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The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.

Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritua
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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3.23  · 
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 ·  395 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star, 2011
More of the ugly-girl-who-takes-off-her-eyeglasses-and-is-suddenly-totes-hot trope, except here, the eyeglasses are intellectualism. Isn't that charming!

Narrator-cum-protagonist = disaffected teen too smart for her own good! encounters sadness! loses cynicism and falls in love with her darling quirky town! finds true love! it was right there all along!

Written in 2011, this has a surprising (and sad) amount of awkwardly placed Modern Themes, such as "bisexual guy" and "token black girl who dances
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps not the most objective review (I know the author), but this book is a delight. Funny and smart and sappy-in-a-good-way.
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a misanthropic nerd from Western North Carolina, this book was almost TOO CLOSE TO HOME. I enjoyed Janice, her dying coffeehouse, the terrible mean girls who appear quite ladylike and her description of her fellow townspeople as biscuit-eaters. Also, her mom was fun and the lesson of not being so hateful is a good one for Janice to learn. And me. Wait a second...
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this clever and endearing portrait of high school life in small town North Carolina, but I wished the character of Rufus had featured more prominently.
Vee ♔Under Mountain Books♔
The idea of this book really appealed to me, I didn’t know much about Anthropology but I love High School stories like this one and figured it would be a great thing to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this one. I didn’t love it and I wouldn’t go as far as to say I loved it, it was just ‘meh’. Not really memorable enough. Even as I type I’m forgetting lot of stuff about it.

The idea of the story is pretty basic: Anthropology student wants to create an awesome paper for some Anthro thing
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The premise of this novel immediately interested me. I've always said that anthropology would be an awesome job... not a job for me, but I find people in general very interesting. Especially how different cultures can seem so unique, but at the core, most share the same values and archetypal roles. Because of this, Janice Will's anthropological studies set in an American high school is something everyone can relate to. I was cracking up by how true her observations are. Her observations and more ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills was an absolutely delightful debut. I read straight through and just loved it. Janice has a great story to tell, and I loved every page of it.

The plot was a lot of fun. There were definitely aspects that were slightly clichéd and predictable, but I loved them all the same. The book had little interruptions to the plot such as "A Note From the Anthropologist" which were a ton of fun to read. It was just another thing that made this book so great. I love conte
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2011
A cute coming-of age story. The only problem I had with the book was that the main character sometimes felt like a grown-up trying to be teen instead of an actual teen. I did really like the anthropological spin to the story, it added a little something extra to an otherwise pretty standard plot.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
loved this book and was stunned at how much Melva is like the town in which I grew up! my favorite part, I don't know why, is when Paul reads the list he wrote to Janice in the end. so lovely and cute. great read. felt like home for sure.
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! Janice is so funny and very relatable. This book definitely depicts life in a small town perfectly!

* won from Goodreads
May 21, 2011 added it
Shelves: ya-fiction
So funny! Why wasn't Janice Wills my best friend in high school?
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If this wasn't an audiobook from my library I'm not sure I would have ever gotten to reading this. That being said I was so damned happy that i did get to read it after starting it. I was just finishing up an epic fantasy series on audiobook and I needed a quick flirty little read. Something that cleansed the pallet. This was soooo that book for me.

It was adorkable. I loved how she views herself as an anthropologist. I loved her observations. I loved her mom, and her best friend. When her guy f
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
The anthropology got kinda dull near the middle and was meh by the end. It’s not a book I expected, but it was an ending I expected.

Most of the characters were very peripheral and the focus was narrowly on Janice. I wanted to know Margo and Paul more.
Karen Machin
Enjoyable book about a teenage nerd and some lessons learned along the way. Cute!
Manaswini Iyengar
I liked this book's format, I can tell you that. The little anthropologist's notes and observations was great. But I also felt that Janice was a bit of an intellectual snob while observing everyone. Which I suppose is what you're meant to think since her friends and family comment on her hypercritical nature (Paul writes his own little observation paper of her which was cute and he mentioned it as one of the points. Side note: Paul was the character I related to the most).

It was pretty funny in
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This review is also posted at my blog, Books and a Cup of Tea.

Janice Wills has a knack for anthropology. She likes to observe her class mates anthropologically as they socialize and survive high school.

Her and her best friend Margo are Unremarkable Smart Girls. Faced with the annual Miss Livermush Pageant, they each feel self-conscious and nervous about the expectation of entering the sort of rite of passage for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds in Melva, North Carolina. That is until Margo give
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Original review:

There are pretty much only two reasons why I managed to finish this book: I listened it to it via an audiobook and it was only 3 hours so it wasn’t long at all. If it weren’t for these two reasons, I honestly would have given up this book ASAP.

