ebook, 192 pages
Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN 1596439106 (ISBN13: 9781596439108)
other editions (2)
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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.
An honest, realistic look at how rumors start, how they quickly escalate out of control and how lives are changed forever regardless of whether truth or lies have been told.
Alice Franklin is a young woman whose peers at Healy High find her to be a convenient scapegoat to blame for events that she had no control over, in the process these same peers find great delight in spreading rumor after rumor tarnishing Alice’s reputation to the point she has a hard time even making it through classes each day at school.
This story rings true in so many ways, told from alternating viewpoints it ranges from making one cry to weary to the bone that teenagers can be so harsh with one another.
“The truth will set you free”, that saying only comes true when the truth is told to people who are willing to listen to it and in this case the falsehoods are much more interesting to repeat than any truth.
The saving grace in this story is that Alice finds herself an unlikely friend in another outsider who never fit in with the rest of the “cool kids”, a boy who has longed for Alice from afar but never had the courage to really try to get to know her or to try to get her to know him.
Overall this is intensely emotional, shocking at times in it’s raw honesty, totally on point with how much pain can be caused in a short period of time with innuendo and rumor and most of all the book deals well with the issues of being ill treated by others who should have known better. Not only does this story bring back memories of a few of my own high school experiences watching this type of bullying happen to others it brings home just how dumb the “pack mentality” can make people behave towards each other.
While this is a short, quick read it has depth and heart to it that will go a long way to making it seem like a longer story!
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]