Thursday, May 29, 2014

NERC Review #18: The Truth About Alice

*I received an eARC of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book had one of the most unique plots I've read in the past few years. I didn't know what to expect coming into this book, and I think that's the best thing I could have done. Without any expectations, I was more than surprised with how everything came about. And I really enjoyed it!

Rating: 4 "Crazy Good" Stars!

Like I said, the plot was totally unique. This book is told in 4 different POVs, with 4 completely different characters. We have the queen of the high school, the ex-best friend of Alice, the nerd, and the jock. They are all telling the story how they see–how they want to see it–and what they believe to be the truth. But it all connects. Every tidbit of information provides insight to the characters, their thoughts and feelings, and brings about the collection of the truth about Alice. It's a fascinating messed-up web of lies, power, betrayal, heartbreak, longing, secrets, and jealousy. There were some good moments thrown in, but this book wasn't really about those good moments. It was about what lengths teenagers will go to when trying to fit in, and the powerful reality of bullying.

I really like how this book was set up! I don't think I've read a book quite like this, where there are four narrators telling a story about someone else from their point of views. I also like how each of them had their own personalities. It didn't feel like this book was all about Alice. It was as much about the four of them as her; some more than others. I liked Elaine, even though she was a bitch. But she made no apologies for that. She was a little superficial and downright cruel, but she also had her moments of almost kindness. I hated Kelsie! She was the worst friend you could ever want, and all she wanted was popularity. It was all about her and what she wanted. Josh was a weak character; not in the way that he was written, but as a person. He let insecurities lead to lies that ruined a perfectly good person's life. He did it to compensate for his weakness. I really liked Kurt! He was the only one who was inherently good. He was nerdy and kind and just wanted to be honest with the girl he likes.

Even though Alice didn't have a POV until the end, I still felt like I knew her. The other characters told stories about her and them together, or just about her in general. Not always bad ones, either. But, as a reader who loves character development, it kind of sucked a little that it was hard to connect with her because she wasn't the voice of the story.

This book packs a pretty emotional punch. It explores the harsh reality of bullying and high school cliques. It sheds a light on what teenagers go through–their insecurities, and fears, and secrets. Their hopes and dreams. Their moments of doubt; moments of strength. It brings to mind that there's more to people than what they appear to be. It doesn't romanticize bullying; it just sheds a light on the harsh truth of it. That it sucks. That it's not fair. That it hurts. That it turns people into horrible human beings. That it can change your life.

The Truth About Alice was fast-paced, filled with a complicated web of secrets, lies, and insecurities. I really liked how the story was told and how everything kind of came together even though there were only four POVs. However, I felt cheated by that ending. I was expecting something more out of Alice's POV. I wish that part had been a bit longer. Still, this book was "crazy good" and I enjoyed every second of it! No joke; I devoured this book in one sitting!