The first book I read this year was kind of a bizarre experience. In January, I finally got my hands on a copy of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Now I’ll Tell You Everything, which is the final novel in the Alice McKinley series. Just like the author promised, years ago, readers find out…everything.
Be prepared, NITYE is a long one, but considering it’s the last and it has to take you through Alice’s college adventures and give glimpses throughout the rest of her life, it ought to be! I’ll admit, I haven’t read the last few titles in the Alice series, but a younger version of me still hanging out in my heart, just had to know what happened. Did Alice become a psychologist or a counselor, did she marry Patrick, what about Liz and Pamela and Gwen? How about Lester, was he a bachelor forever or what? And Alice’s dad and Sylvia what about them? Where did everyone move off to – what were they like in college? Who became parents, who kept in touch? And it was easy to get sucked right back into the story. Some of the plot points I was expecting, and then others were sweet surprises. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book if you haven’t read any of the other Alice books, but if you were a fan at any point in life, I think you owe it to yourself to see how Naylor wrapped everything up. It was kind of bittersweet reading that last chapter. I’ll admit a few tears leaked out. I kind of felt like some part of my childhood was wrapping up, even if I’m not a child anymore.
When I was in middle school, my mom was awesome enough to drive me to a meet and greet Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was having at a Barnes and Noble in Florida. She signed one of my books, and took a photo with me, and I thought it was one of the coolest days ever. I remember reading on her blog when I was younger, that she did try to write ahead, “just in case” something were ever to happen, so fans would know how she wanted the series to end. (I always thought that was such a nice gesture.) Back then I tried to imagine where I’d be in my own life when I’d finally find out how Alice McKinley ended up. In a way, it made me feel more like a “grown up” then a lot of things in life have, but it also let me connect with the awkward tween who first identified with Alice and all of her embarrassing moments growing up. They seem like such a staple. I remember being so excited when some girlfriends borrowed the books from me after a sleepover. I felt like the books would help them through some things (as all the best books do!)
If you haven’t yet, check out in the final edition of Alice’s journey! As for you, I’m curious: did you read the Alice books when you were younger? Did you relate? Let me know!
And as a little bonus, here’s a photo flashback to when I met her at that B&N: