Saturday, April 18, 2009

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby Review

Title: Alice, I Think
Author: Susan Juby
Pages: 290 (HB)
HB market price: $16.89
Publisher: HarperTempest
Rating: * * * */5

This book was really funny, but it wasn't what I expected. The characters were developed well, and the plot was really interesting. But a really important character, i.e. Alice's love interest, came in ten pages before this book was over. AND, we didn't even know his name! At least there's two other books in this series; Ms. Juby probably didn't want to wear this new character out.
By the way, this book is Canadian, so when you see references to America in third POV, don't be all, "krybcjsacdswhat?" Like I was. I had no clue where this girl was, sad I know! But it's British Columbia. Anyways, on to the reviewing!
On her first day of 1st grade, Alice went to school dressed as a hobbit, which for those of you who don't know, is that freaky elf-like creature that goes, "MY PRECIOUS!" in The Lord of the Rings. She did this because she had read The Hobbit (parent-assisted to the point of reading to her, obviously) months before, and due to the truth of what Alice said in her first diary entry ( "I grew up in one of those loving families that fail to prepare a person for real life..."), her hippie mom and dad only encouraged it. Her mom even made her a little hobbity outfit: a tunic-dress made of sackcloth with rope fringe, shoes made of sackcloth with little tufts of fake fur on them, and even a matching rope-and-cloth bag, plus a little green elfish hat. Having a hard time picturing it in all it's, er... glory? On the back of the book there's a little blond girl facing away from the camera, apparently little Alice the Hobbit.
Reading her diary and getting to know Alice is like watching a cartoon Tom and Jerry train wreck, in the way that it's funny, embarrassing, and no one gets hurt. Well, Alice does by Linda. A LOT. But that's not the point. She's just so adorably clueless. She wants to be like her cousin Frank (yep, Frank's a girl), who is very "alternative", and so she gets all these vintage clothes that I cringed at the thought of wearing. I'm all for vintage, but she was wearing red-and-white check stretch pants, things equally cringe-inducing. I don't know, maybe that's the style in Canada? Anyone up on what's hot/not up in Maple Country?
So, a little info on her family and the other characters. Her mom works at a New Age bookstore, and is a total hippie, which is good for a lot of hilarity. Her dad "works", if you can call it that, at writing romance novels that he never gets published. The most normal person in her family (besides her, at least, that's what she thinks) is her brother, Macgregor, who loves animals and actually goes to school at the local elementary.
The characters were original and quirky, well enough developed for it being only diary entries, and the plot was different, but I have to warn you that most will probably not like it. It's whiny a lot, the people and protagonist are embarrassingly weird. But geekologists like myself can appreciate this.
Well, that's it for today, y'all! Expect that Audrey, Wait! review soon, I just need to get over to the library and get it...


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