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The Truth about Alice

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The Truth about Alice Cover

ISBN13: 9781596439092
ISBN10: 1596439092
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Four high-school juniors — Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and Kurt — narrate the eponymous Alice's story in turns. A callous jock named Brandon starts a rumor that Alice slept with him and another boy at Elaine's party. Shortly afterward, he dies in a car crash, and Josh suggests that texts from Alice distracted Brandon. These rumors take on a life of their own, transforming Alice from a well-liked girl into a cafeteria pariah with a 'Slut Stall' dedicated to her in the girls' bathroom. Mathieu's well-crafted debut portrays all the teens sympathetically, revealing the insecurities that motivate their actions; for example, Kelsie thinks the popular girls 'could smell my old middle school nerdiness on me like it was some kind of disease,' and would rather betray her best friend than lose her newfound popularity. Their accounts unintentionally reveal Alice's decency, emphasizing the cruelty of the ostracism and underscoring the integrity of the one boy who dares to befriend her. Alice gets the final word, yet Mathieu avoids reducing her story to a revenge narrative, instead offering a quietly powerful testament to perspective and personal resilience. Ages 12 — up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jennifer Mathieu started writing stories when she was in kindergarten and now teaches English to middle and high schoolers. She lives in Texas with her husband, her son, her dog, and two cats. Nothing bad has ever been written on the bathroom stall about Jennifer. At least she doesn't think so. The Truth About Alice is Jennifer's debut novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Melinda Ott, June 11, 2014 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
I'll come out and say it: This is an ugly, ugly book. Of course, that is a mark of the book's success. I think if this book had been anything but ugly, it wouldn't have been successful. What happens in this book is not something that could happen in any high school in the US, it is something that does happen and Matheiu should be lauded with the care she has taken to write about it.

Multiple narrator books have sort of become the bane of my existence, but Mathieu succeeds in that arena. Each narrator has its own distinct voice and Mathieu is able to build up each character and still relate them back to the main storyline. She really mastered the teen vernacular--even though each voice was distinct, they all sounded like something a teen might say.

I found the pacing of the story to be effective--this isn't a long book, but it doesn't feel rushed like so many shorter books do. I did feel that Mathieu could have sharpened the passage of time a bit--it seemed like it was Christmas break and then--bam!--we're at summer. But, really, that is my only criticism of the book.

I think this is a very important--one that should be read by teens and adults alike. I do hope that The Truth About Alice is as widely read as it deserves to be.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Melinda Ott, June 11, 2014 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
I'll come out and say it: This is an ugly, ugly book. Of course, that is a mark of the book's success. I think if this book had been anything but ugly, it wouldn't have been successful. What happens in this book is not something that could happen in any high school in the US, it is something that does happen and Matheiu should be lauded with the care she has taken to write about it.

Multiple narrator books have sort of become the bane of my existence, but Mathieu succeeds in that arena. Each narrator has its own distinct voice and Mathieu is able to build up each character and still relate them back to the main storyline. She really mastered the teen vernacular--even though each voice was distinct, they all sounded like something a teen might say.

I found the pacing of the story to be effective--this isn't a long book, but it doesn't feel rushed like so many shorter books do. I did feel that Mathieu could have sharpened the passage of time a bit--it seemed like it was Christmas break and then--bam!--we're at summer. But, really, that is my only criticism of the book.

I think this is a very important--one that should be read by teens and adults alike. I do hope that The Truth About Alice is as widely read as it deserves to be.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
dejonghes, May 29, 2014 (view all comments by dejonghes)
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE may be a culturally defining book. The way that it mixes perspectives to bring awareness reminds me of Palacio’s WONDER (definitely not for the same age group) and the sordid awareness that came with THE SCARLET LETTER.


Two guys, one night: you have to ask yourself about your personal beliefs on this. For a small town, much like the one I grew up in, this is shocking. When the town’s star football player is one of those boys, whose life ends in a deadly crash, supposedly caused by the same “loose” girl, the town goes on the proverbial witch hunt. Not only are we asked what to accept as truth, but, more importantly, is anyone ever deserving of being ostracized?


There are some typical characters here: the best friend who betrays; the drunken jocks; and, the clique of popular girls. One character I was drawn to was that of the smart kid whose parents had died. I liked this kid because he saw through the muck of gossip. He saw through the ugliness, wanting to help a fellow human in their time of suffering. He is the symbol and example that should triumph within us all.


This book is paced well. The mix of perspectives and the calculated reveal of secrets worked well. Sure, many things could be predicted, but this is more about introspection and awareness. It kept my attention throughout, drawing me from page-to-page quickly and leaving my mind to ponder after the cover has been closed.


Thanks to Macmillan and Roaring Book Press for providing an electronic review copy of this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596439092
Author:
Mathieu, Jennifer
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Subject:
Situations / Adolescence
Subject:
Social Issues - Dating & Sex
Subject:
Social Issues - Bullying
Subject:
Situations / Dating & Sex
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Edition Description:
Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 12 up to 17

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Related Subjects


Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Bullying
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Dating and Sex
Young Adult » General

The Truth about Alice Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Roaring Brook Press - English 9781596439092 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Four high-school juniors — Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and Kurt — narrate the eponymous Alice's story in turns. A callous jock named Brandon starts a rumor that Alice slept with him and another boy at Elaine's party. Shortly afterward, he dies in a car crash, and Josh suggests that texts from Alice distracted Brandon. These rumors take on a life of their own, transforming Alice from a well-liked girl into a cafeteria pariah with a 'Slut Stall' dedicated to her in the girls' bathroom. Mathieu's well-crafted debut portrays all the teens sympathetically, revealing the insecurities that motivate their actions; for example, Kelsie thinks the popular girls 'could smell my old middle school nerdiness on me like it was some kind of disease,' and would rather betray her best friend than lose her newfound popularity. Their accounts unintentionally reveal Alice's decency, emphasizing the cruelty of the ostracism and underscoring the integrity of the one boy who dares to befriend her. Alice gets the final word, yet Mathieu avoids reducing her story to a revenge narrative, instead offering a quietly powerful testament to perspective and personal resilience. Ages 12 — up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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