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Who better to study adolescent behavior than Janice Wills, a budding anthropologist and teenager herself?
In this laugh-out-loud debut, the high-school junior's first-hand observations, under the guise of field notes to the editor of Current Anthropology, center on her North Carolina town's most anticipated annual event: Melva's Miss Livermush Pageant. Janice is certain that entering and observing this competition, which "celebrates everyone's favorite pork liver–based processed meat by marching twenty young women in ridiculous dresses across a stage," is her ticket to a published article. (Yes, livermush is a real food!) As Janice prepares for this awesome event ("and by awesome, I mean cheesy and fantastic"), her best friends help her realize that she's been using her role as anthropologist to judge from the sidelines rather than participate in the world around her. And when she tries to find a pageant escort, she discovers that for all of her time observing, she has no insight into the patterns of adolescent male behavior. All along the way, she imparts amusing quips on high school's taxonomy of students and the small-town South, occasionally illustrating her observations with frequently hysterical diagrams, pie charts and graphs. Although one of her prospects secretly confesses to being bisexual (seemingly taboo in this town of traditions), its impact is glossed over. Nevertheless, the characters add to the light yet solid story's charm.
Serve to readers who like their chick lit with a side of humor. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Posted August 24, 2011
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 a project she's making.
Then you have the best friend, who might not be exceptionally bright or beautiful, but tends to get in trouble with the popular girls, in this story she's called Margo.
You've also got the popular athletic guy, who seems all good, until he isn't, and his name is Jimmy.
And the male best friend who we all know has got hots for his best friend.
And the "queen of the school" who is of course tall, beautiful and rich, and she has a group of girls who follow her around.
But after saying that this book does have some things that make it unique, such as the references to how people come to age in different cultures and the Pony dance (I totally want to learn it)
Overall an enjoyable book and a good light summer read.
Posted July 29, 2011
As a former high school nerd, there probably wasn't much chance of me not liking this book. Fortunately, unlike Janice, I was never required to enter a local (or any other) scholarship pageant. In Janice's case, it's either participate in the Miss Livermush pageant or be shunned forever. She really doesn't care. As a budding anthropologist, she is content to watch from the sidelines as her family and friends (and enemies) go through life. Her mother, however, has decided that life as she knows it will absolutely end if Janice doesn't enter the pageant.
So, with several goals in mind, including adding a chapter about coming-of-age rituals to her ever-growing anthology paper, she finally agrees to enter. The experience changes Janice in ways she never expected.
In The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills, Janice learns more about herself and how she views the world (and how the world views her) than she does about the pageant. And I learned what livermush is. Ewww.
I won this book in a Goodreads First-Read giveaway.
Posted July 16, 2011
I had to wait to get this book because my store was out when I first tried to get a copy, but it was worth the wait! Janice Will is such a great, witty narrator with an accurate assessment of life in high school. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it to others looking for a funny, touching take on life in high school.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2011
Posted July 2, 2011
This was a hilarious and quick read with a warm and easy-to-relate-to voice. The town reminds me of the town where I grew up! Read it - it's a totally great, fun, cool book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2011
Posted July 1, 2011
Posted June 28, 2011
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, making her observations and studies become even more important!
The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills was a cute and wholesomely innocent book. The note-taking interruptions were funny and worked well as a literary convention. Perhaps like-minded readers will be inspired to take notes of their own! Joanna Pearson has a sunny style of writing. All of the characters in the book were seemingly happy all of the time and often funny as well. I am usually a little wary of the getting-revenge-on-the-popular-girls story, but this book has a lot of heart. I found myself rooting for not only Janice, but for her friends Paul and Margot as well. And nice cover! It was a perfect fit with the book.
Posted October 12, 2011
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Posted July 3, 2011
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