Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Book Review: When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens
(This book was provided to me by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for review purposes).
Description from Goodreads
First daughter Audrey Rhodes re-creates Alice Roosevelt's infamous antics in this fun, smart middle-grade debut
First daughter Audrey Rhodes can't wait for the party she has planned for Friday night. The decorations are all set and the pizza is on its way. But the Secret Service must be out to ruin her life, because they cancel at the last minute-citing security breach and squashing Audrey's chances for making any new friends. What good is being "safe and secure" if you can't have any fun?
Audrey is ready to give up and become a White House hermit, until she discovers Alice Roosevelt's hidden diary. The former first daughter gives Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun...and more problems than she can handle.
This is a super cute, fun read for a middle-grade crowd (think mature 6th - 8th grades), but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The book centers on the Titular characters, Audrey, who is the current FIDO (First Daughter of the United States - and an "in-joke" from the book), and Alice, loosely based on Alice Roosevelt. Audrey find Alice's journal in a pantry cubby, and reads it and uses it kind of like an advice journal on how to handle being First Daughter.
I myself was not super familiar with the stories of Alice Roosevelt- I knew from history classes in high school that she was Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter, and I know she was considered an outspoken rule-breaker for the time she was from. Based on my readings from Wikipedia while reading this book, I really find her to be fascinating! And although this book is not historically accurate, I believe the author did a great job researching her and staying true to who she was.
Audrey herself seems to be a little shy, but mostly friendly, although she doesn't have many friends at her new school. Other than a boy whom she also develops a crush on. All her friends are back in her home town. So when she finds this journal, it's like finding a new friend.
And, I believe because of her age, Audrey is impressionable and takes Alice's journal as almost a "How To Survive Being a First Daughter" guidebook. She gets into some trouble trying to be like Alice (WWAD is a phrase she writes on a plastic bracelet- What Would Alice Do), but it does work in her favor at times.
This book seems to be extremely well researched, although I don't really think the First Daughter would be allowed to use social media as much as she is (unless it's extremely locked down and under a pseudonym?), but I loved reading all about the White House rooms and the grounds and just everything about that aspect of the story.
Ultimately I did feel like this was a book about this young girl, just trying to get through a very weird time that pretty much no one will ever experience, unless you're lucky enough for your parent to be president. I did love that it's her MOTHER that's president- hopefully that's not far off! And I love the relationship Audrey has with some of the staff- I feel like this was pretty realistic.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It was a cute, fun read, and kept me entertained for the duration. And this is a debut novel by Behrens, so I'm excited to see what else she has in store for us!
If you'd like to purchase a copy of this book, you can purchase a copy for Kindle here, or a hardcover copy here.
FTC: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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