Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jen Mathieu (Tour Stop)

Out on Tuesday was an amazing, impact, beautiful book: The Truth About Alice. It's different in so many ways, and had such a lasting impact on me. One of the things that made this book so stand out for me was how well I knew Alice by the end, despite never actually getting a direct POV from her until the very end (and what perfection it is). Also stand out? How strongly each of the four narrators is built, how I was able to understand each one, even sympathize without losing sight of the bigger picture, or the pain Alice was going through. Bullying and slut shaming is so a prevalent problem, and one so complex - and this book captures that effortlessly.

This is one of those books that push you and challenge you, and is pretty uncomfortable at times. It's also so frustrating to see all Alice is going through, and to be able to see so much other "logic" against the reasons people hate her yet that's overlooked. And yet, even thinking in my head, if Brandon was drinking, it might not matter at all Alice was texting him while he drove. He also didn't have to look at his phone. But then you think of those little moments too many of us do that we don't think will matter, and suddenly it does. Or maybe none of that mattered at all - maybe Brandon would've had that accident regardless of the alcohol or texting. But even with that side of logic playing in, I was so far invested in the story I was right there with each of the four characters, waiting and hoping and worried and a whole host of emotions.

Even months after reading this book, so many bits of it continue to stand out for me. But of everything, Kurt is who I want to highlight. This sweet, awkward outcast who gets so ignored, and who maybe doesn't immediately do the "Right" thing but when you already do suffer, what really is right? He was caught in that gap of being on the edges, of being ignored, and knowing things really could get worse if he were to speak up. And when things already aren't great, is it fair to ask that of a person? It's these kind of gray areas that really challenged me as a reader and a person, and with Kurt and the rest of the cast, so often, even if I didn't agree with their choice of action, I understood it.

While this isn't an enjoyable read, per say, considering the content and the ways it will test you, it's an impacting and important and wonderful one. As a writer and editor, it's utterly astounding in its complexity, in the multiple points of view and the then and now type of story telling. As a reader, it left a mark on me. And as a person, it tested me. I really do love this book, and cannot recommend it enough to anyone and everyone.

Photo Credit: George Hixson
For more about Alice, this wonderful book, and the crazy talented author Jen Mathieu, check out the full list of blogs in this tour below. And run out to your local bookstore and grab this one, because everyone needs it in their life:

6/3: Me, My Shelf and I
6/4: ExLibris Kate
6/5: Forever Young Adult
6/6: Perpetual Page Turner
6/7: Here!
6/8: Girls in the Stacks
6/9: Rebekah Faubion, Writer
6/10: Sleepless Reads

1 comment:

  1. I loved your comment on how it affected you in a multitude of ways both emotionally and professionally. That must be some book! Thanks for the recommendation! 😏