Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Viola in the Spotlight

Title: Viola in the Spotlight
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Publisher: HarperTeen; (April 5, 2011)
Rating: 5/10
Source: library

Viola is finally where she belongs—back home in Brooklyn, where there are no khakis or sherbet-colored sweaters and people actually think her yellow flats are cool. With two whole months of nothing to do but hang with her two best friends, Andrew and Caitlin, this is going to be the best break ever!

But her BFFAA, Andrew, has started acting weird around her, and a new boyfriend has her friend Caitlin ditching her every chance she gets. When Viola's roommates from Prefect Academy show up for a visit, she starts to wonder—is Brooklyn where she wants to stay? When a tragic event shakes everyone's world, Viola realizes it's not where she belongs that matters—it's who she's with that really counts.

In this heartwarming follow-up to bestselling author Adriana Trigiani's teen debut, Viola in Reel Life, Viola just may be ready to get out from behind her trusty video camera and take the starring role in her own life. 

Viola is back, just about the same as ever. Now that she has returned home from boarding school, she is looking forward to a summer of awesomeness with her New York buds. But between new jobs, secret dating, changing feelings and a sad loss, things aren't going at all as Viola expected.

This is the sequel to Viola in Reel Life, which I had just recently picked up. Both books have the same feel to me - I enjoy the plot and the theory behind it, but it just doesn't come to life for me. The description and dialogue seem stiff and unrealistic, which drives me crazy because I feel like there is so much potential there but it just never gets that spark that elevates it into something really great. Instead I felt like I had to read to find out what happens, but I didn't much enjoy myself along the way.

There are some really fun characters, like Viola's grandmother (Grand) who is an aging stage actress, and her much younger beau. I am seriously torn with this review - as I mentioned, I've read both and there are points I did enjoy, but overall the books just don't work for me. I would be interested to see if this is just a problem the author has when she is writing YA, or if it is just her style in general that doesn't jibe with me. She has written many well-received adult books as well, I may pick one up soon to discover that.


  1. Great review - honest! :) I like that in reviews. :)


  2. P.S. Come on over to my blog...I gave you the Leibster award! :)

  3. That's such a bummer that the dialogue and description didn't quite cut it for you...thank you for your honesty :D

  4. I felt the same way about the first book. I love Trigiani's adult books, but this series just doesn't come alive like they do. Bummer!