- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publication date: 6/3/2014
- Source: ARC Provided by the publisher for review
Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.
Everyone has fallen for the rumors spread about someone at one point in time. This book is a perfect example of that. It's easy to believe something about someone, and then let it all get out of hand. The pressure of High School and popularity are hard things. When faced with going along with everyone else, or believing in the person rumors are flying about, it's a tough choice for some people. As an adult, I would love to think that people should have their own minds and not judge, but I admit, I fell for the same types of rumors when I was in school at one time or another. Not for popularity reasons, but because if everyone is saying something is true, it's hard not to believe it. This is told from outside perspectives, and it was fabulous!!
This book starts off from Elaine's POV who is miss popularity. She tells us about how Alice is a slut and what she did at her party. How it's her fault that the most popular boy in school (and her on\off boyfriend) is dead. We learn bit by bit about their past, the party, and the events that occur after and through the school year. Elaine was hard to like, and I don't think we are supposed to. By the end of the book, I did understand her more though. I didn't hate her, and I thought that she grew up a lot.
We also hear from Josh, who was Brandon's best friend. He tells us about how awesome they were, how chicks loved Brandon, and how he misses Brandon more than anything. We hear about things they have been through, how tough things were after the accident, which he was in too, and what really happened that night.
Kelsie was Alice's best friend until after all the stuff happened. To Kelsie, being popular is more important. She doesn't stick by Alice's side like a real best friend would. She lets a stupid thing from their past seethe into hurt and anger to the point where she is willing to spread a lie about Alice to fit in with the "cool girls". She knows that it's wrong, but she doesn't want to be the girl she used to be. She has also been through something horrible, but she never shared it with anyone, and she lets that hurt and pain rule over her. Alice is the easy way to direct the things wrong in her life.
Kurt was one of my favorite POV's. He is shy and doesn't have friends, but he is okay with it. He doesn't care to fit in. He's super smart, and a really great guy, but not great socially. He has always liked Alice. He just knew she wouldn't have given him the time of day. But yet, she had actually acknowledged him even when she was popular, even if it was just using him for help. He sees more in her than anyone else does, and he is her rock through the school year. While she is totally an outcast, and being treated horribly by everyone, he tutors her, and is also a friend. He is keeping something from her, but he has really good intentions.
Alice is the root of the story. Even though we don't hear from her except one instance, we get to know her through all of the others. We hear about her friendships, how she acted, how she is now. My heart broke for this girl. Even though she seems to shut herself off, she is so strong. It had to be hard to deal with everything put on her. She is still a bit selfish and a bit of a jerk at times, but I really loved getting to know her. She is a broken shell of a girl who doesn't let the world tear her down.
This is such a great book that really does cover so much of the behaviors that happen in school when you are teenagers. It's very honest and at times painful to read. I think that being told from four outside perspectives was a fantastic idea and made it such a well rounded story. So many times, I feel like I am missing something. This book leaves me feeling like I got the whole story. Or most of it anyways. We don't hear Alice's recount of the past year, but it doesn't really seem to matter in the end. We get so much from the others around her. I recommend this book to all teenagers, as well as adults. It was amazing.
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.