Book Review: It’s Not Like I Planned it This Way

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“Change is a good thing, right? A new living arrangement: + stepmom, but – brother. A new maybe romance: + Sam, but – Patrick (kind of). A new, long-awaited ticket to freedom: + driver’s license, but – carefree responsibility. All these new pluses and minuses in Alice’s life each have their own pluses and minuses. Sure, Alice finally no longer has to share a bathroom with Lester, but now she has to share her whole house with her former seventh-grade English teacher. And yeah, all this attention from Same is unexpected (and fun), but where does that leave her and Patrick? When change is so complicated, whether it’s good or bad seems entirely beside the point.”

-Synopsis from back of the book


It’s Not Like I Planned it This Way by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is comprised of Alice books #16-18 (Including Alice, Alice on Her Way, Alice in the Know) respectively. This one was another reread for me as I’m trying to catch up on, and finish, this series.

As I’ve mentioned before quite a few times, I just love these books. Alice is such a lovable character and her family is so sweet. Reading these books over a second time now when I am older, I have such an appreciation for Alice’s dad and older brother, and of course Aunt Sally. Their words of wisdom, and comic relief, are so memorable. They are hands-down some of my favorite characters, which I wouldn’t have said before.

Yes, these books are a little dated (the three in this collection came out between 2004-2006 which I think we can all agree was just a weird time in the universe); there’s mention of CD’s, none of the characters have cellphones, and the language can sometimes be dated as well, but that’s part of why I enjoy the books so much. Despite the pop culture differences, the plots are timeless. Everything that Alice goes through is either relatable or provides a new perspective to readers who may otherwise have never experienced or engaged in some of the things she goes through.

These will always be some of my favorite books and I have so enjoyed getting to spend time with them again this summer.

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