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When Audrey Met Alice

Review

When Audrey Met Alice

For a teenage girl, the White House can feel more like a prison than a palace. What good is having a private bowling alley and movie theater if your friends can’t get security clearance? Just when First Daughter Audrey Rhodes has resigned herself to a four-year sentence in the White House, she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s secret diary. Living and writing over a century ago, Alice had some wild ideas for having fun. She constantly defied the expectations of how a young lady --- not to mention the president’s daughter --- should behave. Alice drove fast cars, smoked cigarettes, gambled and carried around a garter snake as a pet. Audrey, who has struggled to make friends at school, finds instant kinship with Teddy Roosevelt’s exuberant daughter.

WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE is a noteworthy debut with two memorable and relatable heroines, 

Adopting Alice’s motto, “eat up the world,” Audrey sets about to regain her freedom and her parents’ attention. She wears a bold dress to a dinner with the German ambassador, goes on a joy ride and even sneaks a boy into the White House. But with each act of rebellion, Audrey doesn’t receive the kind of attention she wanted. Her parents and their staffers are on constant damage control, and the media has labeled her a spoiled brat. Audrey’s only wish was to be treated as a mature and independent person. Growing up under the watchful gaze of an entire nation isn’t so easy.

 

Interspersed throughout the narrative, Alice’s (fictional) diary entries are lively and entertaining. At times it feels a shame to return to the petulant Audrey. Still, Audrey’s character undergoes an appealing transformation from self-pitying to empowered, as she learns to assert herself while supporting her mother’s presidency. She directs her frustrations toward social and political causes, forming her own platform.

 

WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE is a noteworthy debut with two memorable and relatable heroines, who just happen to be the daughters of the President of the United States. Rebecca Behrens writes convincingly about the dynamic of the First Family and the tension between public and private selves.

Reviewed by Emma Kantor on February 4, 2014

When Audrey Met Alice
by Rebecca Behrens

  • Publication Date: February 4, 2014
  • Genres: Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • ISBN-10: 1402286422
  • ISBN-13: 9781402286421