Title: Viola in Reel Life
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Level: Middle/High School
Recommendation: Good Read
Summary: I'm marooned. Abandoned. Left to rot in boarding school . . . Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world. There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera. Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life. But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.
Review: An easy read for teen girls. This was a sweet but very simple YA novel. Viola always managed to have a thoughtful, mature epiphany whenever one was needed to keep conflict from spiraling. It was a little hard to believe that a friendship between four very different girls all living together, away from home for the first time, would be as straightforward as depicted--I still appreciated that friendships were the focus of both the book and Viola's journey, and I liked the depiction of how natural it was for the girls to support each other, knowing when to help each other.