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Viola in Reel Life (Viola #1)

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3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,808 Ratings  ·  431 Reviews
When 14-year-old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade, she overcomes her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 23rd 2010 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Valerie
Complaints:
-Viola seems like your typical spoiled only child -definite stereotype.

-There is continuous mentioning of how GREAT NEW YORK IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (New York may be a great place yes but constant mentioning of anything gets annoying after a while)

-Acronyms are overused. Using acronyms on the computer for instant messaging and such is fine but she goes a little overboard with the BFFAA thing. When I was in elementary and middle school girls used BFF (no AA at the end that I can reme
...more
Cara
Jan 07, 2010 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Viola feels like her life has been taken away from her. Her parents are both documentary makers and are going to make a film in Afghanistan. Well that’s all fine and dandy but that means Viola has to go to boarding school in Indiana. From her life in Brooklyn that is going to be a huge change. She has to leave her friends and all the things she has known her whole life. To put more into the mix, she will have to live with three other girls. Marisol- the smart Hispanic on scholarship, Romy- the b ...more
Book Concierge
Viola’s parents are documentary filmmakers, and a year-long assignment to Afghanistan means that Viola will have to spend her freshman year at an exclusive all-girl boarding school. That’s bad enough, but the school – The Perfect Academy – is in South Bend, Indiana, far from her Brooklyn friends and the excitement of city life. How is she supposed to sleep with all that quiet!?

This is a nice young-adult novel about opening yourself to new possibilities and making the best of a less-than-ideal s
...more
Erin
Feb 18, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very cute coming of age book about a 14 year old girl named Viola, who gets sent to a all girls school in Indiana while her parents film a documentary in Afghanistan. I really enjoyed the film aspects because that is something that I don't know a lot about.

I related a lot to Viola, she is very stubborn and she seems to never understand that she is acting a certain way until someone points it out to her. I went into this book wanting to read a teenage romance, but as this story progre
...more
Donna
This book gets ten points alone for not being Tall Tales of the Moron Girls and How to Talk Like a Douche. There was literally a sigh of relief as I started reading this because it wasn't stuffed sausage-tight with so-hip-you-need-a-new-one slang and absolutely ridiculous situations.

But . . .

I started getting antsy, anxious, for something to happen. It was so boring and . . . ordinary. I can understand the realistic aspect to it and trying to make that kind of connection to readers that this cou
...more
Nely
Dec 29, 2009 Nely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Viola Chesterson has been “abandoned” at the Prefect Academy for Young Women in South Bend, Indiana - an all-girls boarding school and horribly far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York - by her parents who are abroad working on a documentary.

She is devastated, sad, lonely - she misses her home, her parents and her BFF's - but most importantly, she can't fathom living with three complete strangers in a new school far away from everyone and everything she's ever known. Luckily for her, she is
...more
Nicole
Jul 08, 2010 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Many girls are furious to find themselves packaged and shipped off to boarding school, and are sure that they will hate it. But no girl was ever more determined to detest her home-away-from-home than Viola Chesterton, a New York City freshman who is forced to spend a year at Prefect Academy while her parents film a documentary in Afghanistan. "Viola in Reel Life", while an easy read, had such painfully unrealistic characters that it is difficult to continue reading. Viola's feelings against Indi ...more
Denise
Aug 21, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Normally I don't read young adult novels....I did enough of that while studying to be a teacher in college. But with Adriana Trigiani as one of my favorite authors, I had to make an exception.

This book is about Viola, a fourteen year old girl from NYC, who has been sent away to boarding school because both her parents are off in Afghanistan filming an independent film about the conditions there. Viola's personality is so cleverly woven by Adriana that I felt as if I were reading about one of my
...more
Jodi Papazian
Nov 16, 2010 Jodi Papazian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-reads
I really wanted to like this story. It started off pretty strong - a girl, Viola, is shipped off to boarding school in Indiana while her parents jet off to Afghanastan for a documentary. She has to get used to small town life after growing up in Brooklyn as well as learn how to share a room with other girls. Viola seemed like a likeable character at first - trendy and snarky - and it seemed like she would be a lot of fun to live vicariously through. Then, Trigiani started throwing all these diff ...more
Jane
Mar 18, 2013 Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Viola Chesterton is possibly the most self-aware fictional teen I've ever read. Among her crop of difficulties--going to a new school in a strange place, having to make new friends, sharing a room for the first time, trying to understand boys--none has time to so much as sprout before she's busy reaping a bounty of insights from it. Important Lessons About Friendship and Life are thick on the ground here.

