I admit- I judge books sometimes on their cover. I also judge them by the reviews plastered on the front page. When I picked this book up Meg Cabot's (of "Size 12 is not fat" fame) name jumped out from the cover along with her quote "I laughed until diet soda came out of my nose". I threw it in my cart and hoped for the best.
At just under 300 pages, Susan Juby has managed to cram at least one laugh on every page. Alice, I think is the story of a teen aged girl named Alice who is painfully awkward but keenly observant on society. On her first day of grade 1 her hippie parents let her go to school dressed as a hobbit, and she never recovered. She grows up home schooled and unpopular, but with a comforting confidence in herself that makes you wonder what she will do next. Along with trying to discover her personal style, she works on completing her 'life goals list' (#2 Increase contact with people outside immediate family. Not friends necessarily, but least superficial interaction of 'hi, how are you variety'...).
The majority of the book centers around Alice when she's 16 years old. Through her story you witness her mother get in a hilarious fist-fight with Alice's (grown up now) enemy from grade 1, a fish show, some serious fashion disasters and a stunning comparison to an ex-boyfriend I dated. (Hint- Aubrey).
I almost didn't want to write a review for this book because I knew I wouldn't be able to capture just how funny it is. I understand now why it's a national best-seller, with every age group enjoying it. It's short and lighthearted but with a main character who you care about. I think the only way to illustrate the book is with this: Alice's mother, has a best friend named Geradline. Alice doesn't like her but says "the only cool thing about Geraldine is that she looks like James Woods.".
How can you not love a book that says that?