A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{April 14, 2011}   Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

Plot: Alice’s unique style and view on life has not endeared her to her peers. After a desastrous incident in first grade, her hippy parents decided to homeschool her. Unfortunately this has done little for her social skills. She has already caused one counselor to have a meltdown. Hoping to aid the new counselor’s self-esteem, 15-year-old Alice decides to set some life goals such as interacting with people outside her family (possibly even boys), getting a part-time job, becoming a cultural critic and going back to school. But none of it turns out quite the way she plans it.

Alice has a very unique narrative voice and her twisted world view is good for a chuckle though it is only occasionally as laugh-out-loud funny as the cover proclaims (I do love how she feels that she’s helping out her counselor – Death Lord Bob – rather than the other way around). Alice isn’t exactly likable: she’s a strange, critical girl who has an opinion about everything whether she knows anything about the subject or not. I’d be bothered by her repeated ridicule of spiritual women and goddesses worshippers if it wasn’t clear that she looked down on everyone except her little brother. And while I’m on the topic, Alice’s ten-year-old brother MacGregor (yes, the poor kid’s name is MacGregor MacLeod) is my favorite character. He’s just so preccocious and sweet…. and his award-winning fish are crazy canibals.

This is an amusing little book but I prefered Another Kind of Cowboy and Getting the Girl. I might eventually read the other books in the series, if only to find out more about the awkwardly charming “Gooseboy” who appears towards the end of the novel.

They made a 13-episode tv series based on the book. I haven’t seen it but if any one did, I’m curious as to how it turned out.

Challenges: Canadian Ya Challenge (6), The Into the Old World Challenge (20)


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