is true for the Kelsie. And Josh. And Kurt.

This one felt real. 

My only wish: (SPOILER BELOW: Stop reading if you haven't yet read the book)

My only wish was a more distinct resolution. I get it... often the truth is never uncovered, and Mathieu doesn't specifically say that it doesn't happen after the end of the book. We get a glimpse that Alice will be okay, yes, but I want everyone to know the truth!! She never says THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN, GUYS!!!! But even if the world never learns the complete truth, I would have liked for Alice to destroy the bathroom stall- or even find Josh or Kelsie painting over the graffiti to repent for their part in Alice's troubles.

Regardless, I loved the book.

1 comment:

  1. I have had this book on my radar for awhile. I am not a Contemporary reader myself, unless it has been given to me for review, but I am always on the lookout for quick reads with contemporary themes for my litetacy tutees, who often have problems with getting interested in a book to begin with. Your description of this story makes it sound like I should move this one up on my tbr. Thanks for the review. :)