Monday, June 05, 2006

Alice, I Think, by Susan Juby, 2003 *audio

Following an unfortunate misunderstanding over her Hobbit costume worn to first grade, Alice is home-schooled for ten years by her hippie mom and near-derelict, romance-novel-writing wannabe dad. She has a knack for forcing therapists at the Teens in Transition club into early retirement. She records in her diary her progress toward achieving her Life Goals, which include choosing a vocation ("cultural critic"), reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, achieving a new look, and having some boy-girl interaction. Her voice, her observations on the parade of nut-jobs that drift through her house and life, and her escapades are wry, dark, and hilarious. Considered as a book for young people, it feels like a romp without restraint through attempts at irresponsibility. A portion of the ending threw me out of the text -- out of character, I thought. Re: recommendations: If you're a grownup in the mood for an irreverent laugh at everyone, I recommend it. If you're in my youth Sunday School class, I absolutely do NOT recommend it. Otherwise, you're on your own. Enjoy.

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