I am in awe of this book. I want to put it up on a pedestal and stare at it for hours. I want to buy a copy for everyone that I know, so that they can read it and love it as much as I do. I want to plaster this review and project it toward the heavens, so that every single bastard I don’t know can buy a copy for himself, his 2.5 kids, his two car garage, and maybe even his dog or cat. This book is that fucking good. It’s the best book I’ve read this year. No question. But will all of those people along with all of their brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and grandmas and grandpas feel the same way about THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE that I do. Probably not. And that makes me sad. Like my stomach has sunk to the floor, and I might not be able to pick it back up again sad. And it makes me sad that I probably won’t be able to convince enough people to buy this novel, because I won’t adequately be able to project my feelings over the course of this review and I feel like I need to take a writing course just so I can properly convey my true love for this novel.
And it does feel like true love. When I reached the end, the butterflies in my stomach were floating around, and I wanted to sing and dance, but I also wanted to stomp and shout and cry, because I had reached the end and this world was over and all the feelings I had felt and the wonderfulness that consumed me would have to be set aside as I moved on to the next book and entered an entirely different world. But it won’t be the same, and I know I won’t feel the same way about the next book that I feel about this one, and it’s not really even fair to compare the two, because this book knocked me on my butt and flipped me down the stairs.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE ought to be required reading at every high school across the country, and across other countries, too, like China and India and Pakistan. Because the problems in our high school—the popularity contests, the hazing, the nerds and geeks, queens and outcasts and sluts, and the jocks and the cheerleaders—aren’t just confined to our high schools. So…every single bastard in every single high school around the world ought to read this fucking novel. And if it doesn’t make you stop and think about yourself, whether it’s for a minute or an hour or even the rest of your life, you might just have a major malfunction in your line of coding.
I mean, just over the course of this novel, we have Elaine and Kelsie, Josh and Brandon, and a bunch of other bastards who just follow along with the crowd, because it’s the easy thing to do. Because it might affect their status or their well-being if they actually lent a hand to someone else for once in their miserable lives. Because they aren’t strong enough to say, “No, that’s not right.” Because let’s be honest, people can be real shitheels, and it’s always easier and more fun to poke a finger at someone else than take a good hard look at yourself. So instead of self-reflection, you’re going to take the easy way out (again) and blame the poor bastard that’s already been kicked in the teeth a time or two, because well, she probably deserved it anyway. But, hey, that’s life…and high school.
Frankly, I’m glad I was Kurt in high school. The one that people just virtually ignored, because if I have to step on everyone to make my way to the top, then frankly, I don’t want to be there. Because it’s not worth it.
But this novel was so worth it. Like totally. What it had—strong characters, true to high school individuals, realistic dialogue, reflection (past) and present, multiple viewpoints, shallow pools and emotional depth, plot triggers and passion, a condensed story where every word mattered, a small town feel and atmosphere, and a journey that truly kept me on the edge of my seat—in less than 210 pages.
If I were smarter, I would have read it in one sitting. But I’ve never claimed to know what the hell I’m doing. Luckily for me (and you) Jennifer Mathieu does, and I have a feeling she’ll be around for a very long time.
I received this book for free through NetGalley.