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Viola in Reel Life (Viola #1)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  2,482 ratings  ·  398 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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-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
Jan 07, 2010 Cara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
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
Jodi Papazian
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
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
My opinion of this book is greatly influenced by my love of where I grew up. South Bend is a pretty great place to grow up, albeit a bit dull, and I was constantly irritated by the author's dismissal of it. It did serve the story at different times, but there were times it felt unnecessary and like she just didn't have anything else to say, so that's what she went with.

Other than that, it's a cute story about being away from home for the first time and finding family with those who surround you.
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
I usually love girl boarding school novels, but this one was "meh". Slow-moving and I didn't love the main character.
I read this book in less than a day and really liked it. Looking forward to the next book!
Francine Soleil
Originally posted here:

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
It took me about halfway through to really get into this one, mostly because of the main character. While I love that Viola is creative and into video cameras, it was hard to understand why she felt so abandoned when her parents drop her off at this boarding school which seems pretty cool. While being stubborn, hard-headed, and selfish is definitely a realistic factor for humans, it didn't make this an easy book to love.

I really enjoyed Viola's roommates and her grandmother, though. The relation
This is a wonderful coming-of-age book by Trigiani in her first ever Young Adult book. Fourteen-year-old Viola Chesterton loves making movies as much as her parents do. They make film documentaries. Viola’s grandmother, “Grand,” is an actress, so it’s safe to say it’s in Viola’s blood. Viola is sent to “The Prefect Academy for Young Women Since 1890” in South Bend, Indiana because her parents are off to Afghanistan to make a documentary about Afghan women. It’s a big change for the native Brookl ...more
Reasons I may like YA fiction: Maybe it's because I don't believe my interests have changed much since I was about 14. Maybe it's the jaded adult in me looking back wistfully at a simpler time. Or maybe it's that I'm trying live my teen years vicariously, now instead of then, because I thought I was far above juvenile behavior when I was, in fact, juvenile. I still don't consider high school that far away, but the more YA novels I read, especially this one, I'm starting to realize [egads!:] that ...more
You know it's been a good book when you find yourself marking passages that just seem to speak to you. It was that way with Adriana Trigiani's latest novel, Viola in Reel Life. Although the book is Trigiani's first foray into the young adult literary world, she either had some good YA editors or a good head for what should be included in a young adult story because this book is an excellent example of the genre.

Viola, the main character, is 14-almost-15 (as she describes herself) and far from he
Mishel Zabala
I’d definitely say winning this book was an awesome score for me! VIOLA IN REEL LIFE was a very sweet and charming read that definitely got me to appreciate and savor “slow-paced” writing. Although it didn’t take me long to finish the book, the story itself was a slow but very enjoyable journey. Viola’s growth and development throughout the novel was extremely clear as she matured with her experiences at Prefect Academy. Spending one’s freshman year in a brand new school miles and miles away fro ...more
I have been ecstatic to read this novel, since it first showed up in my mailbox a few months ago thanks to the extremely nice, Adriana. And let me tell you, I was no where close to being disappointed by the end of this darling book titled Viola In Reel Life.

Viola, as well as her boarding school friends, were characters that I found easy to relate to. Since not only are the same exact age as me but she faced a lot of problems that me and my friends, as well as girls around the globe are going th
Why did I even bother to finish this book? I'd like to think it was a combination of stupidity and insane boredom from staying at a hospital with my mom for hours with only this book at hand. The beginning was ok... I really loved the transition from Brooklyn to Indiana. I could really understand the frustrations after my own move just recently. I really couldn't stand Viola at the end though, her brattiness and arrogance were just mind-numbingly aggravating. The boy character was interesting, b ...more
Liu Zhen
Title: Viola in Reel Life
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Pages: 256
Publisher: September 1st 2009 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 0061451029 (isbn13: 9780061451027)

This was a new arrival YA book I picked up from a library. I did not have much thoughts into reading it. I am disappointed with the ending of the book because the plots of the book could have related to most teens in the U.S. yet faked. However, this book is definitely recommend to those teens who moved to a new place and need to relate to someone who ha
When I read the lovely review that Luisa wrote, I immediately knew that this book was so right for me. I knew it would be a fun, cute and adorable book, filled with drama that teenagers can relate too. Luisa send me a copy of the book and I read it on my train rides to college and back home again. In three days I finished the book and it was everything I imagined it would be.

Viola is sent to live at Perfect Academy, a boarding school far away from home and friends, her parents are going to Afgh
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Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for 15 bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker’s Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; Rococo; and the Valentine series. She is also the author of the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table. She was an award-winning writer/producer of The Cosby Show and A Differen ...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...

Other Books in the Series

Viola (2 books)
  • Viola in the Spotlight (Viola, #2)
The Shoemaker's Wife Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1) Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2) Lucia, Lucia Very Valentine

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“I like it when my mother smiles. And I especially like it when I make her smile.” 163 likes
“But what Mom never told me is that along the way, you find sisters, and they find you. Girls are cool that way.” 132 likes
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