Tha Amanda Project is a fun read, with very realistic take on high school cliques (love that the i-girls all decide to dress in green for a party.) Popular i-girl Callie befriends the eccentic new girl, Amanda Valentino, and thinks she is her speical and only friend. Then Amanda disappears and Callie and Amanda's two other friends, who are promising misfits, are tasked with finding her. Callie, who is already dealing with the diasppearance of her scientist mother, and her new friends chase down enigmatic leads, but come up short. They decide to put up a website to help find Amanda, and the book ends with the birth of [...] The website is real, and quite clever -- even more enjoyable than the book, and web visitors can take an active part in solving the mystery. Middle grade girls will love this.
on September 12, 2010
Invisible I is a promising start to what could be a great series! Invisible I takes you through Amanda's disappearance and her 3 "guides" quest to find her. It was definately a page turner, because I kept thinking Who's Amanda? and What's She Doing? This was a totally fun read.
My issue with Invisible I was that it didn't seem come to any point. For Book 1, I don't necessarily want all the answers for the series, but I'd like a little more information. When Book 1 finishes, I want some issues resolved and also putting something new on the field. I felt that I was just running in the same circles throughout the entire book. All I really figured out was that Amanda told about a bajillion different stories. I also found it a little hard to believe everything she managed to pull off - though maybe that's a topic for the next 7 books.
The ending is totally intriguing, it sets up the next book and makes readers want to know exactly what will happen next and get the answers to their questions.
I love the page design on the book, there's different designs on some of the pages, and "notes" on others. I also really like the cover.
I'll definately check out Book 2, I want to see where finding Amanda leads Callie, Nia, and Hal next and how their friendship grows.
This is obviously the start to a new series and I would say that, given the content and the ages of the teens, this book might appeal to your average female middle school student. I believe that high school students might find it a bit too juvenile. Definitely doesn't contain any inappropriate content and isn't edgy in any way.
The mystery: where is Amanda? In fact -- WHO is Amanda? Seems that these three new high school freshmen have each met a different "Amanda" and now she has disappeared. None of them knew that she was friends with the other. As they talk, they discover that she was either concealing certain facts or was not being very truthful about where she lived, her family situation, and her background. When the three classmates, who are not friends, are called to the vice-principal's office, they are drawn into the situation by clues and hints that seem to appear out of nowhere. Is Amanda watching them try to find her? Why has she vanished and what does she want? Callista, Nia, and Hal find themselves trying to trace Amanda's activities and seek to discover what she wants from them. Along the way, they begin to discover that Amanda is drawing them together and they are beginning to figure out who they are as they piece the details together.
Some of this novel defies credulity given the ages of the teens. Their freedom to come and go seems a bit extreme and some of their escapades are a bit unbelievable, all things considered. There is more to the story besides the mystery of the missing Amanda as the author sets the stage for at least one upcoming sequel.
If you like your teen novels to have a clear purpose and a satisfactory ending, this book might not be the one for you. By the time I got to the end of the book, I really didn't care much about Amanda.
From my wife, who is also a teacher:
"This book is intended for a teen/young adult audience and I do not fall into that category. The first thing to say about it is that it did not hold my almost 13 year olds' interest long enough for her to finish reading it. Even the presence of an online component to the search for Amanda did not draw her in.
"The plot of "The Amanda Project" seems to be pretty similar to most books in this genre -- high school life, parent problems, cliques of girls and the boyfriends they fight over. etc. The mystery component, which brings together characters you might not normally see interacting in a book of this type, makes it somewhat different but it is not a "fish out of water" story in any way. The characters were not particularly deeply explored, but followed their stereotypes fairly closely.
"Personally, I like a plot with a resolution, but the idea that the story continues on the website and that contributors might be able to influence the content of future books could very well appeal to the extremely plugged in kids the books are aimed at."
on July 22, 2011
The back of the book says "What happened to Amanda Valentino? Readers can help find out in this interactive, collaborative eight-book series." I guess I didn't totally grasp the "eight-book" part of that quote. The novel starts out innocently enough, describing characters at school and their interactions with Amanda - I had a few issues with the lack of adult intervention in some places (why do I think like such a mom?). My biggest gripe about this book, however, is that basically nothing is solved at the end - now that I have re-read the quote I shared above, I realize it's supposed to go over eight books, and if they solved much in this first one they wouldn't have things left to say.
Not all is lost, however. I did visit [ ... ], where readers are supposed to go to help find Amanda, and I was pleasantly surprised. It seems like something I would have loved to be involved with when I was younger - clues, mystery, etc. It made the book come more alive, and settled my feelings a bit. I'm not sure if I will seek out the next 7 books, though it is a little intriguing to see how the author will pull it all together - she made some clever connections in the first book so I can only imagine what will be next.
My advice is to visit the Amanda Project website to get a feel for what is in store, and then pick up the book if it's something you're interested in. It definitely was not meant to stand alone, and you'll be disappointed if you think so.
on April 23, 2014
Years ago, I discovered this series when it was first released and loved the whole idea of a book/ internet website type series - [...] and I read the Book #1 and loved it, then the other day I was doing the new books at the library and Book #1 came through with a new updated cover and Book #2 and I thought I should give this series a re-read and I loved it even more the second time around. The Amanda Project features three students, none who are friends with each other - the only thing that they have in common is Amanda Valentino and now Amanda has disappeared and the three of them are in trouble as apparently if anyone knows where she is , it must be the three of them. Book #1 is Callie's story and follows the start of the trail for Amanda and her point of view and the different clues she has been given. The idea of the website comes from Hal ( one of Amanda's friends) younger sister who is a computer whiz. Can Callie along with Hal and Nia find Amanda or will they discover that they never really knew Amanda after all and that she is an enigma to them all.
