From Goodreads ~ First Daughter Audrey Rhodes is convinced that living in the White House is like being permanently grounded. Except with better security. What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with? After the Secret Service cancels the party she’d spent forever planning, Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless–until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary. Alice was a White House wild child, and her diary tells all about her outrageous turn-of-the-century exploits, like shocking State visitors with her pet snake and racking up speeding tickets in her runabout. Audrey starts asking herself: What Would Alice Do? The former First Daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun . . . and get her into more trouble than she can handle!
I loved this book. Really and truly. It was fun to read from the perspective of past Pre-Teen Katy, and it was also an easy story to relate to as Adult Katy. It’s a coming-of-age story, one that reminds readers that teenagers are not hopeless and adults (even Very Important Adults) aren’t perfect. It’s so much more than the lighthearted shenanigans-in-the-White-House story I was expecting.
When Audrey Met Alice is two stories in one. It switches back and forth between First Daughter Audrey Rhodes present-day narration and former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt’s century-old diary entries. Author Rebecca Behrens does an incredible job of bouncing between the two distinct voices: Audrey’s inquisitive, finding-her-place teen voice (she uses the term unbearably adorkable!), and Alice’s more formal (and snarkier!) almost-a-lady voice. Alice’s narration, in particular, leaps off the page — so much so that I had to constantly remind myself that I wasn’t *actually* reading excerpts from her long-lost diary.
There are so many interesting details about life in the White House (past and present) in When Audrey Met Alice. Thanks to security issues and appearances and the media, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that life as First Kid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Both Audrey and Alice exhibit feelings of uncertainty and annoyance, and both girls are faced with the pressures of growing up in the public eye and the frustrations of overprotective parents. Audrey and Alice both act out in ways that feel real and warranted, and often struck me as rather funny. I particularly love how Audrey turns to the diary when she feels exceptionally forlorn. The reverence she feels for untamable Alice is awesome. (As is the supersweet romantic subplot!)
Guys, this is a cool book. Unique in every way, and extraordinarily well-written. If you love upper middle-grade or know of a middle grader in need of fabulous reading material, please do pick up When Audrey Met Alice.
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