Thursday, July 9, 2009

Intensely Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Alice is 17 and torn between longing for the past and looking toward her future. Pamela’s pregnancy, Patrick’s departure for university, and Alice’s preparation for going to college and envisioning her future leave the protagonist wishing for the times when all her friends were still going to high school together and living in the same place. Oh, those times when life was simple and carefree. Unfortunately it takes a tragedy to bring everyone back together- a tragedy that is guaranteed to change Alice and all of her friends forever.

Intensely Alice addresses teen pregnancy, sexuality, questioning one’s faith or beliefs, and the fear of the future, which are issues young adults face as they grow toward adulthood. Naylor continues to develop the friendship between Alice, Pamela, and Elizabeth, and Alice’s boyfriend, Patrick, returns after an absence in the past few books. Readers travel with Alice to go visit Patrick while he is off studying at the University of Chicago and get to see if the couple takes their relationship to the next level. Naylor has reconnected with Alice’s voice in Intensely Alice. In the past couple of books Alice didn't sound like a teenager; whereas now her voice is more mature. Long-time fans of the series will have no trouble sinking into Alice’s story and will be left wanting more.

Intensely Alice is Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s 24th book in the Alice series. Naylor began the Alice series with the protagonist in the 6th grade. She later delivered prequels for a younger audience exploring Alice’s adventures in Grades 3, 4, and 5. The author is planning on writing one Alice book a year until Alice is 18. For every year of Alice’s life, the author delivers three books exploring Alice’s events and experiences. Afterward, she will deliver the 28th and final book, which will reflect on Alice’s life from ages 18-60. The Alice books are released annually in May.

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has had an extensive career writing for children, young adults, and adult readers. She is known for her other series: The Shiloh Books, the Bernie Magruder Books, the Cat Pack Books, the York Trilogy, and the Witch Books. Many of these books and other publications by Naylor are available at the Moore Memorial Public Library in the Children’s, Young Adult, and Fiction sections.

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