What exactly is the truth about Alice?

Roaring Book Press // June 3, 2014
hardcover, 208pgs
ISBN-13: 978-1596439092
source: egalley from the publisher

About the book:
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody.

Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

My thoughts:
I wanted to love this, I really did. It was good, but it certainly didn't blow me away like I'd hoped. This book has a lot of hype, and maybe that's what killed it a little for me.
I did truly enjoy the format, where each character told their side of things. It created Alice without giving her her own voice, which was neat. I liked how each character really let out their truths, even if they were nasty. It shows you how human nature and nurture / environment can work together or against each other.
The story is sad, and probably happens more often than we realize. This book made me struggle to relate to teenagers growing up now- technology is the enemy in high school and fortunately, I didn't have to deal with it in my high school years. It makes me sad for teens now, but it also gives me hope that if more teens read this, they'll realize that gossip spreads like a virus.
The message behind the book (in short, if you didn't see it happen, don't talk about it) is a positive one. It is a message that ALL people need to take to heart- not just teens. Words hurt and can do terrible things to a person. While he message was good, the delivery didn't make it seem as important. The book just kind of ended, and nothing was ever really discussed further. I would have liked to see this message have a bigger impact. I feel like the cover has a big impact - it can really lead to a greater discussion, especially when tied to some certain issues in the book.
I overall enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to YA fans and older teens, but I can't say that I fell in love with this one. It kind of just hit in the middle for me.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book cover image from Goodreads.com, synopsis from Amazon.com

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