Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication: June 1st 2014, Hardie Grant Egmont
Format: Paperback, 199 pages
Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thanks guys!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |iBooks | Kobo
There are a lot of rumours about Alice Franklin, and it's stopped mattering whether any of them are true.
It all started at a party, when Alice was supposedly with two guys in one night.Soon everyone at Healy High has picked a side in this game of he said/she said. Do they believe Brandon Fitzsimmons, the most popular guy at school and the football hero of Healy? Or do they believe Alice, the girl who wears too-tight T-shirts and was caught kissing Brandon in a closet a couple years before?When Brandon dies in a car crash, there are serious allegations that his death was Alice's fault. As the rumour mill spins into overdrive, Alice's small town becomes suffocating. And when the truth becomes a matter of opinion, something's got to give.
Do you keep quiet when people talk about you? Do you speak up? Alice Franklin's life takes a turn as she is allegedly accused of killing football star and town heartthrob, Brandon Fitzsimmons. He dies fom an accident and everyone blames Alice after some people pin her down for it. Rather than talk, Alice keeps to herself and the rumor spreads like wildfire.
The novel is short, 199 pages long and it was a read that I would say, moved me but also made me angry. Angry in the sense that I hated bullying. To be honest, I could never see any fault in Alice's character. I mean, she's not a goody- two shoes but she's nothing but nice to people around her and in the chaos of the rumor, no one trusts her, and people would rather throw darts at her than be seen next to her.
“There is one thing I've learned about people: they don't get that mean and nasty overnight. It's not human nature. But if you give people enough time, eventually they'll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world.”
The narrators, four of them-Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and. Kurt- take us into their own psyche while telling the story of how they know Alice and how they interact/ed with her. Elaine is the star of the school, seems to hate Alice but she really isn't a bad nut. She feels bad for Alice too, in ways, but would rather keep it to herself. Kelsie, is Alice's "best friend", a nerd turned popular girl after moving out or her old town. She doesn't want to lose her current image, thus, she turns her back on poor Alice. She even starts some side rumors just to keep herself around the social circle. She's despicable. Josh, Brandon's best friend and football player, is charming but is the one who accuses Alice of the accident. Finally, Kurt, the introverted nerd who is in love with Alice and would go to any lengths to help her. But he knows something that may change the course of the story.
What the narrators may have in common is that they are all self-centered in certain degrees. As they narrate Alice's story, we dive in into their own stories, problems that may either make us understand why they are doing what they are doing or would totally make us tear their parts from the book. Kelsie's POV is the most interesting to read but also the most difficult to stomach in. Kurt is also a personal fave, especially when he has these moments with Alice.
“How much did it hurt? It was like a million paper cuts on my heart.”
Healy didn't feel like a place I would spend my summer vacation in. I felt bad for Alice ultimately. If I had some sort of power to warp myself into the book, I'd clearly tug her out of that place and bring her somewhere quiet and where she can breathe. I could only imagine what it feels like for people who are going through the same thing as Alice. This is the reason why I love that Jennifer Mathieu dedicated this novel "To all the Alice Franklins". It should drive people to stand up for themselves and know when to keep quiet. Help is always there. It's only a matter of finding the right way to seek it.
Jennifer Mathieu's writing is clean but holds that pain so vigorously that it almost hurts to turn a page. It also brings forth the subject that this does happen in real life and that it's something that shouldn't be ignored. The ending wasn't clear but it made me think that there's a way out.
About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Jennifer Mathieu is an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. Her debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, will be out in the spring of 2014. Her favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. She can basically quote every episode. She lives with her husband, son, one rescue dog, one fat cat, and another cat that is even fatter than the fat cat. When it comes to what she reads, She loves realistic young adult fiction, creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks her on the first page.
I'm so sorry if I haven't been posting Misfit Booknerds.. I have been undergoing something this August, but thank you for being helpful too! I love you! Thanks!