Viola in the Spotlight [NOOK Book]

Overview


I am in the midst of a conundrum.




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 ...

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Viola in the Spotlight

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Overview


I am in the midst of a conundrum.




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.


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  • Viola in the Spotlight
    Viola in the Spotlight  

Editorial Reviews

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Sarah Dessen for middle school…Trigiani deftly shows that teenage girls can be independent, have positive self–images, and be happy.”
Booklist
“Best-selling adult author Trigiani nicely captures boarding-school bonding, adolescent female insecurities, and current teen trends. Fun, breezy, and full of subtle life lessons.”
Richie's Picks
Praise for Viola in Reel Life: “A cold, snowy winter, a ghost mystery, kisses, cookies, roommates, a video diary, a film competition, and Viola’s crack-me-up-every time observations all make this an endearing coming of age story…exceptionally fun.”
Justine Magazine
“This book reminds each of us that a fish out of water really can find a new pond! Read it to remind yourself that your friends really do teach you something new every day.”
Seventeen.com
“Had us hooked on page one.”
VOYA - Nicole Drago
Viola in the Spotlight allows readers to further meet Viola, who captured hearts in Trigiani's first young adult book, Viola in Reel Life. Not your typical coming-of-age story, this book offers witty commentary on Viola's adventures one summer after she returns home from boarding school. Viola in the Spotlight is a heartwarming novel that both gives insight into the world of theater and is so relatable for teens that Viola feels like a close friend. This book is good for theater lovers and young adults struggling with the changes that accompany growing up. Reviewer: Nicole Drago, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Viola in the Spotlight takes up where Viola in Reel Life (HarperTeen, 2009/VOYA December 2009) leaves off. Viola returns to Brooklyn from Prefect Academy boarding school in Indiana. She reconnects with Andrew, her BFFAA who, it is apparent, wants more than best friendship. Viola is unsure what she wants, other than to not lose Andrew as her best friend. Grand (Viola's grandmother) and her boyfriend, George, are cast in a Broadway revival of Arsenic and Old Lace with a director from England. Viola's friend, Caitlin, falls for Maurice, the director's son, who will only be in New York for the summer. If her strict parents ever discover they are dating, though, Caitlin will be grounded forever. Viola constantly covers for the lovers. She invites her Prefect roommates to New York for Grand's opening night, and they accept. Once together, it is like they were never apart. Trigiani's two teen books are light fare for young teen girls. There is little depth to either the characters or the plot. Viola constantly waxes philosophical on life, living in New York, friends, parents, and grandparents. Her passion is filmmaking, and she constantly wields her video camera, photographing the goings-on; however, it adds little to the story. Trigiani treats the death from multiple sclerosis of a roommate's father with the same nonchalance as the star-crossed lovers getting caught by Caitlin's mother. The ending does not follow from the story. The cover may attract readers. Viola in the Spotlight is a good summer read but is not taxing or challenging. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—When readers first met this level-headed protagonist in Viola in Reel Life (HarperTeen, 1999), she was stuck at boarding school in Indiana while her parents were in Afghanistan. Now she returns to the place she loves the most: Brooklyn. She leaves behind strong, positive friendships with her former roommates, having made the difficult decision to not go back. Instead, Viola looks forward to her summer spending time with her family and making movies with best friends Andrew and Caitlin. Little does she know that her plans are about to be left on the cutting-room floor. The 15-year-old has a good head on her shoulders, which is a breath of fresh air especially when Andrew starts acting odd around her, and she decides to be honest and open, making a mature decision based on friendship with him. Caitlin, whose parents have planned out her whole life, has a summer romance that, with Viola's help, she keeps secret from her family. Knowing what a good friend should do vs. what she thinks Caitlin should actually do is something that most teens will relate to. When the cover-ups disintegrate, Viola has to take responsibility for her lies, which is not easy. When her Prefect Academy friends visit and she has everyone she loves together, Viola sees what is truly important. But when heartbreak strikes, will her friends, city, and boarding school help her through it all? A charming story that makes true connections to real characters and situations.—Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062007957
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 89,407
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • File size: 571 KB

Meet the Author

Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her first novel for teens was Viola in Reel Life, and she is also the author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series and the bestselling novels Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; Rococo; Very Valentine; and Brava, Valentine. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Biography

As her squadrons of fans already know, Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, a coal-mining town in southwest Virginia that became the setting for her first three novels. The Big Stone Gap books feature Southern storytelling with a twist: a heroine of Italian descent, like Trigiani, who attended St. Mary's College of Notre Dame, like Trigiani. But the series isn't autobiographical -- the narrator, Ave Maria Mulligan, is a generation older than Trigiani and, as the first book opens, has settled into small-town spinsterhood as the local pharmacist.