Janice, the main character for this book, was probably one of the obnoxious and self-absorbed person I have ever “met”. She was consistently negative and was so pessimistic to the point that I wanted
Klaudia Janek
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libres
VOYA Rating: 5Q4P[return][return]Highly Recommended [return][return]The story starts with a letter written by the main character, Janice Wills, to the Editor of Current Anthropology. Janice wants to be published as an anthropologist. She states that she does not have a PhD yet, but that she is in the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. Her mission is to observe teenagers in her small town high school of Melva, North Carolina. The story is full of her notes about individual students as the ...more
Kavanand (Reading for Two)
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills is a fun, light read. Janice is a high school junior in a small town in North Carolina. She's very much an observer and rarely a participant in life. Fascinated by anthropology, she thinks of herself as an anthropologist and she records her observations of the world around her in extensive notes. She's a bit of an outsider, she's smart and funny, but she exists on the fringes of high school, content to watch and break her fellow students down into tribes (for ...more
Alyssa hoffmaster
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I got 2 copies of this ARC so I gave one to my friend and while I was over at her house we both read it, it’s more fun reading the same book with friends, that way you can discuss it along the way. I did enjoy reading it but the only thing about the ARC copies was there was some empty spots in the book that said it was for artwork, I have to go to the bookstore and find out what the pictures looked like!

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills is about a nerdish girl who loves anthropology, she live
Suzi Case
Aug 24, 2011 rated it liked it
‘The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills’ is a YA book that is full of cliches and insults. There were many times that I was offended by something that was said in this stereotypical tale of High School life.

While it is obvious that the author Joanna Pearson is a talented writer and can weave an engaging tale, the tale itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Reject girl has one best friend, hates the popular crowds, thinks she is smarter than everyone else, thinks she is ugly, has a cute guy fri
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-read, read-2011
I'm not entirely sure where I first heard about this but it sounded like a cute, quick, fun YA contemporary so I figured I'd give it a shot. And it was a pretty light, fast read.

The main character is Janice Wills, an aspiring anthropologist who kind of hates her hometown and uses her interest in anthropology to distance herself from experiencing the world. The book partially focuses on her learning that fact about herself and her transformation into a more impartial observer who also enjoys her
Kate McMurry
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A humorous, chick-lit, coming-of-age novel

This is a fun debut by a talented author. It is a fast, well-written book with a cute premise.

Janice Wills is a seventeen-year-old "nerd," an excellent student who goes to high school in the small town of Melva, North Carolina. Janice longs to become a cultural anthropologist, and this book is sprinkled with funny examples of her attempts at objective, scientific observations of the rites of passage that teenagers go through in her town. Janice would hav
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Teens come of age in different ways in different cultures, and this clever novel describes some of those practices in a small Southern town where traditions matter a great deal. Perhaps to protect herself from those popular high schoolers with whom she can never fit, Janice, 16, has taken to observing and taking notes on her classmates. I enjoyed Janice's voice, especially in the first half of the book. She's snarky, incisive, and sometimes, even cruel, but it's clear that all that sarcasm hides ...more
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-eval-book
At first it was laugh out loud funny and light-hearted. then it became darker and ended too patly and happily.

Janice Wills of Melva, NC fancies herself an anthropologist and writes down all of her observations about teen life in a southern town. The novel is framed as an article submission to Current Anthropology with notes about the strange tribes and rituals in her high school sprinkled throughout the book, especially the Melva Miss Livermush Pageant and Festival. Every eleventh grade girl wit
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
This would be just one more cliched book that didn't need to be written about a less-than-popular high school girl with a crush on a boy, except the author, who seems to be a physician, decided to throw in this gimmicky business about anthropology. One of my elementary school friends who went to med school majored in anthropology as an undergrad, which wasn't a bad idea, I thought.

Reading the book, one has to wonder if Pearson ever took an anthropology class. Had she done so, she would understa
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, first-reads
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills, by Joanna Pearson, is a contemporary coming of age story set in the small town of Melva, North Carolina. Janice Wills, the typical teenager, feels like she is on the outside looking in, hence her interest in anthropology. Or perhaps it is the other way around. Because of her interest in anthropology, she always places herself on the outside, as a studious observer watching and documenting interactions of the local teenage population.

Until one day, she decide
Aug 20, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was funny, charming and bittersweet at times, although sometimes I felt it was a typical teenager book, much like gossip girl and such.
The main character is Janice a young girl who is your typical awkward to intelligent for her own good- teenager. Janice wants to be an anthropologist and as so sees everything from a distance, until her mom tries to convince her to participate in Miss Livermush pageant (shudder) and in the end Janice agrees so that she can actually have some in site for
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Janice Wills is an observer. She enjoys sitting on the sidelines and watching her fellow classmates move through the tricky and often confusing landscape that is high school. This also works well to promote her interest in anthropological studies. But Janice's junior year may prove to be a little different than the previous years. For one, there is the overrated Miss Livermush Pageant, which Janice thinks is over-hyped and underwhelming. Plus, there are two boys vying for Janice's attention, mak ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Eastern Southern Teen Girls
Recommended to Darlene by: Won as a GoodReads First-Reads
Hurray! I won this one on GoodReads, First-Reads. Looking forward to this new adventure!

* * *

The print in this book is so light that I have had a hard time reading this. Therefore, I downloaded the Audible version to help me along.

* * *

This book has taken me months to read. My biggest problem with it was the print. These old eyes just can't read well on white, white paper and it seemed the ink was also light in color. Once I got the Audible version to help me I found a nice book. The writing was
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“And it occurred to me; I was not part of the action. Oh God, I thought, I'm not an anthropologist. I'm the lonely voice-over narrator of adolescence. The bitter, voice-over voice.” 5 likes
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