Format: eARC

Review: The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Posted May 23, 2018 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Review: The Truth about Alice by Jennifer MathieuTitle: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (Hachette Children's Group)
Publication Date: March 8, 2018
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
four-half-stars

From the author of Zoella Book Club book MOXIE comes a startling book about stereotypes, slut shaming and the battle for popularity.

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.

Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the 'slut stall' in the girls' bathroom at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students - the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex 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.

'Should be required reading for anyone in high school' Bustle

Review: I loved Jennifer Mathieu’s UK debut, Moxie, last year so was pleased to see her debut novel, The Truth About Alice being published in the UK. Alice has a lot of rumours circulating about her; starting with how she slept with two guys at a party and send suggestive texts to one of them while he drove leading to a fatal car accident.

What was really interesting about this book was in spite of the title, we don’t hear from Alice until the very end. Instead the story is mostly told by third parties; classmates, acquaintances, the car crash survivor. I thought this worked effectively as the story progressed and we not learnt more about Alice and the people telling the story. There were several characters whose stories became more central to this but in a traditional third perspective narrative this may have been less obvious or more easily lost, or worse still become didactic.

Throughout the book, the reader begins to question the narrative they are being presented with and what they are being told about Alice. Cleverly Mathieu ends up actually developing and learning about Alice through the lies in the same way as if this was meant to be a more traditional narrative. The entire book is about challenging the narrative and challenging preconceptions about people. We’ve all potentially judged someone unfairly and perhaps even contributed to that insidious side of society that shames women for any sign of sensuality or sexuality, or conversely the purported lack of it. Navigating this and simultaneously finding and hopefully claiming your own identity is a central part of many teenage girls and young women’s experiences.

The Truth About Alice shows the way a single rumour spirals until it is out of control. It also shows the way people can cruelly catch on to this sort of bullying and make it snowball further.

Mathieu writes contemporary YA really well and explores feminism and the challenges of being a teenage girl really authentically. I look forward to seeing what Mathieu writes next.

four-half-stars

Review: Final 7 by Kerry Drewery

Review: Final 7 by Kerry Drewery

Review: When I first started Cell 7 I wasn’t sure what to expect but quickly realised I was reading something quite intriguing. As the series has developed, I’ve been drawn into the world Drewery has created and was intrigued to see how it would all be closed. There was a slight concern to me that as it feels a little dystopian in the real world right now at times, reading a dystopian book which I naturally expected would in some way be inspired and influenced by what is happening around us could be difficult and potentially change how I read the book and affect my ability to be drawn in or invest in it. There’s nothing worse than something feeling added in and trite. However, while there are a few references to walls (which let’s be honest have been used […]

Posted January 17, 2018 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Mini Reviews #7: Some UKYA to start off 2018

Mini Reviews #7: Some UKYA to start off 2018

Review: Flick’s family own one of the most prestigious hotels in London, though Flick is more interested in celebrities and celebrity clients than the hotel itself. Flick felt realistic as a character; surrounded by beautiful history and significance but not seeing this at first. In fact, at first she is unknowingly jeopardising some of this, e.g. the selfie stick saga. What I loved in the book was how as it developed, she began to see and understand more about the hotel and how much work was involved in keeping its reputation. I also loved her friendship with Olly and how much she grew as the book progressed. Overall, I really enjoyed this book; it was fun, funny and sweet. Birchall writes with genuine humour and her characters felt genuine. This book also has a fair bit of series potential and I would […]

Posted January 3, 2018 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 3 Comments
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Review: S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

Review: S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

Review: Greer McDonald is not finding her new school easy. St Aidan The Great boarding school is one of the oldest and most exclusive schools in the country and as a scholarship student she’s struggled to fit into the privileged, elite world it presents. Then an invitation arrives to spend part of half-term with the most influential, important group in S.T.A.G.S,  the Medievals, and Greer thinks things are looking up. The story however begins with Greer looking back on what led to that weekend and calling herself a murderer. I didn’t quite know what to expect going into this book and I wasn’t sure if the book would 100% be for me. That said, I love the boarding school setting (I have ever since I was young and read Enid Blyton books which completely romanticised it – I’m sure I’m […]

