The Truth About Alice
By Jennifer Mathieu
Roaring Brook Press, 2014. 208 pages. Young Adult
Jealousy, rumors, and lies can really ruin a teen girl's life. In Healy, Texas, everyone knows everyone else's business, and so everyone knows that Alice Franklin slept with two boys at Elaine O'Dea's party. Everyone knows she had an abortion. And everyone knows she's responsible for the death of Brandon Fitzsimmons, the school's beloved high school quarterback.
Or do they?
Told in five voices, The Truth About Alice should have been a powerful book. I expected the novel to deal with larger issues like bullying, slut-shaming, and lying with grace and tact, but was frustrated to find that it only managed to skim the surface. I wanted to love this novel, but the characters and voices felt inauthentic to me, and I still struggle to accept parts of the novel's climax and denouement. Still, it's a better, more literary choice for those looking for more Mean Girls fare.