The Truth About Alice

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The Truth About Alice has been on my wish list for a while and I finally decided to just go plunge into it because I was in that kind of mood. I actually put Alice on the list about the same time as Tease. I found Tease to be one of my favorite reads last year and highly emotional. Alice was a little harder.

After attending a local party a rumor begins making the rounds that Alice did not one but two boys that night. If that’s not upsetting enough a couple of weeks after that one of those boys, the golden boy football player, is killed in a car accident and the other rider in the car tells the cops he was distracted by nasty texts from Alice.

The book is told from the POV’s of four fairly typical high-school kids. The mean girl, the guilty friend, the dorky kid whose had a crush on Alice and Alice’s ex-best friend who throws her over so quickly that it’s shocking. Though you have to give the girl credit for her honesty. She pretty much says if she had lived in Nazi Germany she would have been too scared to do anything other than be a Nazi.

It’s always amazing to read these books how even with other problems they get the mentality right. How quickly it spirals out of control. How everyone is just following someone else or doing it to hide their own misery but then no one can stop it even when they may want to. Unfortunately this is another book that doesn’t make the parents or the teachers look particularly good. I understood all the kids in this book unfortunately I think anyone who’s been young can relate I just didn’t have anything like the emotional connection I had to Tease or, more recently, All the Rage.

One problem is that Alice only gets one chapter in the whole book- the very last one. It’s far more difficult to understand her than the others and I wondered if we were even supposed to. She only gets really upset once or twice and at least once with the wrong person. Although I did start to think maybe Alice had the right idea. Let them do what they will until they get tired of doing it at all. Still I found it hard to connect with her and wish we could have had more of her POV through the book.

While this book deals with bullying there are also sexual situations, harassment, drunk driving and one of the main characters has an abortion. I didn’t find any of those things to explicit but if you’re considering purchasing the book for someone else just know those situations are present.

Recommend: This is a good book that for me simply paled in comparison to several other recent books with the same subject matter. It’s hard to connect to any of the characters and I think Alice being more involved in the story might have helped. It simply didn’t produce the same emotional reaction that the other books did when I read them.

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