review: “viola in reel life” January 4, 2010Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: realistic fiction
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani.
HarperTeen // Hardcover // 288 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Dropped in the middle of Indiana, torn away from her friends and the city she loves, and forced to attend boarding school — it’s no wonder that Viola’s a little bit upset. All she’s got left is her videocamera and the only connection to her life in Brooklyn is her computer. Not to mention that Viola’s got three roommates to navigate around and with. Will she survive her year away from home?
I’m still not wild about this book, but I also don’t hate it. It was really a book that left me going “eh, okay.”
Viola comes off as whiny to my adult “ears” and I really wanted to shake her for a good portion of the book. I know that it would be horrible to move away at the tender age of fourteen when friends mean everything to you, but I was so put off by Viola’s resistance to *trying* new things that I could have screamed.
I did love her roommates a lot. And I think that’s the only reason that kept me reading throughout the book.
However, Viola does grow and change and learn and try new things eventually. I was proud of her by the end of the novel. But it was hard to get past her initial whine.
There aren’t any major issues in the plot, it’s a really clean book with a simple, breezy story about just growing up. That being said, this will be a great book to recommend to tweens bridging into YA. A precursor to “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and Sarah Dessen books. Recommended for libraries who have a lot of tween girls and nervous parents worried about the scary YA section.