Author: Adriana Trigiani
Summary: Viola's parents dumped her in the middle of nowhere. Well maybe "nowhere" isn't exactly true and perhaps "dumped" is too strong a word. As documentary filmmakers, her parents follow their stories. While they are filming in Afghanistan, they send their daughter to Prefect Academy for Young Women in South Bend, IN. Away from her home and friends in Brooklyn, Viola has resolved to be miserable. Her only comfort is in her daily IM conversations with her BFF, Andrew, and her personal video diary, "The Viola Reels." Then she meets her roommates, who are too great to be indifferent toward. Her constant video-camera-toting lands her on committees for school functions. To top it all off she meets a boy who shares her interest at a school dance. Suddenly, the ninth grader is happy, busy, and feeling at home. She even enters a film competition. Through the help and support of her friends and family, it could just be the short film of her dreams, maybe even good enough to win the competition.
I saw this book in my school library and thought it sounded good so I decided to read it. It actually was a good story to read. It's in the point of view of Viola and she thinks that her parents abandoned her so they could go film their video. She really wanted a one bedroom room but instead got stuck with 3 peppy roommates: Romy, Suzanne, and Marisol. They try to bring Viola out of her shell, but at first she doesn't really want to. The roommates were really good; not clingy or overly peppy... just normal teenage girls and I liked that.
She misses her best friend Andrew and she sticks to her videos and her camera instead of trying to be friends with these girls. Soon she starts opening up bit by bit and tries giving these girls a chance.
When she films the Academy's fields, she sees a mysterious woman in red on the film... when she was alone in that field. She's extremely puzzled by it and her roommates think it's some sort of spirit.
She opens up more at the dance with the Academy's brother school and meets a guy named Jared. She and him share interest in making and watching movies and when they kiss they share a real connection. Jared is one of those guys who's real shy but can also be charming and sweet. I liked him pretty well.
All is dandy and fine but then Viola enters a film-making competition and so does Jared. Soon she and Jared's connection starts to falter a bit, as does her connection with Andrew... but Viola still has her roommates who swear that everything with her and Jared's just fine, that he's just preoccupied with his film.
Viola didn't annoy me as much as I thought she would. I mean, a teenager left in a boarding school while her parents are halfway around the world... I expected some complaining. She did kind of complain; she didn't think it was fair, she felt unloved, etc... but she kind of had a reason to.
Overall the book was really good. It was a book that wasn't filled with drama, but more of a girl just trying to fit in and make her dreams come true. (/end cheesy lines.) I'd recommend it fo sho!
Rating: 4/5 Stars