Today’s Bookanista recommendation is
When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens (2/4/14)

From GoodreadsFirst 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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27 thoughts on “Bookanista Rec :: WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE

  1. jenmalone says:

    I really adored this book too- it’s honestly the best use of voice I’ve seen in a while and I loved the setting and the set-up. I agree with you on Alice’s voice- she was like Rose from Titanic meets Katherine Hepburn and I LOVED HER!

  2. Meredith McCardle says:

    YES. I am so excited for this book! I’ve been dying to read this one ever since it was announced on PM a while back.

  3. Rebecca B says:

    I’m breaking my own rule about responding to reviews to thank you for this, Katy! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for spreading the word!

  4. Jaime Morrow says:

    I will definitely be buying a copy for myself and one for our local library when this comes out. I’m so happy to hear it’s as good as I was expecting it would be. Yay, Rebecca! Thanks for the awesome review, Katy!

  5. Krispy says:

    Oh, that is so cool! I had no idea the book was set up in this parallel fashion. Thanks for the review because I’m definitely much more intrigued by this now. (And the cover is so cute!)

  6. Erin Funk says:

    This is exactly the kind of book I would have devoured as a 12 or 13 year old. And I’m sure I’ll love it now too. Looking forward to reading it! Lovely review!

    • katyupperman says:

      I would have loved it as a young teen too, Erin. Even though she’s First Daughter, Audrey is refreshingly normal and so easy to relate to. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  7. Stephanie Scott says:

    I remember hearing about this book last year and I think I stalked twitter until I found and followed the author. I love the premise. Love it! Looking forward to checking it out. LIke Erin said, my kind of book I’d have read as a pre-teeen.

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