The story begins well enough: Viola's a sheltered only child from Brooklyn, knee deep in cu
...more
Dayla
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I came across Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani, the first in the Viola series, a year or so ago and finally got around to reading it while on my trip. This was a surprisingly quick read, yet it lacked a few qualities that would normally make a book stand out for me. What I surmised as I concluded Trigiani's novel is that yes, this book can be read in one sitting, but not because the book is fascinating, original, or gripping--it is simply a
...more
Kayla
May 15, 2015 Kayla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book for book club at my school and frankly, I was expecting more out of it.

I had heard really good things about this author-- one of my family members knows her well and she had come to my school a few years ago through a program.

For me, the book didn't have any substance. It seemed like it was just a random collection of shallow thoughts. There was a little character development, but not nearly enough to make this an enjoyable read.

I found myself struggling to finish it be
...more
Marleen
Sep 06, 2011 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adriana-trigiani
Viola in Reel Life is a very refreshing read. Not in an million years would I have thought I was going to enjoy some young adult book that much, but as Adriana Trigiani is one of my absolute favorite authors I just ordered the book before I realised this was actually a book for young adults. I utterly and genuinely liked this quick and easy read and that is thanks to the author’s talent. No doubt.
Viola and her friends, Marisol, Romy and Suzanne are adorable – yes they seem to be very normal, dec
...more
Megan
Aspiring filmmaker Viola spends her freshman year at a boarding school while her documentary filmmaker parents are shooting an important project in Afghanistan. As she misses her friends and her life back in NYC, Viola clings to an initial survival tactic of resiting getting attached and to keep a distance, using her camera and her wry attitude, from everyone and everything at Prefect Academy. This backfires on her when she realizes her roommates are bonding without her, and she quickly changes ...more
Rachel
Sep 03, 2013 Rachel rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: holiday book dipping in and out of it people not wanting something to make them think
So I got this book a few years ago as a free book from my school and put it at the back of my bookshelf. I probably should have read it then because it's probably too young for me even though the main character is meant to be 14! She acted like a 10 year old most of the time. But I am having a clearout of my bookshelf so I decided to try it. I've read better, alot better I probably shouldn't have read it after reading one of my favorite books because I couldn't help making comparisons. I tried t ...more
Sharon
Jul 02, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite authors, Andriana Trigiani, has entered the teen market with this book, and she did not disappoint. I always appreciate the character development of her smart women and the heart with which she writes. Even though it was written for teens, I will read the next book in the series.
Ina
Sep 30, 2015 Ina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for young adults or teens. The main character is a young girl in high school. A wonderful coming of age book.
Niffer
Oct 26, 2015 Niffer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I'm doing a reading challenge this year and one of the categories is "a book set in your hometown." I did a search on Goodreads for South Bend, Indiana and found a list with a whooping two books on it. I enjoy young adult novels, so I thought I would give Viola In Reel Life a shot.

