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Viola in the Spotlight Hardcover – April 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An equally enjoyable follow-up to Viola in Reel Life.” (Booklist)

Praise for Viola in Reel Life: “A cold, snowy winter, a ghost mystery, kisses, cookies, roommates, a video diary, a film competition, and Viola’s crack-me-up-every time observations all make this an endearing coming of age story…exceptionally fun.” (Richie's Picks)

“Had us hooked on page one.” (Seventeen.com)

“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.” (Booklist)

“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))

“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)

About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

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Product Details

  • Series: Viola (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061451053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061451058
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Book Scout on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I quite enjoyed Adriana's YA debut, Viola in Reel Life, last year, and was eager for the sequel to be released. Viola in the Spotlight did not fall into the sequel slump, and, in my opinion, it was even better than the first! Viola Chesterton spent her entire freshman year away at boarding school, and she is ecstatic to be returning to New York City for the summer. She can finally spend everyday hanging out with her best friends, Andrew and Caitlin, and relax all summer. But, this summer will not be at all what she expected.

Viola in the Spotlight allowed readers to get to know certain characters even better than in the prequel. Her parents, Andrew, and Caitlin, especially. Andrew, her best friend, has changed a lot while she was away at boarding school, and Viola is worried about their friendship. And when a British play director and his teenage son, Maurice, move into their basement, Caitlin falls in love. Caitlin's character was very complex in this book. We got to better understand her and her parent's rules, as well as her Indian culture. She didn't always prove to be a great friend to Viola because she constantly had Viola cover for her and Maurice so her parents wouldn't find out she had a boyfriend. In addition, so many of Viola's friends (including her roommates) have gotten summer jobs and Viola's grandmother helps her get an internship with the lightning director for her play. Viola's "Grand" and her boyfriend are both fabulous actors, and are starring in a Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace.

There were so many great plot twists in this book and Viola was such a real character. Anyone could relate to her as she dealt with the ups and downs of the summer before her sophomore year of high school.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Louise Jolly on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Viola in the Spotlight is the follow up to the fun and humorous Viola in Reel Life.

Viola is fifteen-years-old and her summer is just beginning. She is extremely happy to be back in New York with her family and best friends. She had been away at boarding school for her freshman year. Soon she finds out that her home buddies aren't going to be around during summer vacation and her best bud, Andrew, is acting strangely around her and she doesn't understand why. Things are not off to a good start when her friend Caitlin talks Viola into lying for her so she can sneak off with her secret British boyfriend, Maurice. Viola knows it's wrong but Caitlin is a good friend, but at the same time, she knows that she should be talking Caitlin into telling her parents but she doesn't. Viola doesn't know what she's going to do for the summer now that all her friends are going to be busy but then she lucks out and her Grandma gets her an intern job at the theatre.

The one thing in this novel that I really liked was the fact that Adriana focused on the `friendships' between the kids rather than `romance' which is what you usually find in Young Adult novels. The focus on Andrew, Caitlin, her school friends and how their friendships work is a refreshing change from the norm. Just like in real life, teenagers think more of their friendships than they do their parents and what their friends think and do is very important to them.

The great character development, the setting, and the relationships make this an intriguing and engrossing read. There are plenty of surprises in this novel and Viola must make some decisions that may change her life or will they? Another great aspect of this novel is the fact that Viola is really a regular ordinary teenager and Adriana has her dealing with everyday situations. I can't wait for the third book in this series to see what Viola and her friends are up to next. Well done!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Viola and her video camera return to her beloved Brooklyn after a year in private school in South Bend, Indiana. That year was chronicled in VIOLA IN REEL LIFE, the first book in the series. The budding filmmaker is so happy to be back with her best friends, BFFAA Andrew and Caitlin. On her first night back, she learns that Andrew is going to camp and Caitlin has a job. So all her plans for the summer have evaporated, leaving her at loose ends. As usual, though, Viola finds herself some adventures in this fun novel from bestselling adult author Adriana Trigiani.

Grand, her grandmother, is in a new play along with her handsome boyfriend George, and Viola is soon hired as a lighting intern, which sends her all over New York on errands. While working on the production of Arsenic and Old Lace, she comes up with the idea of bringing her Indiana roomie friends Romy, Marisol and Suzanne to the city for a reunion weekend. Skype and email aren't enough, and they plan for the event.

In the meantime, the show's director has a handsome and charming son who is coming from Britain for the summer. The two of them are renting the lower apartment Viola's family owns, and Maurice is 15 like Viola. On his first night, she and Caitlin invite him to dinner on the roof of the house; Viola sees her friend fall in love for the first time, and he with her. The problem is that Caitlin's very strict parents have a plan for her life that does not include boys and barely includes friends. While that part of the story seems stereotypical, it does develop more towards the end of the book.

Andrew comes home on occasion, and during one visit ends up kissing Viola. She does not know what to do with that; they struggle to sort out what each is ready for in terms of a relationship.
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