If you love teen sleuthing novels like Nancy Drew crossed with Veronica Mars then check out The Amanda Project Book #1 by Amanda Valentino and Melissa Kantor or head to the website @ [...]
on March 14, 2015
This book was much more than intriguing; it was full of mystery that turned into a psychological thriller. Every chapter made you question whether you were losing your mind boggle, because Amanda left all these mysterious clues that made the main characters-Callie, Nia and Hal- have more questions than answers. I loved this book, more like addicted to this book, because the authors made me want to read each chapter.
on September 23, 2009
Callista Leary, better known as Callie, is an I-Girl. I-Girls are the most popular girls in school, and they don't associate with people of a lesser rank. Callie on the other hand, doesn't judge others as easily as the rest of the girls in her clique. She's smart, gets good grades, and enjoys learning. It's no surprise that when a new girl comes to town, it's Callie who will be showing her the ropes.
When Amanda Valentino comes to town, it's Callie's job to tutor her. She starts as a mere study partner, but soon becomes good friends with the newcomer. Amanda tells Callie that she will be her 'guide' while she is going to school at Endeavor High, and this makes Callie feel special. So it's not unlikely, that when Amanda Valentino goes missing, Callie is extremely upset.
When Callie finds out that she is not the only 'guide' Amanda has, she becomes distraught. Why would Amanda lie to her? Why would she tell her she was special, only to tell another the same thing? It's even worse that Amanda was also friends with two of the biggest freaks in school, Hal Bennett and Nia Rivera. With the clues that Amanda leaves behind, these three students, who are absolutely not friends, must stick together to solve the mystery of their missing friend.
There is a lot going on in this first installment to The Amanda Project, but it all flows extremely well. The story is told in the present, but Callie has flashbacks along the way. During these flashbacks you learn tidbits of her life that she didn't realise were so significant until the current day. Callie learns who she is, all the while learning who she can trust. It's a novel of friendship, and what you will do to protect those you care about.
I really enjoyed this book by authors Stella Lennon and Melissa Kantor. It was full of mystery, including little clues that you could try and decipher for yourself. I particularly liked that there were pictures showing you exactly what the characters in the book were seeing. You can even go to [...] and sign up to solve the clues with other readers. I'm excited to read the next installment of this series, as it leaves you on a cliffhanger wanting more. I'd like to thank Barnes and Noble for sending me a ARC of this novel to read and review. It was a quick read, and I didn't want to put it down.
on October 27, 2011
Here was another book that I wasn't sure what I'd be getting into once I cracked the cover but I can tell you right now, I'm so glad I did.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't normally (nor purposely) read mysteries. I just tend to not gravitate towards them in a bookstore or wherever. This happened to be another BEA grab that I made so I was just blindly grabbing. From the blurb, if this were on a shelf, I probably wouldn't have given it a second chance. Boy would that have been my loss. This is a perfect example of a blurb failing to live up to what's actually in the book and what you can miss by not giving something a chance.
I was immediately sucked into the mystery of this book. I mean, it started right on page one when Callie gets called into the principle's office. The point of view is kept so strictly in Callie's eyes that the events unfold as Callie sees them and not before. The reader isn't privy to anything that the character isn't.
What I really liked about the writing was that it was devoid of unnatural and contrived infodumps. All of the information about Callie's life, about Amanda, about Hal and Nia that she knows, is divulged through various mind-wandering memories, pseudo-flashbacks and inserts that are actually relevant to what's going on the moment they happen. The dialogue and the narrative is so realistic that it borders on stream of consciousness but with punctuation and is actually readable.
Along those lines, the dialogue, the slang, wasn't overbearing. Again, it was realistic without being obnoxious. Of course you're going to have those chicks that talk more Valley than the rest but that kind of language was limited to them. Everyone has their own speech, each character was clearly defined in multiple dimensions and they all, even the I-Girls, stood out. Everyone had their flaws and it made them all richer characters for it.
While the ending, not to mention everything n between, opens up a hell of a lot more questions than it answers, the sub-plot, Callie's issues with the I-Girls, resolves. Sort of. Through the search for Amanda, she comes into herself, develops more self-confidence and her will gets stronger. She's finally able to be the person that she wants to be as opposed to the one her friends want her to be. It's an empowering story for anyone, especially for teen girls.
This was an excellent book. So excellent that I even signed up at the website, [...], until I had register's remorse because I have other things I need to be doing, unfortunately. But I want to know more about Amanda. I want to figure out who she is. I want to speculate. Oh to have more hours in our days! This first book in the series has me jonsing for the rest of them. I just hope the rest live up to the fantastic-ness that this one offered up.
on October 8, 2011
I like YA, but I usually like the more mature age group fiction. This was a pleasant surprise to me. I know I like a book when I have to make myself NOT skim to find out what is going to happen. I was very pleasantly surprised. I didn't necessarily like the ending a lot. It was one of those "Wait, that's the end?" Made the book feel kind of pointless, but there's a book 2, and now I'm interested enough to read it.