Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review: Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

So now that the official announcement is out there, I can finally shed some light on the mystery of where I’ll be on Wednesday afternoon of BEA (the reason I have to skip some majorly cool signings and the reason why Daniel will be my stand-in signing slave). I won tea with Author Adriana Trigiani!! I will be joining 4 other bloggers to meet Adriana at Alice’s Teacup in NYC. As part of my prep, I dug VIOLA IN REEL LIFE out of the middle of my massive TBR.

Because her documentary filmmaker parents are on a shoot in Afghanistan, 14 year old Viola has to leave her friends in Brooklyn, New York and spend a year at a boarding school in South Bend, Indiana. It’s quite an adjustment at first, but supportive roommates, a first romance, and a student documentary contest go a long way to making Viola feel at home.

You know, it was so refreshing to read a YA novel about a normal teen living a normal life. This is a novel for everyone who complains that they are tired of mean girls, all-encompassing romances, disinterested parents, and enfeebled heroines with no hobbies.

I’ll admit I wasn’t that engaged at the beginning of the novel, because it wasn’t all that clear to me where the whole thing was going. Though I was instantly pulled in by Viola’s voice (a bit whiny, but independent and snarky), I wanted more plot to sink my teeth into.

But once Viola discovers the mysterious “lady in red” and decides to make her the subject of her film, I really started to enjoy the novel. Her interactions with her friends and her actress grandmother (who comes to help her out) feel really natural and everything just flows well.

I finished the last page and immediately wished I could pick up book two in the series - VIOLA IN THE SPOTLIGHT – but sadly, it’s not due to drop until this August.

Head over to the HarperCollins site for some cool VIOLA content, including character profiles, a deleted scene and a quiz.

25 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

Argh! You lucky duck! OK, now, I want a full report on this event when you get back missy!

bermudaonion said...

I loved Viola in Reel Life and can't wait to read Viola in the Spotlight. Maybe we can get the scoop on the book at the tea!

Zibilee said...

Oh cool! So awesome that you will be having tea with Trigiani! I have loved quite a few of her books, and am looking forward to reading her newer ones. Please let us know how it goes and try to get some pictures. I would love to see them!! Have a wonderful time!

Kay said...

Congrats to you on also getting to go to the tea! I have VIOLA on my Kindle to read. Looking forward to it!

Kari said...

Oooh, I didn't know a sequel is coming out! I sped through this one on a flight a few months ago. I love YA fiction like this—with a relatable and quirky character. It's the same reason I liked The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

Congrats on the win!

Lily Child said...

First of all, CONGRATS!!!

Secondly, I have been on the fence about this one, but your review definitely makes me want to pick it up! Thanks! :)

Julie P. said...

Woo Hoo! We're going to have so much fun!

I liked this book and thought it was very sweet. I'm looking forward to book 2 as well.

Carla said...

Get you Lenore!! and how sweet of Daniel to get your books signed whilst you have lunch, you have a keeper!

I have this book too, though i've not read it yet. It does seem like a fab read because its refreshing to read about a normal girl, that isn't crushing on someone for the whole time, or filled with non stop drama. I love the cover too, though I think I prefer the UK version. Great review as always

prophecygirl said...

I loved this one! It's so cool you get to meet her - have fun!

Melanie said...

This book has such an awesome cover! I want her shoes. It sounds like a lot of fun! Definitely one to go on my wishlist.

Patty said...

This is awesome...have a memorable time.

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Congrats on your win and thanks for the review. I've read plot summaries for this book and think that it sounds awesome. Can't wait to read it!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Now you're just torturing me! I absolutely want to read this one, but my wallet is saying no. Well, at least I'm confident I'll probably enjoy it since I noticed I often have a similar experience to yours with the books I read!

Mariana Paix√£o said...

WOW, congratulations! It should be a great opportunity to win this metting!

About the book, sounds very interesting! It's not so easy to find books about normal lives. It's good to get out of the fantasy theme once in a while.

I loved your review!

Staci said...

I love Trigiani and I'm so excited that you get to have tea with her. Hey, she just might give you the next one in the series!! Have a great time!

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

How exciting- I'm so happy for you! I felt the same way you did about Viola in Reel Life. I am looking forward to book 2 as well. Have a great time in NYC!

paperxxflowers said...

:D Hai!

Missed me?!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Thanks for the awesome review, Lenore - I really want to read this book after hearing so many great things about it!

Vasilly said...

This sounds like a really good read. Have fun having tea with the author.

Christina Farley said...

Thank you for this review! I'm going to check this one out. And it's good to know if the beginning is weak and to not give up on it.

irisonbooks said...

I could really use a book on a normal teen living a normal life. There certainly are too many YA or women focused books that feature spoiled or mean heroines.

Doret said...

Much Congrats. Adriana Trigiani did a signing at the bookstore I work at a few years back. She is a very nice person.

Donna Gambale said...

Glad you liked it -- and that you're craving the normal teen with plot thing, because that's exactly what I've written, and I'm hoping more people agree with you!

Anyway, this book (with its adorable cover) is on my TBR, and the review just bumped it up a few notches! Have fun at tea!

Nayuleska said...

That's so cool! I enjoyed Viola :) Hope you have lots of fun.

someones_there said...

what was the name of 'the lady in red'?? it was Mae something, help pleasee!!!