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"I grew up in one of those loving families that fails to prepare a person for real life..."
A few weeks into first grade Alice's parents took her out of school and have taught her at home ever since. Now she's about to enter high school, with the stated goal of boosting the self-esteem of her counselor, Death Lord Bob. Bob is happy now. But what about Alice?
Will she be able to interact with people her own age who are not home-based learners? Will she be able to survive some sort of boy-girl interaction? Or is this best left until after high school? Until middle age? What about a unique and innovative career path? A new look? (This must, like career choice, reflect uniqueness.)
Alice, I Think is the story of a teenager attempting to survive her parents, her hometown, and her reentry into society. Told through keenly observant, satirical journal entries, Susan Juby's first novel is wise, witty, and utterly original.
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2001 Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award Shortlist: Fifteen years old and nursing a "serious case of outcastitis," Alice MacLeod is having a hard time finding anything much to like in small town Smithers, British Columbia. Her mom's a folk-festival hippie chick with a hair-trigger temper, her dad's a mild and reasonable sort of loser who hides out in the basement trying to write soft-core romance novels, and her last school counselor threw a teary fit in the middle of a session and left the profession entirely. She'd love to "get past what my father calls my 'knee-jerk dislike of just about anything,'" but she's not sure that there's anything out there that's worth it.
Alice, I Think, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award, collects a summer's worth of Alice's journals. The journals are filled with eye-rolling protests at the embarrassments and stupidities she finds herself surrounded with: her mother's drumming-circle friends, the therapeutic jargon her counselors use, the "total rip-off" that the Sea Monkeys offers in the back of comic books turn out to be. But Alice's sharp bark doesn't do much to conceal her lack of a bite. It's her mom, after all, not Alice, who gets into a fistfight with Linda, the town's feathered-hair teen thug, while Alice sits cringing in the family car. In fact, Alice has a sweet side, which she makes all the more endearing by getting all squirmy and ashamed whenever she reveals it. As a novel, her story meanders, in the way that journals will, and the jokes are often aimed at easy marks, but Alice's fierce ungainliness, and her unwillingness to surrender it to make her life any easier, make her struggles appealing. --Tom NissleyAbout the Author:
Susan Juby is the bestselling author of the internationally popular Alice books, which were made into a television series, and the highly praised Getting the Girl, named a Best YA Book by Kirkus Reviews. Juby lives with her husband, a horse and a dog on Vancouver Island. Visit her online and read her blog at www.susanjuby.com.
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