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Alice, I Think

Alice, I Think

3.7 4
by Susan Juby

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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?


"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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alice, a misfit extraordinaire, has been home-schooled by her aging-hippie parents since early childhood; now 15, she enrolls at the local high school. "Alice's acerbic apercus will have readers roaring," PW said in a starred review. "Juby's dark wit virtually glitters on every page." Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Alice has lots of advice for parents. "Don't send your kids to school dressed like a character from a fantasy book unless that kid has a lot of friends who also dress like fantasy characters." When Alice showed up for first grade dressed as a Hobbit, "the little delusional in the gunnysack" suffered major peer rejection. Her tie-dyed hippie mom decided that home schooling and therapy were the next steps. After Alice's first counselor went crazy, the new one who she refers to as Death Lord Bob, convinces her to attend public high school. Anyone who has suffered through the trauma of the teen years may appreciate the results. Despite Alice's inability to interact with her peers, she does establish "Life Goals" and "Career Choices" that need constant revision. The book is filled with quirky characters and bizarre anecdotes. Some of the negativity becomes wearisome, but there are plenty of humorous scenes to keep the reader intrigued. 2003, HarperTempest/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 12 to 16.
—Laura Hummel
This novel is really a long comic monologue. If a comedian were in front of you telling these vignettes, you would be laughing. That's the effect Juby has with the written account—and it does feel like an oral narration somehow. Alice tells how it all started: when she was four she read The Hobbit with her father and decided she was a hobbit. But when she went to school for the first time, dressed as a hobbit (which her parents thought was really cute), she became an instant pariah with her classmates. So she is home schooled. And by the time she is an adolescent, she is really trying to understand herself and get some friends, even a boyfriend, maybe, and get on with her life. Here are some lines: "...going back to school, which is probably the third most hostile environment on Earth after the deep ocean and Everest." "I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a few New Agers going postal—gunning down everyone in their yoga center or whatever." It's absolutely impossible to summarize this plot. Let's just settle for some facts: it involves a really good haircut, which is transforming; it introduces a girl cousin named Frank who wears "a short, shiny red one-piece jumpsuit covered with blue and yellow stars, black-and-white-striped legwarmers, some kind of half-bald feather boa, and silver slippers" to go horseback riding; it involves a family outing to a fish show, where Alice's genius younger brother exhibits his amazing fish. This is just a small sampling of the outlandish family shenanigans, as seen through the eyes of Alice, who is an engaging combination of naiveté and cynicism. It may not be humor that appeals to absolutely everyone, but I believe most readers will be amused.KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, HarperCollins, Tempest, 292p.,
— Claire Rosser
Alice does not exactly fit in. On her first day of school, she dressed like a hobbit, and that was about the end of regular school for her. Her overprotective parents have homeschooled her since then, and through her diary-an assignment from her cute "Teens in Transition" counselor-readers learn about her Life Goals List, from "1. Decide on a unique and innovative career path. (To get helping professionals off my back.)" to "7. Develop a new look. (Like career choice, must reflect uniqueness.)" She starts off with a bang-Career: Cultural Critic. Look: Plaid stretch pants, orange muscle shirt, and green down vest from the thrift shop-but somewhere in her exaggerated enthusiasm to impress her counselor, Alice indicates that she would also like to go back to "regular" school. Nevertheless, Alice plows ahead with abandon and a kind of odd grace: "I don't think the whole properly applied makeup thing is going to work for me-I'll either apply it badly or not at all." She stumbles through a terrifying first boyfriend experience-"I think I love Aubrey. I know I love my hair. I may even be a girl. The rituals of humans are very odd."-and lands... somewhere. At least somewhere, she can say, "Well, actually, my life isn't really that bad at the moment." Over the top but oddly realistic, with a narrator who is wandering and unreliable yet strangely articulate, this novel is strictly for self-proclaimed weirdos, who ought to enjoy it immensely. PLB
— Nina Lindsay <%ISBN%>0060515430
