Viola in Reel Life is the first book I've read by Adriana Trigiani, and it definitely won't be my last. Her witty writing had me laughing all the way through Viola's story, and I loved every minute of it.
Viola's adjustment to life in South Bend, Indiana fascinated me, and I was eager for her to fit in right from chapter one. The way she adapts and gives her new school a try really made me think about how I live my own life, and how new experiences can be good -- daunting, but worthwhile in the end. Suzanne, Marisol and Romy, the roommates she meets at The Prefect Academy For Girls, are exactly the type of friends I would have wanted in ninth grade. They're supportive, individual and, most importantly, unwaveringly loyal to each other. They bring Viola out of her snarky shell, and help her in her quest to become a successful filmmaker.
The boys in this book are both sweet and infuriating. Andrew, Viola's BFF from back home in Brooklyn, is brought to us through the use of IM messages, which manage to get his personality across surprisingly well. I hope he has a part in the rest of the series, as I really want to know what's going on in his head. First boyfriend Jared is one of those boys that seems great on the outside, but underneath, he's not all he's cracked up to be. I thought Viola's relationship was very realistic, and representative of a lot of first outings into the world of romance.
Trigiani has completely hooked me with this book, Viola's endearing Brooklyn background, and her ninth grade stint in Indiana. I heard that the next three books will all be from a different character's point of view, and I can't wait to find out what happens to this captivating group of girls, as they continue to experience new things and shape each other's lives.