Once upon a time, I used to read books for adults. It's true. And, on the rare occasion, I still do. Surprising, I know. But, in those days I read the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani, and I really loved them. Now, the same friend who loaned me the Big Stone Gap books also let me know about Trigiani's young adult book, Viola in Reel Life. In my opinion, it's clear that Trigiani knows how to reach an audience of any age!
In Viola in Reel Life, Viola Chesterton, who is fourteen, loves to be behind her camera. As the daughter of documentary filmmakers, Viola intends to also make movies. She keeps a video diary, loves using her computer to edit her footage, and has a BFFAA named Andrew, who also is into film making.
But, when Viola moves from the fast paced life of Brooklyn, New York to an all girls boarding school called Prefect Academy in South Bend, Indiana, she's not thrilled. Viola is to spend one year at Prefect Academy while her parents are in Afghanistan filming an upcoming documentary. Prefect is the chosen location since Viola's mother also attended this hallowed hall of learning. Viola, well, she's pretty determined not to be happy. She requested a single room, but that didn't work out either. So, she's stuck in a quad.
As you may have guessed, the girls in the quad and Prefect begin to wear down Viola's tough Brooklyn ways. Viola learns a lot her freshman year. She makes her first film, has her first boyfriend, and experiences a different life than she's ever known.
This is a great feel-good read. I really like how the girls leaned on each other to deal with obstacles, many of which were pretty unexpected. Be sure to visit Harper Teen's Viola in Reel Life page for fun stuff like quizzes and deleted scenes from the books. I am looking forward to reading Viola in the Spotlight as well. Plus, I too like to wear a pair of bright yellow flats.