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-It's inevitable that Susan Juby's Alice (HarperTempest, 2003) will be compared to the incomparable Georgia Nicholson of Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, but Alice of Smithers, British Columbia is more than able to stand on her own. Since arriving in first grade dressed as a hobbit, complete with furry burlap sack and furry toes on her shoes, Alice has been unable to face public schooling. Ten years have passed, and when she is forced to develop life goals by her new counselor, Death Lord Bob, one of her goals is to return to school. In the intervening decade, Alice has turned from a na ve hobbit-girl into a cynical, self-aware young person who desperately wants to be "alternative." As we follow her adventures through her journal entries, we come to know and love Alice and appreciate her struggles to find her own way. Angela Goethals' youthful voice is fitting for Alice's droll, self-effacing personality. As listeners warm to the story, Goethals' voice warms as well, creating a very memorable portrayal of an astute and funny young lady who will live long in the annals of young adult literature. Prospective listeners may be put off by the first grade Alice on the cover, but with a little encouragement, this audiobook should find many listeners simply by word-of-mouth.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Comedy rules in Juby’s satirical, laugh-out-loud debut about a wacky home-schooled teenager who decides to try public high school. When Alice was an imaginative little girl enamored of The Hobbit, her well-meaning but inept New Age parents allowed her to start school dressed in full Hobbit regalia, complete with a peaked green cap. Hostile rejection ensued, followed by years of incompetent home-schooling and fruitless therapy. Narrating in a diary format, the now 15-year-old Alice relates her sidesplitting struggles with her clueless parents, social acquaintances, and the various members of the helping professions. Juby wields a sharp pen and has a marvelous time skewering everything from makeup to multiple chemical sensitivity disorder. Although brimming with well-observed quirky characters and waspishly witty narration, some of the incidents are comic riffs only marginally connected to the story line. But the biggest complaint readers will likely have is the pain in their stomachs from laughing. Hilarious. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.01(d)
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

SUSAN JUBY is the author of the critically acclaimed Getting the Girl and Another Kind of Cowboy, as well as the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last) and her latest novel for adults, The Woefield Poultry Collective. After dropping out of fashion college and attaining a BA from the University of British Columbia, Susan went to work in the book industry. She holds a master’s degree in publishing. She currently lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, James, and their dog, who prefers to remain anonymous. Visit her online at susanjuby.com.

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Alice, I Think 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book is interesting and hilarious on occasion, most of the time it's just downright boring. Although Alice isn't your typical 15-year-old girl, she could be slightly more realistic. Reading this book is like speaking to a two-year-old: incomprehensible, but still cute. But don't waste your time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a young girl who is spoiled and overly protected by her parents. After being home schooled for a year Alice¿s parents put Alice into first grade. Alice convinced that she was a hobbit and encouraged by her parents, went to school dressed as a hobbit. Alice was quickly ridiculed by her appearance and was ostracized by her classmates, even when she dressed like a normal first grader would. She was ridiculed all because of a girl named Linda and her gang didn¿t like her. No one dared to mess with them. Alice¿s mother took her out of school after learning that rocks had been thrown at her daughter. She was then home schooled and later attended counseling. She is now eighteen and getting a new counselor. The last counselor had stormed off screaming at Alice. Alice feels obliged to help the new counselor Bob to be good at his job. She herself has her own problems to deal with. She has no boyfriend experience, nor friends, she doesn¿t have her own look, and she is getting overshadowed by her little brother. While helping her counselor she accidentally made Bob think that she wanted to go to school where she would need to fit in, get good grades, and face her old enemy from first grade. Last but not least Alice now needs a career path to follow. Can She do it? Read to find out. I didn¿t like the book too well but other people might like it better. I thought the book was boring with a few interesting parts. I have no relationship with the characters at all. Someone who thinks that their life is bad or if they think they are unusual might like this book. There are no other series in this book. It is just one of a kind book like it¿s characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time Alice did something typical to her, I cringed. This was not sympathetic cringing, this was 'stop acting like you're five' cringing. Her family may not have prepared her for real life, but there are some things you can figure out on your own. Also, her thoughts and actions seemed about on par with those of a five-year-old. Again, her family may not have prepared her well for real life, but humans do have a certain amount of natural intuition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice, I