Book Review–Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani



This is the 21st book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

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Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
Published January 1st 2000 by HarperTeen


I’m marooned.
Left to rot in boarding school . . .

There are four reasons why Viola Chesterton knows she’ll never survive her first year at Prefect Academy:

Her parents have heartlessly dropped her there against her will
She has to leave behind her Best Friend Forever And Always, Andrew
. . . and replace him with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there

“There” is South Bend, Indiana—Sherbet-Colored Sweater Capital of the World and about as far away from her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, as you can get.

At least she has her video camera and her dreams of being a filmmaker to keep her busy. But boarding school, 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.




It took me about halfway through to really get into this one, mostly because of the main character. While I love that Viola is creative and into video cameras, it was hard to understand why she felt so abandoned when her parents drop her off at this boarding school which seems pretty cool. While being stubborn, hard-headed, and selfish is definitely a realistic factor for humans, it didn’t make this an easy book to love.

I really enjoyed Viola’s roommates and her grandmother, though. The relationships with the roomies is what really sold this story for me. Without them, this probably would have barely gotten two stars. The plot with the red lady was interesting, as the big shoot-off between Viola and her filmmaker boyfriend. I liked the twist on their relationship. The writing style was good for the most part. I kind of want colored leather shoes now. Just not yellow.

Overall an entertaining read that intrigues me enough to want to read on to the next book. I don’t love it, but it had some nice characters, a neat settings, good story, and I loved the film-making aspect of it. And as much as Viola annoyed me in the beginning, it was nice to see her character develop over the course of the year. I think younger teens will dig this one.









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