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My Invented Life Hardcover – CLV, September 29, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Self-proclaimed drama geek Roz Peterson has an active fantasy life, which she often confuses with reality. She thinks that her sister Eva, who is no longer confiding in her, is a lesbian and in love with her friend Carmen. Roz dreams of Eva's boyfriend, Bryan, reciprocating her longtime crush. In an effort to encourage her sister, Roz decides to come out at school and invent a new sexual identity for herself as a lesbian, the only problem being that she is basically heterosexual. The hapless Roz is an exceptionally unreliable narrator who makes clumsy attempts to figure out what is going on with all the other people in her life. All this real-life gender-bending takes place during the drama club's production of As You Like It. This novel is particularly good at evoking teenage confusion about sexual preference and identity, and Bjorkman's depiction of the drama-club crowd is absolutely spot-on, especially the characters' trading of Shakespearean insults online and the practical jokes they play on one another. Narrator Roz is funny, well intentioned, and likable despite her cluelessness, and she is surrounded by a realistic cast of adult and teen characters representing a wide variety of viewpoints and sexual preferences. This is an enjoyable read that will be especially appealing to theater aficionados.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Bjorkman sets her debut amid the high school theater crowd, peppering Roz's internal narration with imagined scenarios and Shakespearean humor, evoking all the drama inherent in putting on a play. Roz's voice is witty and genuine as she moves through the ups and downs of coming out (and eventually coming clean). Evocative of Boy Meets Boy and Dramarama, this makes for fun, thought-provoking reading.” —Publishers Weekly

“This debut is a supportive, enjoyable read.”—Booklist

 

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st Edition edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805089500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805089509
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,052,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To say I loved this book is not enough! I adored it and will tell lovers of teen ya as well as those having issues being GBLT that they need to read it. This book makes me long for a little or older sister to tell all my secrets to. But I guess I'll have to live with my husband for that one.

This book expresses to be true to yourself no matter what. I loved Roz's Invented Life and understand how sometimes FANTASY is better than reality I've been there. I have seen some reviewers say that she was childish or immature. BUT isn't that the point? She is a teen who is discovering who she is and what she wants from life, so if she wasn't immature as they say she is what would be the point of her finding who she really is. I love this book and will be donating my copy to my local library! Thanks Lauren for booking the tour and showing me some yummy books!! I can't wait to read more from this author. I purchased this book on my own with my own money as well as purchasing a print copy. I loved all of the Elizabethan Curses and its great that they are at the back of my copy. I will use them frequently lol.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The description says that My Invented Life is hilarious. That could not be further from the truth. It's actually quite offensive and gross. Roz is upset that her sister has cut her out of her life. Then she finds a book involving a lesbian romance in Eva's room and jumps to the conclusion that she must be a lesbian and it is her duty as her sister to show her that it's okay to be gay! Somehow this turns into Roz pretending to be a lesbian, but not to show her sister that it's okay, but so she can finally be the one who gets the most attention. Ew.

I was hoping that My Invented Life would be a humorous but touching story of Roz pretending to be gay but then realizing that she really is gay. That's not what this is at all. It's just Roz being a liar. And no, by the end she doesn't learn anything. She doesn't have to face the consequences of lying to all of her friends, since she never reveals that she's been lying. She pulls this "I'm 90% straight, 10% gay" card so therefore she hasn't been faking for the last few weeks. As if.

My Invented Life has a lot wrong with it other than Roz just not learning anything. Some things that I think were suppose to be jokes, just made me cringe or were outright offensive. At one point Roz decides to "forgive" a girl (who is rumored to be a lesbian) for not being attracted to her. Um, excuse me? Then she thinks it's alright to date her sister's boyfriend behind her back, because she didn't bother telling her that they broke up. That's not how that works. And worst of all, at the very end, Roz edits someone's coming out story to make it more about how awesome she is! Are you freaking kidding me!?

On top of all that, I had some serious issues with how Jonathan was portrayed.
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Format: Hardcover
I have a sister (nah, you don't say). I also have a best friend. The subject in those two statements are one in the same. In that way I can relate to much of what Roz is feeling with her sister. At some point, although it's easy to remain close, you also grow apart, it's simply a part of life. You go from stuffed animals and movies to boyfriends and... movies. Now, we're not the huggy-huggy tell-you-anything type family, but I know without a doubt if there was something I had to tell someone, or needed to trust someone with, I could go to her. Which is what completely breaks my heart about My Invented Life: The fact that Eva doesn't think she can trust Roz.

The beginning of My Invented Life is cute, sarcastic, and filling to the brim with sibling rivalry. The middle is full of mystery and Shakespeare. And the end is a tear jerking conclusion full of sibling revelations and self-discovery (and more Shakespeare). The plot was a tiny bit confusing at some points, and when Roz and Eva are talking to each other I got lost in who was saying what. Speaking of Roz and Eva, I love them so much. They are such believable teenagers, as well as believable sisters. I loved most of the side characters as well, and one thing I can say that everyone will get once they read it: I did not expect Bryan to be that way. I also absolutely LOVED the Shakespearean insults. They're so ridiculous sounding, it makes it even better and even funnier, and makes it easy to turn a heavier scene into a lighter one. It's weird to hear (read?) someone insult someone else and want to laugh.

The only problem with My Invented Life is that there doesn't seem to be one clear shot of conscious plot. There is the main story line, which is Roz trying to figure out if her sister is in fact a lesbian.
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Format: Kindle Edition
So I didn't really think this book was as good as I was expecting it to be. I had really high hopes for it -- it looked really original and different, the characters looked really different, and it just looked FUN. However, by the end, I found myself disappointed.

It was very original, it just wasn't played out the best way possible, in my opinion. The characters were very original, too, but they were just very... odd. I felt like many of them had multiple personality disorder, because they would start by thinking or saying one thing, and then they would totally go against their personality in the end.

It was also hard to keep up with reality with this book. Roz has a tendency to fake things that she wanted to have happen to her, then start saying what REALLY happened. I don't know if it was just me, but it was hard to keep reality and made-up reality straight.

Now onto the positive! Roz was a very original character, as was many of the other characters in this book. The writing was also very good -- I loved all of the Shakespearean insults that Bjorkman wrote into the book.

I would say this is the book for you if you're looking for a fun read that might be a bit slow in the beginning. It's not horrible, so still give it a try if you think it sounds like something you'd like!
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