Monday, November 30, 2009

A Slightly Different Alice

Intensely Alice Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

I've talked before about my love/hate relationship with Alice McKinley. On the one hand, Alice is one of the most real characters in YA lit. On the other, her voice is no where near real and each book is an after school special. It's a really weird mix.

And the latest installment is no exception. I won't say what the After School Special is, because, like in most of the books, it happens at the end. They all tend to follow this formula: life-life-minor conflict-life-minor conflict-life-life-minor conflict-life-life-BAM! MAJOR WTF EVENT!

It's the summer before senior year. Patrick's off to University of Chicago. Carol's getting married. Alice is trying to figure out what to do after school...

Minor things-- Naylor seems to think that campus fliers are day specific-- "Everytimg we made a turn, it seemed, there was a poster of a bulletin board promoting an organization or a lecture, a concert, a play. Being Sunday, there were notices about religious services and discussions..." Um, no. They'd be there all week long.

Major things-- after Carol's wedding, Alice refers to them as Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Swenson. REALLY?! Only Aunt Sally would think that's appropriate. Why would Alice, who has spent previous books so obsessed with the "Sisterhood" say something so outdated?! Especially in relationship to CAROL of all people?!!!!!! ALSO, Alice lets Patrick order for her, because "I wanted to try whatever he liked best." I mean, just ask him and then order dude. When did she get so... subservient?

While the book was fine, I do not like who Alice was when she was in Chicago. And I don't think it's that Alice changed, but that Naylor just really lost touch with things when writing this and thought it was 1950 or something. While the voice issues usually just annoy me, this just made me angry.

Copy from: the library

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