BOOK REVIEWS

When Audrey Met Alice Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-19 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 26 user ratings
ISBN:1492617679
LANGUAGE:English

"Rebecca Behrens’ When Audrey Met Alice is a super cute, super smart, super delightful middle-grade read...yep, it’s super super super! I had SO much fun reading this book and was so sad to see it end.

First Daughter, Audrey Rhodes, did not ask for her mom to be President or to be stuck living in the White House with no privacy, and no fun. With Secret Service tailing her every move and paparazzi ready to reveal her every secret and antic, Audrey isn’t exactly popular at her school, but when she finds the hundred year old hidden diary of former First Daughter, Alice Roosevelt, Audrey finds a kindred spirit. Inspired by Alice’s own clever antics and ways of dealing with being the first First Daughter celebrity, Audrey decides to have her own fun. But her fun comes with trouble and more problems than she might be able to handle.

Rebecca Behrens has expertly crafted a sweet, funny story full of relatable tween woes, hilarious shenanigans, fascinating glimpses into the past, and a whole lot of heart. There’s so much to love about this entertaining story, from the wildly amusing premise to the two spunky, endearingly charming First Daughters.

Told through both the eyes of Audrey, in the present, and Alice, in the past, we get a look at two vastly different time periods, yet two girls who are very similar. Not many kids get to experience being a First Kid, but Audrey’s world feels surprisingly relatable. Her tween drama, longings, frustrations, flirtations with romance, and secrets are all things most young people begrudgingly go through, and Behrens explores these things with so much addicting humor, honesty, and genuineness. Even Alice’s experiences as the First Daughter in the early 1900’s feel timelessly relatable. Behrens vividly and smartly depicts a very modern White House and a turn of the 20th century White House, creating almost two different, yet fascinating settings.

I adored feisty, plucky Audrey! She’s such a genuine, real character and felt like a long lost friend. Audrey has that pitch-perfect middle-grade voice, that’s as endearing as it is amusing and easy to relate to. And Alice? I LOVED Behrens’ version of this famous First Daughter! While Alice’s diary and characterization were fictionalized, Behrens captures the fun, wild-child, vibrant essence that Alice Roosevelt was known for. Alice’s diary entries and antics cracked me up! And I learned some awesome things about this colorful First Daughter too.

My Final Thoughts: There’s so much to love about When Audrey Met Alice: its fun premise, unforgettable heroines, and stellar storytelling. Readers, especially young readers, will love the shenanigans of both Audrey and Alice and appreciate how relatable Audrey’s story is. A definite must read!
" said.

"It took awhile for Rebecca Behrens to capture my attention. "When Audrey Met Alice" was slow-going at first. It's not that she did anything wrong, narratively-speaking, it's just that her novel is intended for much younger readers than I. Modern-day, 13-year-old First Daughter Audrey Lee Rhodes isn't your typical, precocious, wise-beyond-her-years protagonist. She's 13, through & through. And I know people complain when kids in kids' books aren't realistically-portrayed, but I've never been one of those complainers. Real 13-year-olds can get real annoying real fast. I prefer to read about kids who are mostly like little adults, but with a deeper sense of wonder, hope, and imaginative play. Maybe that's wrong; if it is, I don't want to be right.

Once I got past the fact that Audrey was going to mope and pout her way through a big chunk of the book, I settled right in. It also helped that she grew as a person and evolved, as any good character should, as the pages turned. It would have been hard for me not to enjoy "When Audrey Met Alice" at least a little bit, though, seeing as it's inspired by one of my favorite historical personages, Alice Roosevelt. (Audrey finds her diary and takes her on as a mentor, asking "WWAD?" at every turn). God, she was great. As Behrens imagines her writing in her diary, "any time society labels an activity "unacceptable" for women, my interest in doing it, well and often, increases significantly" (207). I knew she had a pet snake named Emily Spinach, and that she once jumped into a swimming pool fully-clothed (shocking a bunch of delegates in the process). I knew some things that weren't in the book, like the fact that she was banned from the White House under Woodrow Wilson's presidency for telling a bawdy joke at his expense. But I learned some things that I didn't know, too! For instance, in the back of the book, there's an Author's Note that talks about Alice cutting into her wedding cake with a sword! HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! Behrens also clued me in to the White House "cookie jar" -- a giant receptacle on wheels that contains 20 different types of cookies at all times. It's like something from a dream...

I also liked that the tone of the novel was politically-progressive. Audrey's mother is the President (not her father), and her uncle is gay and Audrey takes a stand for marriage equality and civil rights (an attitude that Alice Roosevelt, based on comments she made to the press, would have sympathized with, I'm sure). There's also some mention of her mother's environmental and educational platforms.

This is sure to be a delightful read for the right, older middle-grade girl. (There's too much emotional content and romance in there for it to be gender-neutral). There are a few things that parents might object to (some mention of smoking and drinking, and sneaking around with boys) but most of the risque things are done by Alice (of course); Audrey has a good head on her shoulders and behaves herself (for the most part). The Works-Cited page at the end is an added boon, for me. I'll be seeking out some of Behrens' non-fiction sources.
" said.

" Really enjoyed ... a very cool premise and great young adult middle school read! Payton enjoyed too! " said.

" I love this book. It's so sweet! " said.

" This story gives the reader a glimpse of what it must be like to be the daughter of the POTUS and live in the White House. It's a mix of feelings. After finding Alice Roosevelt's diary under a floorboard in a class set, Audrey reads of Alice's crazy antics when she was a first daughter. The diary gives Audrey ideas to liven up her existence in the White House which don't always turn out so good for either Alice she r Audrey. This is a fun and humorous read. " said.

" Cute premise of kid living in White House with mother as POTUS. Had some history in it and made me want to learn more about the Roosevelts. " said.

" What a wonderful book - full of fun, interesting facts about life in the White House and lots of entertaining stories about Alice Roosevelt. It's contemporary and historical fiction all in one with a main character readers will love!Nancy J. Cavanaugh " said.

"WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE is a fun breezy read accessable to MG readers. Author Rebecca Behrens cleverly uses a contemporary setting and character--the First Daughter of a Madam President of the United States--and blends it with historical diary accounts of Alice Roosevelt for a wild romp in the White House. Both contemporary and historical First Daughters are characters readers will easily identify with in their quests for friends, social lives, fun, food, and parental attention.

I received an ARC of AUDREY MET ALICE from the author and was not paid for this review.
" said.

December 2017 New Book:

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