Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: September 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Author Site: http://www.adrianatrigiani.com/welcome.html
My Rating: 3.25/5
Source: Won in a giveaway from Princess Bookie
Left to rot in boarding school . . .
Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world.
There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.
Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.
But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.
I’d definitely say winning this book was an awesome score for me! VIOLA IN REEL LIFE was a very sweet and charming read that definitely got me to appreciate and savor “slow-paced” writing. Although it didn’t take me long to finish the book, the story itself was a slow but very enjoyable journey. Viola’s growth and development throughout the novel was extremely clear as she matured with her experiences at Prefect Academy. Spending one’s freshman year in a brand new school miles and miles away from your home definitely leaves a lasting impression! But I think overall Viola handled leaving her comfort zone beautifully.
After her parents accept a job doing a documentary film in Afghanistan, Viola is shipped off to Indiana to attend a boarding school that her mother went to when she was in High School. Raised in Brooklyn and away from her BFFs, Viola must somehow learn to cope in her new environment. I really enjoyed reading about Viola’s love for cinematography. I’m so jealous of people who have a hobby or interest that they are passionate about because I myself don’t really have one. Film making is so important to Viola that even at fourteen she knows exactly the career she’ll have when she’s older.
Her three roommates all have very distinct personalities that I really added life into the story. I was so glad when Viola broke out of her shell somewhat and started to warm up to them. The relationship between the girls soon blossomed into a sisterhood of sorts that made the happy feeling of the book genuine. I must admit somewhere in my review that I can’t honestly recall being fourteen or most of my years in High School…but I really enjoyed trying to remember what it was like for me at Viola’s age. I know my experiences weren’t the same but it helped put things in perspective when Viola was acting a little too immature for me in the book =)
And I also want to add that the ending somewhat disappointed me. It was like watching a good movie and not having everything wrap up satisfactorily. I suppose it could be an opening to a sequel maybe, which I wouldn’t mind at all. But who knows?
Overall, I enjoyed this coming of age novel and I’m looking forward to reading more of Adriana Trigiani’s work. A big thank you to her as well for signing my copy! It put a big ole’ smile on my face when I received the copy from the giveaway!