Think was a huge dissapointment for me. It was the first book I was going to read this summer so it just had to be good... I was wrong. The way Susan Juby structured the whole story makes it seem that there is something utterly wrong with Alice and that she has a lot of growing up to do but Alice never really grew throughout the story and frankly I didn't really think she had all that much growing to do. Besides that, most of the scenes were unrealistic and stupid in my opinion, but read it for youself. I wouldn't read it again I am sorry I ever did. On the bright side, I just completed Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, it was amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book, Alice is a girl who is very challenged in the social area. She does not have any friends, and 'grew up in one of those loving families that fail to prepare a person for real life'. Alice went to school one day in her life, and that was first grade. A girl named Linda made fun of her, and she never went back to a real school until 9th grade. During the time that she was homeschooled, Alice started going to counseling with Bob (Death Lord Bob) and he, as a psychiatrist, tried to help her with her problems. She made a page of 7 life goals. I really did not like this book, and stopped at the point when Alice tried to look up porn sites on her computer. I found this inappropriate for readers under the age of about 14. This book was not that good it was very boring and the funny parts were not really that funny. The main characters were Alice, her parents, her brother, and Death Lord Bob. Alice's parents are very overprotective of her, and at one point in the story, Alice's mom got into a fist-fight with Linda who started making fun of Alice 9 years after first grade. Alice's brother, MacGregor, who is a little younger than her, is the genius of the family. People who feel like they are worthless in the world would probably like this book best. However, this book was unlike any book I have ever read, so it is difficult to compare it to any.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Susan Juby¿s novel Alice, I Think was about a socially challenged teenage girl, Alice. Alice whines about her life in a diary style that is so repetitive that it becomes boring. Alice¿s pessimistic attitude lands her with Bob, a therapist. ¿I told Bob I don¿t have any goals for therapy because it was my parents¿ idea to help offset any problems related to my lack of peer interaction,¿ (Juby 13). Her whiney, static character becomes annoying as the book progresses. Alice is so concerned with being a non-conformist that she isn¿t her own person, ¿Why am I always liking things I¿m supposed to hate,¿ (Juby 260). All of Alice¿s problems started on her very first day of school, when a girl mocked her for believing she was a hobbit. Alice never outgrew her issues after about ten years, which shows how static her character is. Her reunion with that bully became violent, and caused great damage to Alice¿s face. However, Alice being her attention-seeking self tried to make her beaten face look worse. ¿By the end of today my bruises started to fade. I am pretty attached to them, so I snuck in the bathroom and doctored them up with some of my mom¿s makeup,¿ (Juby 137). Alice¿s low self-esteem causes her to push away people who¿re attempting to befriend her. For example, when she went on the community horseback ride and ignored the complements she was given. ¿After all, so far I am not a winner in any area of life,¿ (Juby 262). Personally, I didn¿t enjoy Juby¿s fictional diary style of writing. The personal narrative didn¿t express theme as well because the main character was so self-absorbed and static. It was certainly less enthralling than To Kill a Mockingbird, and how Scout narrated. Instead of learning life lessons, as Scout tried to do, Alice did the exact opposite. Despite that I found the book disappointing in the end, I recommend it for anyone who has felt outcasted by bullying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice, I Think was funny at some parts, but mostly I just didn't get it. Alice seemed so immature and whiny to the point where it got kind of annoying. I liked the homeschooled part because I myself am homeschooled and can relate to that. I would recommend this book to people 14 and older.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"Alice, I Think" is Susan Juby's first novel. It is also the start of her Alice series (not to be confused with Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series). Before going into the details of plot and why I love this book, I want to address some of the issues I saw in negative reviews by saying this: The book is fiction and it is in the vein of satire. Juby uses hyperbole, sarcasm, and caustic wit to create this story. That doesn't always create realistic situations or accurate portrayals of "real" people. But it does create a good novel. As long as readers go into this novel with what the film industry would call a willing suspension of disbelief, I genuinely believe most of them will be able to find something to like about this book. So, why am I saying all of that? Because Alice is awesome of course. Alice MacLeod, our intrepid Canadian hero, read "The Hobbit" when she was very young. This led to a strong desire to attend her first day of school as