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.