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Alice, I Think Hardcover – June 3, 2003

63 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Alice MacLeod Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Ever since Alice arrived at first grade dressed as a hobbit and endured a week of increasingly violent peer rejection, she has been home schooled by her hippie mom and indifferent dad, leaving her with what her therapist calls "a shocking poverty of age-appropriate real-life experience." Now Alice’s inept new therapist, Death Lord Bob, has cornered her into agreeing to go to the public high school. Actually, this fits right in with Alice’s career aspirations to become a cultural critic, and her eighties style statement would be working out pretty much all right (especially after she gets a great haircut somewhat by accident) if it weren’t for her old nemesis Linda, now grown seriously homicidal, and her two head banger henchmen. Alice’s sensible observations are a rich source of humor in this very funny first novel, as she tries to get her life together in spite of the peculiar aberrations of the "normal" teen and adult population of Smithers, a small ingrown town in British Columbia where entertainment opportunities are limited to excuse-to-drink events like the Northern Saddle Sores’ Family Trail Ride. Her mother is the kind of tie-dye clad woman who holds a sage-burning ceremony for safety before starting out on a back-to-school shopping trip, and her friends include bookstore owner Corinne, who is allergic to books. Her romance-writing father’s poker cronies are equally colorful: gay but style-challenged Finn and taxi-owning Marcus, who has a succession of twenty-years-younger girlfriends who need a ride. When Alice’s sullen girl cousin Frank arrives, a parents’ nightmare with her bizarre outfits and stuffed-animal backpack filled with bottles and baggies, Alice observes the resulting hullabaloo with amused satisfaction, and after a hilarious, precarious car trip to a Fish Show and Drum Workshop, she finds herself well on the way to acquiring a friend and a boyfriend. Older teens will enjoy the story and the many descriptions of wacky clothes if they can get past the misguided cover, a picture of five-year-old Alice's chubby hobbit-clad legs. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060515430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060515430
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,343,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shi-chan on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anyone who wasn't satisfied with Alice, I Think should re-read it. I found it quite...odd at first, and would have given it 2 or 3 stars after the first read. However, after re-reading it twice, and reading its sequel, Miss Smithers, I enjoyed it far more. I think it is a book that you need to get used to. The author's style is really something that's an acquired taste.
However, I think that whoever thought the mention of Internet porn was awful...all I have to say is welcome to reality. I am a teenager, and my friend who is younger than I am has read this book without issue. I have seen much worse things in books, and it's simply ridiculous that it wouldn't be appropriate for 16 year olds. (Besides, it WASN'T in great detail!) And anyway, it's a _journal_. I'm aware Alice is fictional, but if that happened, you know, it happened. I keep a journal myself, and I'm sure it's extremely boring at times. I mean, please. This is hardly the height of inappropriate literature. I think this is a grossly misguided idea.
Anyway, sorry for snarkiness. This was a pretty good book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bellerose on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a homeschooled teenager who will be going back to school next year so I am in somewhat the same situation as Alice though my family is not as disfunctional...I thought the book really showed a witty but VERY overly dramatized version of "the adventures of unsocialized teen trying to find her 'style'" and it was sort of a "what NOT to do" manual for anyone who's not in the 'cool' crowd. "Alice, I think" really made me laugh and was a refreshing light read. I think anyone who thinks they've got it bad socially should read this and will come out thinking "well, life's not so bad, at least people don't think I'm as weird as Alice..."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Gee on August 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Alice, I think, tells the story of a home schooled sociopath teenager, Alice, who grows up amidst a family of bizarre-ites. A brother whose passion in life is breeding fish, an intense hippie mother and a mellow romance-novel-writing father.
I have no knowledge of or experience with home schooled children and teens but I know that this is considered offensive to them. I imagine that they simply have parents who would rather shield them from the harsh reality of the violent, depressing world around us. I am jealous of them; I mean they end up as smart without dealing with all the trouble of high and middle school.
I honestly despised Alice and her personality in all aspects. The book completely lacked a plot and plotline. Her boyfriend that she picked up was a sickening character. There was no rising action, climax, or falling action. It was honestly one long line of a book.
Nevertheless I didn't put the book down from beginning to end... I kept expecting something to happen but I was completely disappointed, and, at the end, I was angry at myself for wasting two and a half hours of my life.
Still, it was some form of entertainment and I would recommend it to those of you who are sick of the typical teenager book that tells the strory of girls who end up happy ever after with perfect friends and boyfriends which completely deviate from the truth of teenagerhood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book, although mildly humorous in a sarcastic way at times, is pretty bland. Being a slightly negative and sarcastic person myself, I am not against blunt people who "tell it like it is." However, Alice is too over the top in her negativity. When i finish a book, I like to get something more out of it than just "oh, here's a story about a naive and condescending girl who is constantly surrounded by hippy-idiots and everything about her life sucks." I like books with a slightly deeper meaning. I know that sounds corny, but it's true. Another thing that I didn't like about this book is how unfairly it portrays hippies. Come on, not all feminists who eat organic food and do spiritual stuff like yoga are that stupid and idiotic. Alice is a bit hard on her mother. I mean, her mother actually doesn't seem that bad, just a little wierd at times. Anyway, this is an OK book but it really isn't that great.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 13, 2004
Format: Library Binding
I greatly enjoyed Susan Juby's debut novel "Alice, I Think". I did not put it down from start to finish. Having been home schooled myself by a relatable "hippie" mother for a short period during my elementary years; I found many of the issues to be whole and humorous truths. The plot line was not exactly firm, but as Juby was aiming to portray the diaried life of a teenage girl, we cannot entirely expect her to provide one. The form in which Alice scribed her life was hilarious; the dry humor could be lost on some. The characters were eclectic, and provided much spice to the story. I enjoyed Alice's attempts to become "alternative", trying the replicate her cousin franks hair cut (with disastrous-and then fufilling- consequences), "thrifting", and trying hard to become immune to pop culture, while inadvertently submitting herself to the worst form.
All in all, this was a well-rounded read, with laughs, life lessons, and much more. It is to be avoided if you lack the talent to pick up on dry humor, subtle sarcasm, and a strong sense of reading between the lines for humor not plainly stated. The book is a plain farce, and should be taken as so.
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