So this is a readable book--I managed to finish it in a few hours. And none of the characters are particularly unlikable in any way. Viola is obnoxious early on that she's going to hate the school, etc., but she's not
...more
Heather
Dec 02, 2013 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2013
I really disliked Viola as a narrator. She's self-absorbed, thinks she is absolutely amazing, and acts like a spoiled brat--yet, everyone around her treats her incredibly nicely all the time. Why?? Why wouldn't they get tired of her shit? I don't get it. I was enjoying the romantic relationship, but when things went south, it was once again weird and unbelievable. Additionally, there were a couple racist moments, as well as plentiful generalizations about the Midwest. So, that was great.
Christina
I read this book when I was about twelve years old, and as a sixteen year old (currently rereading it) I am very confused about it. First of all, there is a MAJOR plot fault in this book. Mentioned in the first part of the book, it says that Viola, Andrew, and Caitlin go to LaGuardia Arts High School. There are mentions of upperclassman, and it gives off the idea that Viola is at least a sophomore due to the fact that they say high school many times in the beginning. Then she goes to Prefect Aca ...more
laaaaames
I was more bored than I wanted to be. Loved Viola's unwavering passion for film. Loved Grand (of course). Besides that, though, found it hard to figure out who she was. Quiet? Shy? Straight-shooting? Awkward? Loner? Just unbloomed? Developments didn't feel organic; suddenly things would happen and change.

Points for a good attitude about boys.

(read: 225)
Sarah Crawford
Viola is 14 and is enrolling at a girl's boarding school. Her main talent and interest is in taking videos. When she gets to the school she sees a strange person who seems to vanish.

Later she meets her roommates and the story goes on to tell how she adjusts to her life at the school, her feelings about what she has left behind, and how she gradually becomes involved in school activities which involve her video talents.

She eventually finds out who it was that she say and goes on to make a short
...more
Martha
Transplanted from New York to Indiana’s Prefect Academy for Young Women, 14-year-old freshman Viola is wilting. Her filmmaker parents have traveled to Afghanistan to shoot a movie, and Viola yearns for them and the bustle of her city streets. But when she gives South Bend a chance, Viola makes fast friends with her three roommates and finds a niche on campus through her own talents with a video camera. That camera even connects her to romance with a fellow film buff from a nearby boarding school ...more
Azuree
Feb 24, 2016 Azuree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Viola is a film buff who is sent to boarding school against her will when her parents take a documentary job in another country. After getting over herself, she makes friends with her 3 roommates and finds her niche in the school's hierarchy. There's a bit of romance mixed in when she meets a boy from a neighboring all boy's school and her friends back home provide both stability and intrigue. The first 2/3 of the book was fairly solid, but the last 1/3 felt a bit rush and after the big climax o ...more
Jessi
Super cute read.
I love Viola and her sense of humor and her dryness. She did seem a little juvenile at first, but again she is 14 and goes from being an only child who wasn't exactly spoiled but was content with her life to being thrown completely into a new situation and basically without her parents for the first time in her life.

She reminds me a little of myself in new situations tbh, lol.
She's adorable and I love her yellow flats (just wish she had worn them more in the book).

A simple and
...more
Chloe Climenhaga
i love this book i think every one will enjoy this book. she gose through hard times and betrayal but always finds her way back to the top
Danielle
Sep 27, 2009 Danielle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, chicklit
I usually love girl boarding school novels, but this one was "meh". Slow-moving and I didn't love the main character.
Tara
May 29, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-teen
I read this book in less than a day and really liked it. Looking forward to the next book!
Kailey
Mar 13, 2016 Kailey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a terrible book, but at times Viola was SO whiny and annoying, and things were too predictable. It was all also very cliche. A spoiled only child from New York City is sent to boarding school in Indiana and hates it, but then she changes and realizes how good life is and how much she loves it there. Also, her relationship with Jared. Um, youre 14 and you just met, why are you kissing?? On the flip side, I enjoyed it, and it was a quick read. I also liked her roommates, they were all so good ...more
Francine Soleil
Originally posted here: http://alwayslostinbooks.wordpress.co...

I think that there is a very good reason why these books are always sold at lower prices. The Viola series doesn’t seem to be much of a good read. These are one of the instances where the cover and synopsis make the book look better than the content. I actually bought the sequel accidentally when I was browsing brand new discounted books and decided to give it a try. Only, I stupidly didn’t notice it was a sequel. So on another trip
...more
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9219
Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for sixteen bestsellers, including the instant New York Times bestseller, All the Stars in the Heavens, the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker o ...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...

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“I like it when my mother smiles. And I especially like it when I make her smile.” 195 likes
“But what Mom never told me is that along the way, you find sisters, and they find you. Girls are cool that way.” 143 likes
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