a hobbit which is well and good creatively, but doesn't work out so well in actuality. In fact it works out so badly, that Alice's non-conformist parents decide to pull her out of school and teach her themselves at home. Flash forward to the present. Alice is fifteen and talking her new therapist Death Lord Bob at the Teens in Transition (not trouble) center in town. In a misguided attempt to cheer Bob up, Alice finds herself agreeing to return to "normal" school among but one of many items placed on a "Life Goals List." As Alice leaves the shelter of her home, she embarks on a search for a new haircut, new clothes, a boyfriend and lots of other things. These hunts lead to hilarity of a high degree along with not a little bit of mayhem. In the end, Alice comes out maybe a little worse for wear but no less enthusiastic about checking items off of her list in the future. As Susan Juby suggests on her newly designed website, Alice shows that sometimes oddballs make the best characters. As I started reading, I was surprised that I liked "Alice, I Think" as much as I did. (Although I am not alone in my enthusiasm. The book inspired a Canadian TV series as well as the entire trilogy receiving heaps of praise and award nominations.) The novel is written in a diary style, which usually doesn't appeal. But Juby handles the style creatively, not letting it limit Alice's narration or how events are conveyed to the reader and, most importantly, Juby still includes lots of hilarious dialogue. Juby's characters are also amazingly handled. Yes, a lot of them might sound more like cartoons than true-to-life people. But that's okay. In a novel this funny, a lot of things have a cartoonish exuberance to them. Aside from that, the characters are endearing no matter how silly they might be. As Alice works through the issues inherent to starting at a new school and tries to find new friends, readers watch her simultaneously learn how better to engage with the world at large (a revolution that continues in this novel's two sequels "Miss Smithers" and "Alice MacLeod: Realist at Last"). Then there's the fact that it's literally a laugh out loud funny book. Definitely worth a look for anyone who wants a good, funny, entertaining novel.
VV31 More than 1 year ago
This novel,"Alice, I Think" was an interesting book. It was very funny at times. For example, when Alice dressed up as a Hobbit, and expected all the other 1st graders to be okay with this. Alice had a strange childhood. Her parents raised her to be creative and not to follow others. Most of the time she was home schooled. This didn't make it easy for Alice to attend high school. She was different and heard her own drummer. As a result, she couldn't handle or understand all the drama of high school. She had poor social skills, dressed strangley and only had one friend. The story is about how she changed into a more happy and normal girl. She became more secure about who she was and how to deal with others. This book was slow in places and at times just boring. However, I liked the message it delivered about transformation and being true to yourself. The humor helped too. Therefore, "Alice, I Think" is a worthwhile read for high school girls and young adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Man what a boring, slow, slow book. Good: The character Alice and her weird family. I think they're very funny and interesting. I'd love to have them as neighbors or something. Bad: Too slow and boring. I dreaded reading most of it cause it was so slow. But that's just me. I like action books. So I guess some teen girls would enjoy this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Witty and hilarious. Even though this book demanded your full attention majority of the time, it's definatly worth it! I recommend it, highly! Fantastic writing, and I had a great time reading it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book had its funny parts but got progressivley boring, the herione was not very likable and all she did was whine, she was pretty annoying. i found it hard to keep reading usually i finsh books in no more than four days the max, it took me a week to finish it, i only kept going to see if she would actually do something and grow up-i was sourly dissapointed, i urge you to not waste your time or money on this book, its really not worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice should of stayed at school and learned to stick up for yourself when she was young so it would stay with her and she could use it in her future life.But i think its funny the way she handles things.Me and her are way diffrent!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
