It’s getting a lot of buzz for addressing the issue of slut shaming head on, but The Truth About Alice does much more than that. It juggles five perspectives with fluidity, humor and intelligence to give us a well rounded, introspective look at the lives of a group of teens in a small Texas town who are all embroiled in a sex scandal.
The story takes place in the sleepy town of Healy, Texas, and bursts open when rumors spread that Alice Franklin had sex with two guys on the same night. This stirs up a whirlwind of accusations and a bathroom stall denouncing Alice. Shortly after the Alice news, the attention of the town is over taken by a student’s death in a car accident. Brandon Fitzsimmons is the victim of the accident and is also one of the boys who rumored to have slept with Alice. Alice gets pulled into a conspiracy theory about the accident and things spiral out of control.
Not played for shock, the author discusses poignant teen issues such as abortion, drinking and rumors. Mathieu has an admirable talent in rotating between the multiple characters while propelling the story forward. It reads like a modern day Judy Blume title, think Are You There God It’s Me Margaret. This book can be described as a page-turner with simple enough language to engage a broad range of readers, yet a challenging enough philosophical heart to grab readers who prefer a multiple tiered reading experience.
Jennifer Mathieu is a debut author and with this incredible entrance into the YA writing community will no doubt be an author to watch. She is participating in an extensive tour this summer, The Fierce Reads tour, and is active on Twitter (@jenmathieu).