Release Date: September 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
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.
Viola is a fourteen-year-old with a passion for film. She believes that she gets it from her parents, who are currently in Afghanistan filming themselves. So, in the meantime, she is dropped off at an academy that her mom attended when she was younger. As you can guess, she hates it, but not after long, she doesn't find it to be so aggravating.
As the story develops Viola begins to find her place at Prefect Academy, and realizes that there is more out there than just the busy streets of New York. When she finally stops fighting to get back home, she starts enjoying her year at the academy. She and her roomates become great friends, and she even gets her first boyfriend! But, even though her life at the academy starts looking up, she still has a dilemma. Her best guy friend from home is acting weird, and all of the sudden, she thinks she's seeing a ghost! As you can tell, this story is not too far from being realistic, and I enjoyed the truth of it. I could really imagine a fourteen year old girl living Viola's life at a boarding school. It was great to read.
The only thing that bothered me was that her best friend, Andrew, wasn't in the story as much, but of course, he was on the other side of the country. Hopefully there will be a next book so their friendship can blossom into something more, because that's the kind of vibe I got from this book.
Viola in Reel Life is an entertaining read. A lot of teens will enjoy it because they can relate to the issues she is going through. I can't wait for more from the author!