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Viola in Reel Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
“A sweet, character-driven story. Viola is very real, as are her feelings, hopes, desires, and dreams.” (School Library Journal )
“This book reminds each of us that a fish out of water really can find a new pond! Read it to remind yourself that your friends really do teach you something new every day.” (Justine Magazine )
“Sarah Dessen for middle school…Trigiani deftly shows that teenage girls can be independent, have positive self-images, and be happy.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) )
“Best-selling adult author Trigiani nicely captures boarding-school bonding, adolescent female insecurities, and current teen trends. Fun, breezy, and full of subtle life lessons, this is a good follow-up or prequel to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.” (Booklist )
“Trigiani (Big Stone Gap) takes the familiar boarding school milieu and gives it some welcome nuance and a refreshingly grounded feel in her debut YA work. [She] offers a realistic look at the ever–shifting bonds of friendship and the adjustment to one’s first taste of life away from home.” (Publishers Weekly )
Top Customer Reviews
Viola's adjustment to life in South Bend, Indiana fascinated me, and I was eager for her to fit in right from chapter one. The way she adapts and gives her new school a try really made me think about how I live my own life, and how new experiences can be good -- daunting, but worthwhile in the end. Suzanne, Marisol and Romy, the roommates she meets at The Prefect Academy For Girls, are exactly the type of friends I would have wanted in ninth grade. They're supportive, individual and, most importantly, unwaveringly loyal to each other. They bring Viola out of her snarky shell, and help her in her quest to become a successful filmmaker.
The boys in this book are both sweet and infuriating. Andrew, Viola's BFF from back home in Brooklyn, is brought to us through the use of IM messages, which manage to get his personality across surprisingly well. I hope he has a part in the rest of the series, as I really want to know what's going on in his head. First boyfriend Jared is one of those boys that seems great on the outside, but underneath, he's not all he's cracked up to be. I thought Viola's relationship was very realistic, and representative of a lot of first outings into the world of romance.
Trigiani has completely hooked me with this book, Viola's endearing Brooklyn background, and her ninth grade stint in Indiana. I heard that the next three books will all be from a different character's point of view, and I can't wait to find out what happens to this captivating group of girls, as they continue to experience new things and shape each other's lives.
Viola has no interest in going to an all girls' school and even less interest in being shipped off to Indiana. But she can still talk to her BFF Andrew via instant message when she needs to and her video diary is her one stable outlet. When she meets her roommates, she realizes just how out of her element she is. The girls are nice, but she is not ready to really let them in.
Slowly but surely, the girls worming their way into Viola's life. It takes a few false starts, but eventually, they are able to make her realize they are there for her. Once she lets them in, she sees just how much she missed having a friend to share everything with, especially now that Andrew has a girlfriend and isn't available like he used to be. But a dance at the local boys' school finds Viola with a boyfriend, and amazingly enough, a boyfriend who is into films as well! But Reel Life isn't always what you expect it to be.
When I first started this book, I didn't realize it was about a 9th grade girl. I thought it was more young adult than the middle reader it turned out to be, so I think my misconception made it difficult for me to enjoy this book fully. I like a good middle reader, but sometimes this book felt too juvenile and too cliche for me. For instance, Viola's roommates are too mature, clear-headed, and rational for 9th grade girls. I can buy one, maybe two girls, but all of them? I have spent time in the girls' dorm at our school. I have never seen that many rational girls that age in one place!Read more ›
This is the first book that I have read of Adriana Trigiani, but it won't be my last. Her writing was witty and amazing. I was laughing for most of the book. I was really glad that Viola adjusted to boarding school. Suzanne, Marisol and Romy were amazing roommates. They reminded me a lot of friends that I had as a freshmen. Trigiani was able to bring Andrew's personality and Jared was also interesting. I am definitely going to have to read her other books soon. It was a great coming of age novel and I really enjoyed it. I recommend checking it out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have read many of Adriana's books and always enjoy them. This one is geared toward a younger crowd, but having a tween in my house, glad I read it to approve for her! Read morePublished 4 days ago by Abigail Canter
While I enjoyed the book, it is definitely a "read by the pool" book. I would recommend it to a teenager rather than adult.Published 2 months ago by G Bowlin
It was a great book! All about a teenage girl going to boarding school in South Bend, Indiana. She also made a short film about May McGlynn, the actress who died in a plane crash... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Frankie
After reading reviews for Viola in Reel Life, I wasn't really expecting so much from this book however, those same reviews made me appreciate Voila more. I liked it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nana Lee
I love Adriana Trigiani's work and was several pages in before I realized this was for younger readers! I finished it anyway and relived my own years away from home at school. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Becky Crabtree