THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE may be a culturally defining book. The way that it mixes perspectives to bring awareness reminds me of Palacio’s WONDER (definitely not for the same age group) and the sordid awareness that came with THE SCARLET LETTER.
Two guys, one night: you have to ask yourself about your personal beliefs on this. For a small town, much like the one I grew up in, this is shocking. When the town’s star football player is one of those boys, whose life ends in a deadly crash, supposedly caused by the same “loose” girl, the town goes on the proverbial witch hunt. Not only are we asked what to accept as truth, but, more importantly, is anyone ever deserving of being ostracized?
There are some typical characters here: the best friend who betrays; the drunken jocks; and, the clique of popular girls. One character I was drawn to was that of the smart kid whose parents had died. I liked this kid because he saw through the muck of gossip. He saw through the ugliness, wanting to help a fellow human in their time of suffering. He is the symbol and example that should triumph within us all.
This book is paced well. The mix of perspectives and the calculated reveal of secrets worked well. Sure, many things could be predicted, but this is more about introspection and awareness. It kept my attention throughout, drawing me from page-to-page quickly and leaving my mind to ponder after the cover has been closed.
Thanks to Macmillan and Roaring Book Press for providing an electronic review copy of this book.