If you couldn’t tell by the obnoxious capitalized title, I ADORED this book. And now I want you to read it too. Yes, you! You must! Especially if you fall into one of the following categories:
- you are in high school or college
- you just passed out of high school or college and feel all the nostalgia
- you enjoy reading contemporary young adult books
- you like the movie Mean Girls (doesn’t everyone?)
In the words of Gretchen Weiner, this book is so fetch!
I will never stop trying to make fetch happen.
Instead of doing a typical review and talking about all the positives and negatives of this book in a paragraph form, I decided to list all the reasons why YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! You do, trust me.
- The unique concept – This story is about a girl named Alice who everyone in her school labels as a slut because she supposedly slept with two guys in one night at a party. One of the guys she slept with dies in a car crash because she was supposedly sexting him which distracted him. Seems like your average teen movie right? WRONG. It’s told in four different points of view, from students of varying social standing, none of them Alice, and gives four different accounts of what happened.
- Distinct character voices – Elaine is the popular bitch, Josh is a jock, Kurt is a nerd and Kelsey is Alice’s insecure ex best friend. We all know people like this, maybe we are people like this – every high school has them! Each of the characters has a very easily distinguishable tone of narration and it’s so interesting to read all of their perspectives on what happened with Alice and their respective relationships with Alice.
- Realistic portrayal of the high school rumor mill – Okay, so I’m sure your high school haven’t had rumors as crazy as this but you’ve definitely had some kind of rumors spread! Maybe about you or your friends or other people that you know. Rumors have a way of twisting themselves around and often becoming not just a glamorized version of the truth, but lies! This book shows how mean teenagers can sometimes be and the extent to which they’re going to go in order to be accepted.
- Relatable characters – This book is about labels and stereotypes and overcoming them. However, it also shows how much teens especially are willing to do just to be popular. It talks about how one can sometimes not be true to oneself just so that they can fit into a mold and be liked by people. I’m not going to lie, I’ve definitely said things about others that I don’t mean just to fit in so I did relate to those parts quite a bit. Though I never did things as extreme as some of these characters!
- Interesting characters – Right, so I just told you that this book is about four different characters – a popular girl, a jock, a nerd and a wannabe. In each chapter, we find out more and more about their respective relationships with Alice and exactly why they say things they say and why they do the things they do. There is so much more than what meets the eye with all of them and it’s a real lesson to never judge someone too quickly because they probably have a lot of stuff going on that they’re hiding.
I personally found Kelsey’s storyline to be the most real and the most interesting because she is one of the most insecure characters I have ever read but the way she explains things, I sort of understood where she was coming from and felt sorry for her despite the horrible things she did.
- Alice is not a saint – On reading the summary, my first thought was, “This poor girl is being victimized by the rumors for no reason. She must be avenged!” but on reading this book, my opinions changed. What happened at the party may or may not be true and it sucks that Alice had to live with everyone thinking she was the reason a boy died, BUT she was no saint. I feel like if this book was told in her point of view, this would be a story of sympathizing with a victim of bullying but because it’s told from everyone else’s perspective, we get an honest account of Alice’s past. I’m not saying she deserved the horrific treatment she got from everyone (everyone makes mistakes!), but I do sympathize with her a lot less than I would have if she was narrating.
- Character growth – By the end of the book, after hearing everyone’s side of the story, they all become very different from how they were in the start. They all realized that in one way or another, their behavior towards Alice was unfair and they, directly or indirectly, made her life miserable.
This book was published in 2014 so I am quite late on this bandwagon. It may just be that I am the only one who hadn’t read this yet but I haven’t seen a lot about it on the blogosphere so I wanted to give it the shout-out that it truly deserves. I encourage you all to pick this up sometime as it’s a fantastic read and if this 800 word post wasn’t enough, I’m also leaving the Goodreads summary here to convince you more!
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?
It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.