Almost Alice (Alice #20)
Always honest, brave, and true, the Alice series never flinches from big issues, and never discounts the small ones.
In the latest book in the Alice series, things are really going Alice's way. She's finishing up her junior year; her former boyfriend, Patrick, has invited her to his prom, she's the feature editor of her school newspaper AND she has a date to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
Like Alice, Alice's friends are also busy. Liz is finally coming out of her shell and things are going more smoothly for Pamela. However, when the unthinkable happens to someone Alice is close to, Alice finds that she and her friends will need each other more than ever.
I've been a big fan of the Alice series for years, so I was really excited to see this latest installment in the bookstore. (But I've officially outgrown Alice! She's 16 and I'm 17! =[ ) Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations.
All the earlier Alice books were exciting, funny and heartwarming. This one, like Dangerously Alice, dragged a bit for the first half of the book as there was no driving force behind the plot.
However, near the end of the book, something exciting finally happened and I found myself racing to finish reading. *spoiler*
While Pamela's pregnancy scare was realistically portrayed at the beginning of her problem, I think that the way Naylor handled it was weak. The resolution was too fast, too neat and I think she could have developed the conflict a bit more and perhaps even continued it on to the next book where it could have been developed further. Instead Pamela's problem felt shallow and more like a preachy USEBIRTHCONTROL message instead of a realistic portrayal of such an event.
I did enjoy the interactions between Alice and Patrick and I'm glad that Naylor made him a more prominent character in this novel, seeing how he barely showed up in the most recent Alice novels. However, I wish there could have been more interaction between Alice and the rest of her family. Lester, Alice's brother, has always been one of my favorite characters and I wished he'd showed up more in the book.
Alice's relationship with her stepmother, Sylvia, could also have been better explored. So much was focused on Alice hoping for Sylvia to be her stepmom in the earlier parts of the series, that now it feels like a letdown that Sylvia wasn't more important in Almost Alice.
All in all, Almost Alice isn't a BAD read, persay, If you're a fan of the Alice series, you definetely should pick it up. But makes sure you aren't expecting something wonderful, because it won't meet your expectations. Hopefully, the next novel will be better. Here's to hoping!