...but not great. The first part was hilarious, especially as a homeschooler myself. I laughed so hard I cried at first. But then as the book progressed it grew duller and duller until I barely even smiled at it. For one thing, Alice needs some psychiatric help other than those loser teen mentors she goes to. She needs to ditch those seventies duds and get some real clothes from the GAP, stop being so desperate to get a guy you know where, and most importantly, stand up for herself! I was sick of reading it by halfway, but kept reading, expecting some sort of self acutualizing moment. But nothing except for an attempt to get a random guy to feel her up. I wasn't even dissapointed in the ending (which really wasn't much of an ending) because I was so relieved it was finally over. I would have given it two stars, but the homeschooling part was pretty funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok i really like most books and i just read them because i they r interesting and even if they arent i usually finish them anyway but i reallly didnt like this one it made no sense the girl was a wimp she never stuck up for herself the only reason i finshed reading it cus i wanted to see if the alice would actaully be original and fight back and there wasnt a very good plot dont get this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice, I Think was a wonderful book for teenagers and I believe that it is a true book of how todays teens have changed from what they used to be. A classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿A mother-daughter shopping trip shouldn¿t cause post-traumatic stress disorder, should it?¿ Alice MacLeod is a normal 15 year old girl...she just has an indifferent dad, and a hippie mom, and she has been home schooled for 10 years. It started in first grade, when Hobbit clad Alice was being teases by Linda, a bully. Alice was almost immediately taken out of school. Then, 10 years later, Alice gets a terrible haircut, and just when she doesn¿t need it, Linda comes out of nowhere to start poking and prodding at it. The whole thing turns into Alice¿s mother in a fist fight with Linda, while Alice is locked in the car. This book pretty much revolves around two things: the perfect haircut, and Alice¿s life goals list. Her therapist, Death Lord Bob wants her to make a list of the goals she has in life. One of them is to create a new style...and she does. With her 80s make up and 50s house dresses, Alice is sent into the world of high school. I absolutely LOVED this book. I was so mad when I closed it for the last time! Susan Juby did an awesome job of capturing the thoughts and emotions of a teenage girl. I didn¿t ever want to put it down! Not only is this book hilariously funny, but it is so real. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh. So, in short... Read it, and laugh! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a librarian, I would certainly recommend this book. The characters are endearing and the situations usually hilarious. The book is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. The author has 'teen angst' down pat, and enables us to really understand Alice and the other characters. My only complaint is that the book does not have an ending! As a reader I was hoping for a firm idea of Alice achieving her life goals in a satisfying way. We get a few hints that she may eventually realize that she is normal after all, but that's it. Because the book ends in the middle of an entry in Alice's journal, I was left with the feeling that the author simply ran out of things to say. Perhaps it means that we can antipate a sequel. If so, I look forward to it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't mean I did not buy the book I mean I did not understand it. It was original but I think that would be a bad thing for this book. It has no plot. She likes boys she doesn't even know. I mean she just met a guy at the end of the book and already they were making out. I wouldn't have read it if I had read past the first part in the library. The ending also didn't make me glad I read the book which just went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on like I just did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was good funny after you think about it enough and there was nothing to look forward to in the end at all :(
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. This book made me laugh until I cried. Deeply strange but totally worthwhile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Be suspicious of any librarian who recommends Stargirl over a new, inventive, original book like this one. Be especially suspicious of any librarian who feels the need to be the first to post unkind comments for a debut author. This delightful book is a must-read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book follows the journal entries of a canadian teenager, Alice, over the course of one summer. Alice is a 15 year old, social outcast and homeschool student. If that's not hard enough, her mother is a hippie, her brother is a genius, and her oddball dad sits around the house trying to make a living. Some parts of this book are entertaining. At one point Alice gets the worst haircut in the universe, something anyone can relate to. Then, Alice prepares to enter a normal school. In doing so, she attempts to find her fashion style at the thrift store and she receives an unwanted make-up lesson from her mother's friend. However, those bright spots in the book are buried beneath endless pages of plot-less journal entries. As I result, I found it difficult to stay interested in her character because there was no goal or outcome to expect, or predict. Maybe there doesn't have to be a plot...? Teens will be able to relate to Alice's antics and her dislike of her parents. Maybe someone else won't mind the lack of plot and will enjoy the aimless ramblings of Alice more than I did. At the end of the book she is still as aimless as she was when it started. If you are looking for an offbeat character other books might offer more substance.