✶ Summary ✶
The Truth About Alice is told from four points of view. It starts with the popular girl who threw the infamous party, Elaine. She tells the tale of Alice Franklin who is the school slut. Apparently, Alice slept with two guys within one hour at her party. And then one of those guys got into a car accident a few days later and died, all because Alice was sending sexy messages to him. The next person to give their point of view is Kelsie, Alice’s former best friend. She didn’t go to the party and, after Alice became an outcast at school, she stopped talking to her and became friends with Elaine. The next person is Josh, he was the best friend of the guy who died, Brandon. He was in the car with him and told Brandon’s mother about the texts. The fourth point of view is Kurt, Brandon’s neighbor and the nerdy, quiet guy at school. The book follows their junior year of high school as Alice gets more and more bullied. There are also flashbacks to the party, before the party, years before, etc. We learn Elaine was on and off again with Brandon and never forgave Alice for kissing him when they were in eighth grade. Elaine helped the spread of the rumors. We learn Alice did explore her sexuality in high school, which is what started the rumors. At one point in the past, when Kelsie and her were still friends, Alice made Kelsie feel bad for being a virgin, which led to Kelsie having unprotected sex with a college guy and getting pregnant. Her mother forces her to have an abortion, and they never tell anyone about it. Kelsie tells Elaine and her other friends that she saw Alice at the clinic where she must have gotten an abortion after sleeping with the guys at the party. It’s a lie, but it spread like wildfire. Kelsie also started the graffiti stall in the girl’s bathroom. It was all about Alice. She did this to stay friends with Elaine; it was all a lie. Kurt offers tutoring help to Alice because she doesn’t do well in math. They meet once or twice every week at her house. They start a friendship. He’s the only person that’ll talk to her, and she is the same to him. But throughout this book, the true story of Alice comes out. We learn from Kurt that Brandon didn’t actually sleep with Alice at the party. He lied because she turned him down. We learn from Josh that Brandon wasn’t receiving texts from Alice that distracted him and made him crash. He was driving drunk and trying to text her to actually hook up, and Josh took the phone from him. When Brandon tried to get his phone back, that’s when he crashed. It’s alluded that Josh has a secret crush on Brandon, one he may not even know himself. When Kurt tells Alice he knows Brandon lied about the party, at the end of the school year, she gets mad he kept it from her and stops talking to him. Alice and Kelsie end up talking in the bathroom one day, and Alice asks her why she did what she did. All Kelsie can do is admit she lied. Alice leaves her in the bathroom, and Kelsie goes into a stall and cries. Near the end of the book, Elaine runs into Alice at the hair salon. Elaine tries to make up to her. She tells her she can talk to her at lunch, knowing the rest of the school will fall in line behind her. Alice asks why she’s being nice to her, and she responds that they’re almost seniors and are too old for this. The book ends with a chapter from Alice’s point of view. She goes to Kurt’s house and apologizes to him. They’re okay again. The book ends with them holding hands, and Alice thinking about how Kurt is going places in life and she will too.
✶ Non-toxicity ✶
This book does a fantastic job showing slut-shaming and bullying and the effects it has on the victim. Alice used to be filled with life. She dressed nice and smiled and had a full life. After the rumors about the party and accident started, she was outcast from everyone. She only wore hoodies, always with the hood up. She didn’t talk to anyone anymore. She didn’t go to the cafeteria anymore. Her grades suffered. She never smiled. She had no one. It also showed how rumors affect the people who start them, a side that’s not often shown. Kelsie feels bad the whole book that she stopped being friends with her and started a new rumor about her. But she was so scared of not fitting in with people that she kept it up despite the guilt she felt. This book shows there are multiple sides to people. Brandon was the cool, popular guy but he had a sort of secret friendship with Kurt, the school loser. They’d sit on Brandon’s roof at night and talk about anything and everything. Brandon told Kurt he lied, a secret he wouldn’t tell anyone else. This book showed that there are two sides to every story, and the bully has troubles to deal with too. But it doesn’t excuse this behavior. And the bullies never outright say “I’m doing this because this happened to me” aside from Brandon’s confession to Kurt, which he even said he figured the rumor would blow over in a week and not be life changing. I found this book pretty realistic, more so than others at least. There was no big moment when the truth came out. No big, public reveal. Each person had a piece of the story and only the reader knew it. The book didn’t end with her suddenly normal again with friends. It ended with a possibility of things calming down, but, most importantly, it ended with her realizing this didn’t ruin her life. She can have a future after this.
✶ Quotes ✶