Author: Jennifer Mathieu

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Review: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

December 29, 2016 Diversity 1, Reviews 0 ★★★

Review: Afterward by Jennifer MathieuAfterward by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by Roaring Brook Press on September 20, 2016
Genres: YA, YA Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: print ARC from the publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.

Diversity Rating: 1 – Tokenism

Racial-Ethnic: 0
QUILTBAG: 0
Disability: 1 (Ethan has PTSD; Caroline’s brother Dylan is autistic, but the author cites poisonous org Autism Speaks)
Intersectionality: 0

Jennifer Mathieu can write some incredible novels. Both The Truth About Alice and Devoted occupy precious space on my bookshelf and the latter especially has stuck with me since I read it. Of course I was going to read Afterward! Sadly, I come away from the novel with mixed feelings and without the same kind of deep impression her previous works left. It’s still good, but it’s definitely not something I can recommend if you’re looking for good representation of autism for a number of reasons. Read more »

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Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

July 24, 2015 Diversity 0, Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review: Devoted by Jennifer MathieuDevoted by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by Roaring Brook Press on June 2, 2015
Genres: YA, YA Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: print ARC from the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.

Diversity Rating: 0 – What Diversity?

Racial-Ethnic: 0
QUILTBAG:
0
Disability:
1 (Rachel’s mom has postpartum depression)
Intersectionality:
0

Much to the misfortune of readers everywhere who are likely finding this novel in the midst of the Duggar sexual abuse revelations, Devoted was written and came out before any of that came to light. The thought of how many ways Jennifer Mathieu could have taken apart how these kinds of things are covered up in fundamentalist Christian and/or Quiverfull communities make me swoon a little. Alas, what’s done is done and there’s no going back to add more now. What Devoted gives us is the least biased, most thoughtful examination of Quiverfull culture and the lovely of one girl’s self-driven journey to leaving that community. Read more »

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Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

August 7, 2014 Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by Roaring Brook Press on June 3, 2014
Genres: YA, YA Contemporary
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source: Bought (Used Bookstore)
four-stars
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.

By sheer luck, no one has ever called me a slut to my face or where I could hear them, but I know I’ve been called one behind my back before. When you’re a girl like me and literally half the kids in your year ask if you stuff your bra because they’re unfortunately larger than any other girl’s breasts at that age, your answer will do nothing to change the image of you they’ve already formed in their minds. If they’ve decided you’re a slut, then that’s that unless something major makes them adjust it. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen. That’s exactly the message The Truth About Alice has and Mathieu condemns it with every word while giving readers a beautiful, important novel. Read more »

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