Note: This review contains spoilers from The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
I’m doing it, I’m actually doing it. And by ‘it’ I mean writing a review for the first time in almost two months. Mainly because I just went through a period where it took me almost a month to read the last 100 pages of a different book. Why? Because life. Because uni work. Because graduation in like 4 months! Sorry, this post is not actually an existential crisis, it’s a review of The Truth About Alice which I picked up after really enjoying Moxie by the same author, Jennifer Mathieu. And what can I say about it? Turns out one of the only words coming to my mushy mind is…meh.
First off, I would like to point out that I really appreciate the stories this novel is trying to tell. Like Moxie, it deals with really topical, current issues like rumours, gossip, bullying, slut shaming, girl on girl hate and all that nasty stuff. Saying that I’m not that fussed with the novel itself, which means this review is going to be a pretty negative one. With that warning in mind, I think I should probably dive into it with no more rambling!
I have seen a couple of negative reviews about this book and interestingly one of the things those reviews agreed on was that they pretty much hated every character except Kurt. Confession, I’m not a huge Kurt fan. I understand that he goes from being besotted with this Alice that he has made up in his head to actually liking her for the person she actually is (it kind of reminded me of Mathew Gray Gubler’s character in the film 500 Days of Summer where he says that his girlfriend is better than his dream girl because she is real…have you guys seen that film? Did you like it? Sorry, off topic!), but, the first few times we hear from Kurt he’s literally just talking about different parts of Alice’s body and how distracted he is by her body and to be honest I just found those impressions a little hard to shake throughout the novel. I also get the impression from the end of the novel that we were meant to root for Kurt and I was just not that bothered by him?
The other characters were slightly different because they were all terrible but I’m pretty sure that they were meant to be terrible. They did horrible things, they passed the buck and refused to take responsibility for their own actions, normally hoisting the blame onto Alice because she was an easy target. Even so, the selfishness of these characters meant I didn’t really enjoy the novel because I was just frustrated at their actions throughout. This might have been the point but the same things kept cropping up so it just became frustrating and boring. Kelsie pointed out a million times that she was upset about Alice calling her a virgin and it just seemed to be going round and round in circles.
Repetitiveness also popped up in another way in the novel in that I felt like I heard about the same events loads of times and not always from very different perspectives. I really love the concept of this novel, where we have pretty much everyone except Alice (until the end but we’ll come to that in a minute) talking about Alice’s actions and what Alice did, but it got a little tedious hearing the same thing about five times without anything new being added to it.
Speaking of Alice, from near the beginning of the novel I expected her to get at least a chapter at the end from her perspective but when it did come I was kind of disappointed. I was expecting to maybe hear what had happened at Elaine’s party from her POV, how she had felt about the bullying and the rumours and everything. So I was a little surprised when we finally got Alice’s POV and she was pretty much talking about Kurt throughout the whole of the chapter and how great he was (and we already know how I feel about Kurt!). I think with this in mind I would have preferred to either have chapters from Alice throughout the novel, because at times I did find Alice hard to connect with and it would have been interesting to hear her thoughts on why she didn’t deny what Brandon claimed happened at the party or what Josh said about her texting him (speaking of Josh, there was this whole undercurrent of him potentially being gay and having feelings for Brandon but that was never taken anywhere and he just turned out to be another awful person who used Alice?). Or, I would have preferred not to hear from Alice at all because I think that would have enhanced the message of the novel, if all we ever knew about Alice was information that everyone else was feeding us.
One thing I will point out about this novel is that I went in with high expectations because the premise sounded interesting and, like I mentioned already, I really enjoyed Moxie, so that was probably one of the reasons I was so disappointed by this book.
So there we have it, a rather rambly review of The Truth About Alice. Have you read this novel and what did you think of it? Do we have similar views or do you feel completely differently?
As always happy reading!
Just a quick note, I mention it a lot and already brought it up in this post but I am coming into the homestretch of my undergrad degree now so I’ll probably be blogging and blog hopping .etc. pretty irregularly and inconsistently over the next few weeks so if I miss posts or don’t answer comments right away or disappear off the face of the earth for a while that’s what’s happened!