Posted November 8, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various

Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various

Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a UKYA Christmas anthology by Stripes (Little Tiger) around the theme of home. £1 from each book sale is also donated to Crisis, the charity for homelessness. Notable UKYA writers such as Juno Dawson, Lisa Williamson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Marcus Sedgewick all contributed stories and a competition was held for an unpublished UKYA voice. Tracey Danton won this with her poignant short story, The Letter. I was very keen to read this anthology due to the themes and the fact that there aren’t many UK based YA anthologies and this is something I’d like to see more of as the community has some fantastic authors, many of whom don’t get the acclaim they may warrant. Short stories are also a fantastic way to sample an author and see if their style works for you. There are fourteen […]

Posted January 30, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo drew me in from the concept and I had a strong feeling this would be a great read for me.  Karen David tells the story of Jake,  a teenage actor who used to be on a popular soap, until it got cancelled.  Now he’s setting the story straight over events before the cancellation via a vlog. I liked the format of the novel being told through vlog transcripts and comments.  Keren David utilises a quite restrictive narrative device to great effect. Even in the comments there are small subplots and stories that really add to the book. I devoured Cuckoo and didn’t want to put it down. Jake really came off the page and I felt for his problems. I hadn’t personally seen explored in YA before in this way but Karen David looks at teenage homelessness without judgement. On the surface, Jake is not a character […]

Posted August 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicole Doherty

Review: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicole Doherty

Review: I have always had a soft spot for contemporary YA. It’s probably one of my favourite genres and it’s always been one of my default writing loves as well. While some people may feel the US have the edge on contemporary YA, I think YA based in the UK and Ireland has so much to offer and is seriously underrated.  When I read the summary for Love and Other Man-Made Disasters on Netgalley, I had to read it. The ski resort setting also reminded me a little of the film Chalet Girl which I secretly loved. Juno is a slightly anxious teenager who worries a lot. Now Juno is being forced to go on a skiing holiday with her mum and her mum’s new husband and his twin boys. This is a great, easy to read, enjoyable summer read (despite the chilliness of skiing) and I […]

Posted July 11, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Mini Reviews #6: It’s Thriller Time

Mini Reviews #6: It’s Thriller Time

Review: I’m always intrigued by cults and new religious movements so The Special Ones definitely appealed to me when I saw it on Netgalley and sounded like a slightly different YA thriller. The Special Ones is told through Esther’s perspective. Esther is one the four ‘Special Ones’ who live in an isolated house away from the modern world after He has chosen them. Each of them has a skill, expectations and are expected to promote their lives through online chats to their followers. On renewal day, He chooses one of them to be replaced and the cycle continues. Until something happens and things begin to change. I think it’s best not to delve too deeply into the plot intricacies as I don’t want to spoil it. However, what really makes this book work is Esther. Her character comes through well and carries the […]

Posted July 4, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I adored Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, and while I liked What I Thought Was True it didn’t quite grab me in the same way, so I was really looking forward to the chance to return to the Garrett family and Tim. My Life Next Door did a wonderful job in introducing a wide range of characters I felt deeply invested in. I really cared about the Garrett family, who felt realistic to me, I rooted for Sam and loved her development throughout the book. There were subplots and characters I cared about, like Nan and Tim. The Boy Most Likely To is definitely not My Life Next Door. It’s a little darker and moodier, not a ‘typical’ contemporary romance novel and this worked for me and felt right for her characters.. For me, The Boy Most Like To was more ‘Tim’s’ […]

Posted June 8, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. From the moment I read about it in the Bookseller, to hearing the enthusiasm from Hot Key Books at their 2015 blogger brunch, I knew this would be a book I couldn’t wait for. It has taken me a little time to review it however do not think this is because it’s not met my expectations or I didn’t enjoy it. I did. Jo Montford wants to be a writer, however that isn’t what her family or society expect from her. Everything changes when her father is found dead after supposedly accidentally shooting himself. However, Jo knows her father wouldn’t clean a loaded gun so tries to uncover the truth behind his death and is later joined by keen reporter, Eddie. These Shallow Graves is a brilliant historical […]

Posted March 30, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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