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Almost Alice Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Alice, now in the end of her junior year in high school, navigates through her friend Pamela's pregnancy scare, a promotion at the school newspaper, and prom. On top of all this, she is considering getting back together with her ex-boyfriend and future prom date, Patrick. But first, she has to figure out her feelings about his overachieving personality, which tends to leave her on the back burner. The different issues and events that Alice goes through seem realistic and believable. However, her emotional reactions are harder to accept. In general, she seems to be more mature, selfless, and rational than most teens. Part of this is due to the fact that Naylor lays out events without getting too deeply into Alice's character in this addition to the series. Also, the forced dialogue tends to drag the book down. Loyal fans of the series will get the most out of this book as they will be more connected to Alice and her friends and anxious to see what happens to them.—Jessie Spalding, Queen Creek Branch Library, AZ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
has written more than one hundred books for young readers, including the Newbery Medal-winning Shiloh and its two sequels, and the phenomenally popular Alice books. Alice’s legions of fans will be delighted to know that Ms. Reynolds plans to see Alice and her friends through high school graduation. Ms. Reynolds lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with her husband, Rex. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about what’s in store for Alice and her friends, go to

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Product Details

  • Series: Alice (Book 20)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689870973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689870972
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I guess I've been writing for about as long as I can remember. Telling stories, anyway, if not writing them down. I had my first short story published when I was sixteen, and wrote stories to help put myself through college, planning to become a clinical psychologist. By the time I graduated with a BA degree, however, I decided that writing was really my first love, so I gave up plans for graduate school and began writing full time.

I'm not happy unless I spend some time writing every day. It's as though pressure builds up inside me, and writing even a little helps to release it. On a hard-writing day, I write about six hours. Tending to other writing business, answering mail, and just thinking about a book takes another four hours. I spend from three months to a year on a children's book, depending on how well I know the characters before I begin and how much research I need to do. A novel for adults, because it's longer, takes a year or more. When my work is going well, I wake early in the mornings, hoping it's time to get up. When the writing is hard and the words are flat, I'm not very pleasant to be around.

Getting an idea for a book is the easy part. Keeping other ideas away while I'm working on one story is what's difficult. My books are based on things that have happened to me, things I have heard or read about, all mixed up with imaginings. The best part about writing is the moment a character comes alive on paper, or when a place that existed only in my head becomes real. There are no bands playing at this moment, no audience applauding--a very solitary time, actually--but it's what I like most. I've now had more than 120 books published, and about 2000 short stories, articles and poems.

I live in Bethesda, Maryland, with my husband, Rex, a speech pathologist, who's the first person to read my manuscripts when they're finished. Our sons, Jeff and Michael, are grown now, but along with their wives and children, we often enjoy vacations together in the mountains or at the ocean. When I'm not writing, I like to hike, swim, play the piano and attend the theater.

I'm lucky to have my family, because they have contributed a great deal to my books. But I'm also lucky to have the troop of noisy, chattering characters who travel with me inside my head. As long as they are poking, prodding, demanding a place in a book, I have things to do and stories to tell.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Katie148 on June 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading the Alice series since I (and Alice) was twelve. I'm now 25 and Alice is just 16, but I still rush out to the bookstore as soon as a new book is released to find out what Alice and her friends and family are up to.

I liked this book, but I didn't love it. The first half to three-quarters of the story is a bit slow-moving. To me, it has the same problem that some of the other recent Alice releases have had - it reads like a recital of somewhat mundane everyday events that don't add much substance to the theme of the book or move any of the characters' storylines forward very much. I have found many (though not all) of the books released in the last several years lacking in the same humor, wit, and warmth that I enjoyed so much in the books about Alice's middle school years, and this book unfortunately did not recapture that magic for me.

