ALICE, I THINK
Susan Juby, , read by Angela Goethals. . Harper Children's Audio, $24 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-054340-2
Goethals does a superb turn as Alice, the alienated teen possessed of a biting sarcasm who stars in Juby's frequently hilarious novel. Providing the perfect air of intelligence tinged with teen angst, Goethals gives Alice's journal about her various travails an undercurrent of energy. Alice, who feels like a true misfit, has been home-schooled for years and will soon enter a public high school. Whether she's keenly critiquing her hippie mother's feminist friends (of the armpit-hair-growing, patchouli-wearing ilk), her father's slacker pals or her generally inept teachers and counselors, Alice offers a unique view of common teenage scenarios and complaints. She suffers at the hands of bullies, feels awkward around boys and longs to create a special "look" for herself, just like most kids her age. Her ever-present family is a source of love and comfort as well as embarrassment. But what makes this tale unusual is Alice's ability to see her everyday dramas in the context of a bigger picture of her life. Particularly entertaining are Goethals's spot-on mocking imitations of the overly caring or just plain daffy authority figures in Alice's life. Teens—and adults who remember their own teen years well—will find much to like here, including plenty of pop-culture references. Ages 12-up.
Reviewed on: 07/14/2003