Oct 1, 2009

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

Somehow I managed to talk about a book signing, without talking about the book! Viola in Reel Life was an amazingly accurate representation of what it's like to be a young teen.

The story follows 14 year-old, aspiring film maker Viola Chesterton as she navigates her way through her first year at an all-girl, boarding school in South Bend, Indiana. This 180 from her life in Brooklyn, New York coupled with her parents' absence while making a film overseas causes Viola to shrink in on herself. Lucky for her though, her new roommates won't allow her to do that. Suzanne, Romy, & Marisol are a varied and colorful cast who allow Viola her space, while helping her to understand that she can learn a lot from each of them.

And what would a teen novel be without a little romance? Viola's best friend Andrew was sadly left behind in Brooklyn, but they keep in touch while she's in South Bend. When Viola starts seeing her first real boyfriend Jared, Andrew magically starts seeing a girl back home and has little time to commiserate with Viola. What's a girl to do?

Witty, comical, heart-felt and very understanding, Adriana Trigiani has really found a calling in young adult literature. The characters are believable and engaging, although not all of them are in-depth. Relationships are formed and fall-through just like they would in real life. The best of all though is the language used. I have a hard time getting in to some books who don't quite get the lingo and Adriana Trigiani does not have that problem at all. A necessity for fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

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