The story does pick up near the end with a shocking event that had me reading as fast as I could and dying to see what would happen (I will refrain from giving away significant details here, but read on with caution if you don't want to know anything at all). While this portion of the book was very exciting, I ended up feeling a little let down by the resolution of this storyline. I felt the author took the easy way out by having a character's decision essentially made for her. I really would have liked to see that character have to deal with the situation more and have to figure things out for herself instead of having it wrapped up so quickly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I must say that I was terribly disappointed by this book. The Alice books have always been one of my favorite series. I love Naylor's witty writing and honest outlook. Although I think the series has been going downhill since Simply Alice (the last book of Alice's freshman year), I was willing to give this book a shot. However, Alice readers beware: the first three quarters of the book were even a bit tedious to get through, and it recalled a lot of conversations rather than being set in the present. I was impressed when Naylor introduced a believable predicament and subjected her character to the consequences, but was then infuriated when Naylor suddenly solved the problem in a completely unlikely way. And for those readers (like I) who were looking forward to the story of the prom with Alice and Patrick, that didn't live up to my expectations either... However, this book had its good points, and if you're a faithful Alice reader, you should probably read it. But you might end up more disappointed than you think.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on July 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I didn't grow up with these books, as I somehow missed them when they first came out, but I did discover them in library school. I read the first 20 books in about 3 months a couple of years ago, and I was completely hooked. The early books were funny, realistic, touching, and well-rounded with great characters. Naylor seemed to really have an ear for preteen and young teen dialog and situations. I was so impressed with the series that I quickly caught up with its publication and have spent the last 2 years eagerly awaiting the publication of the two newest titles.

Unfortunately, as with Dangerously Alice, and as other reviewers have said here, I was disappointed with Almost Alice. There was hardly any conflict at all (except for the last 50 pages, which, as others have mentioned, was tied up a bit too easily), and Naylor seems to have lost her ear and eye for teen situations. While the earlier Alice books were lively and believable, this one dragged and did not ring true. At all. I have a hard time imagining an entire high school of kids in 2008 becoming totally obsessed with the culture of Li'l Abner. It's almost as if Naylor is starting to actively tone down her edginess as Alice ages - when she should be doing the opposite. I also am irritated and mystified by the lack of interaction portrayed between Alice and her stepmother Sylvia. This seems like it should be the crux of the series at this point. But instead, Sylvia is relegated to a background character. And Alice's relationship with Lester, while always cute and heartfelt, felt silly and ridiculous here. What high school junior and her friends are going to decide it would be funny to decorate her own BROTHER'S car with love notes on Valentine's Day to take his mind off his studies? This isn't 1955.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Codding on April 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
(SPOILERS MENTIONED) I'm thirty years old and have loved Alice dearly since I was ten. Each early summer now brings a great sense of anticipation for the new Alice book. Every time the new one comes in the mail I sit down and read it all the way through. The past couple of years though, I put the book down when I'm finished and think, "that's it?"
So many of us have long awaited the Patrick and Alice reunion. What a flop. He asks her to the prom six months in advance, they hang out at the after prom, he gives her a smooch and reminds her again how he's leaving for college in a few weeks. BO-RING. Alice was quick to get physical with people like Tony and Sam, but Patrick, who she has known since she was 11, has barely made it past a chaste kiss.
How could Pamela be having sex and not even tell her two best friends? They've been upset with each other in the past for not telling every intimate detail, and now she's the first to go all the way and doesn't even mention it. Instead we throw in a suprise pregnancy that ends quite conveniently, all wrapped up in a nice little package.
I hate to see Alice always being such a goody goody. She never seems to have a snide thing to say. Even regarding Amy Sheldon, who has embarrassed her numerous times. Is anyone really that tolerant? The closest she ever came to sounding "real" in the past four-five books is trying to get back at Penny for stealing Patrick by not inviting Penny to her dad's wedding? Sheesh. The Alice I grew up with was a lot more opinionated.
One last thing.....where the heck is Lester?! I understand he's older and has moved out but we could do more than throw him a few token lines. He's been in college since the Agony of Alice, its time to move on!
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