From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–This 16th book in the series (not counting the three prequels) is as frank and candid as its precursors. Alice, now almost 16, has a new boyfriend, goes to New York with her school, and participates in a program at her church. At first, she bristles when her dad signs her up for "Our Whole Lives," but is won over by its open exploration of sex, commitment, and responsibility. Sam, attentive to a fault, tests Alice's feelings about intimacy. Her relationship is contrasted with that of Faith, whose boyfriend is abusive, and Pam, who has oral sex with a boy she doesn't know well and regrets her impulsiveness when they get back to school and he ignores her. Homosexuality and interracial dating are given brief and accepting mentions. Alice faces all challenges with her trademark mix of confusion and maturity. A subplot has her trying for her driver's license–it takes her a while to get it, but as with many other of her achievements, she works hard until she succeeds. Alice's fans will continue to enjoy this likable girl-next-door who wrestles with the pressures and pleasures of modern life and growing up.–Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
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Gr. 7-10. Alice, 15 going on 16, is furious when Dad signs her up for a class about sexuality at their church. As it turns out, the discussion is fun, and her friends want to hear all about it. Readers will, too, as the class covers everything from sexual myths and masturbation ("It's healthy, and it doesn't make you crazy") to condoms and the importance of mutual respect. Meanwhile, Alice has a new boyfriend (he's nice and sexy, but Alice wonders why she isn't in love with him); her friend gives a blow job to an older student; everybody has fun on a class trip to New York; and -Alice anticipates getting her driver's license and the freedom that comes with a car. After she fails the driving test, her buddies rally round her, and so does her family. As in her previous books about Alice, Naylor depicts her character confronting contemporary coming-of-age issues, big and small, with openness, humor, intimacy, and surprise. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved