Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Review: My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

You know that book you got simply because of the cover? Well, this is the one that did it for me. There’s just something about those two girls making silly/glam faces that reminded me of the best times in high school, hanging out and goofing off with friends.

And the great thing about the novel is that it does capture the spirit of the cover. High school junior Roz is overdramatic in an endearing way – she wants to play Rosalind, the lead in the school play of Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT (even though normally the lead would go to her older sister, the more popular Eva) and would go to great lengths to get it. She also pines for Eva’s boyfriend Bryan and often “invents” love scenes between them. She’s very enthusiastic and exuberant, and jumps into situations without really thinking them through.

AS YOU LIKE IT, a play with elaborate gender reversals (Rosalind disguises herself as a man through much of the play), fits perfectly in this story that explores the sometimes blurred lines of sexual orientation. Just as Rosalind plays at being a man, Roz plays at being a lesbian (in a half-baked scheme to get her sister to come out) and learns some surprising things along the way. Although this idea really works on a conceptual level, I have to say it’s not that believable on a realistic level. Roz is written as a pretty self-confident teen – but confident enough to let taunts and slurs simply roll off her back? Now that is some super-human self-assurance.

Even though the story can be messy at times and it can be confusing to tell what is invented and what is real, I think it would be a great read for Shakespeare enthusiasts (for the Shakespearean insults alone), the drama crowd, and those interested in GLBT lit.

MY INVENTED LIFE is available now in hardcover. Find out more about it on the author’s website.

And as an extra bonus, I give you some silly photos of me and my friend Sommer in HS:

20 comments:

Meg said...

I totally love the cover, too! That's the first thing that really grabbed my attention about it. The story sounds really interesting, too; I'm definitely a Shakespeare buff, and I love stories about sisters. All sounds great by me! :) And your photo booth pics are cute! I have some like those, too :)

Donna Gambale said...

I love the cover... but I love those pictures more.

Jenn said...

The cover is cute, and this book definitely sounds interesting and complicated. I remember reading As You Like It, so I'm intrigued about how that will play into the book. And those pics are adorable! :)

avisannschild said...

This sounds interesting and I love the photos of you two! I have a few similar photos kicking around somewhere...

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Great review and thanks for sharing your pictures! Priceless :)

Erica said...

I love the cover for this one! I need to pick up a copy, it sounds like something I'd really like.

I like your pictures, thanks for sharing them :)

Marie said...

Aww cute photos!

Kailana said...

There is something about that cover, I have to agree!

Thanks for sharing your pictures, too. :)

TERI REES WANG said...

This looks and sounds fantastic!

...know anything about Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games"..? (YA)

Zibilee said...

Though the book sounds a tad unrealistic, I also think that it sounds like something I might like, especially the focus on Shakespeare. Thanks for the great review, and those pictures are awesome!

bermudaonion said...

I'm interested in the Shakespearean insults! You and Sommer should be on a book cover.

Bookworm said...

Adorable pictures! LOL :D

Linda said...

the first picture was silly, the second one was cute!

Alice Teh said...

Love the cover and the pictures! THe story sounds interesting too. :D

Alyce said...

The plot appeals to me so much more than the cover, so I guess I'm the odd one out. I love that you included the photos at the end!

brizmus said...

I'm not a shakesepeare enthusiast, but I think i'll like this book nonetheless.
Love those pictures of you and your friend!

I Heart Monster said...

Since I totally adored As You Like It, I think I'll definitely have to get this book. Sounds lovely.

carolsnotebook said...

I love your photos! I was just digging through some old photos yesterday.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

The book sounds really great. I was curious about it since I saw the cover! Plus, I love your bonus pictures! :D

Allie said...

Those are such great photos!