The author, by contrast, has lived most of her adult life in New York City. After graduating from college with a theater degree, she moved to the city and began writing and directing plays (her day jobs included cook, nanny, house cleaner and office temp). In 1988, she was tapped to write for the Cosby Show spinoff A Different World, and spent the following decade working in television and film. When she presented her friend and agent Suzanne Gluck with a screenplay about Big Stone Gap, Gluck suggested she turn it into a novel.

The result was an instant bestseller that won praise from fellow writers along with kudos from celebrities (Whoopi Goldberg is a fan). It was followed by Big Cherry Holler and Milk Glass Moon, which chronicle the further adventures of Ave Maria through marriage and motherhood. People magazine called them "Delightfully quirky... chock full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists."

Critics sometimes reach for food imagery to describe Trigiani's books, which have been called "mouthwatering as fried chicken and biscuits" (USA Today) and "comforting as a mug of tea on a rainy Sunday" (The New York Times Book Review). Food and cooking play a big role in the lives of Trigiani's heroines and their families: Lucia, Lucia, about a seamstress in Greenwich Village in the 1950s, and The Queen of the Big Time, set in an Italian-American community in Pennsylvania, both feature recipes from Trigiani's grandmothers. She and her sisters have even co-written a cookbook called, appropriately enough, Cooking With My Sisters: One Hundred Years of Family Recipes, from Bari to Big Stone Gap. It's peppered with anecdotes, photos and family history. What it doesn't have: low-carb recipes. "An Italian girl can only go so long without pasta," Trigiani quipped in an interview on GoTriCities.com.

Her heroines are also ardent readers, so it comes as no surprise that book groups love Adriana Trigiani. And she loves them right back. She's chatted with scores of them on the phone, and her Web site includes photos of women gathered together in living rooms and restaurants across the country, waving Italian flags and copies of Lucia, Lucia.

Trigiani, a disciplined writer whose schedule for writing her first novel included stints from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. each morning, is determined not to disappoint her fans. So far, she's produced a new novel each year since the publication of Big Stone Gap.

"I don't take any of it for granted, not for one second, because I know how hard this is to catch with your public," she said in an interview with The Independent. "I don't look at my public as a group; I look at them like individuals, so if a reader writes and says, 'I don't like this,' or, 'This bit stinks,' I take it to heart."

Good To Know

Some fascinating, funny outtakes from our interview with Trigiani:

"I appeared on the game show Kiddie Kollege on WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia, when I was in the third grade. I missed every question. It was humiliating."

"I have held the following jobs: office temp, ticket seller in movie theatre, cook in restaurant, nanny, and phone installer at the Super Bowl in New Orleans. In the writing world, I have been a playwright, television writer/producer, documentary writer/director, and now novelist."

"I love rhinestones, faux jewelry. I bought a pair of pearl studded clip on earrings from a blanket on the street when I first moved to New York for a dollar. They turned out to be a pair designed by Elsa Schiaparelli. Now, they are costume, but they are still Schiaps! Always shop in the street -- treasures aplenty."

"Dear readers, I like you. I am so grateful that you read and enjoy my books. I never forget that -- or you -- when I am working. I am also indebted to the booksellers who read the advanced reader's editions and write to me and say, "I'm gonna hand-sell this one." That always makes me jump for joy. I love the people at my publishing house. Smart. Funny, and I like it when they're slightly nervous because that means they care. The people I have met since I started writing books have been amazing on every level -- and why not? You're readers. And for someone to take reading seriously means that you are seeking knowledge. Yes, reading is fun, but it is also an indication of a serious-minded person who values imagination and ideas and, dare I say it, art. I never thought in a million years when I was growing up in Big Stone Gap that I would be writing this to you today. Books have always been sacred to me -- important, critical, fundamental -- and a celebration of language and words. And authors! When I was little, I didn't play Old Maid, I played authors. They had cards with the famous authors on them. Now, granted, they didn't look like movie stars, but I loved what they wrote and had to say. I can boil this all down to one thing: I love to tell stories -- and I love to hear them. I didn't think there was a job in the world where I would get to do both, and now thank God, I've found it."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Great sequel

    I actually liked this book the sequel better than Viola in Reel Life the best of the two. Wonderful read for teens and adults.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Hi

    Hey hey hey. I know the authors brother-in-law. Ha beat that. :)

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    Highly recorrmended, even for grandmothers

    I loved this Viola Series; passing them on to my teenage granddaughter.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Fantastic Follow-up!

    Sometimes there's nothing better than a light and hilarious contemporary read, and Viola in the Spotlight, the follow-up to the fabulously fun Viola in Reel Life, is just that and much more!

    Viola in the Spotlight opens up just as Viola's summer is about to start. Happy to be back in New York with her family and best friends, Viola can't wait to get her break underway. Alas, her friends have other plans. For one, Andrew is acting oddly around, as if they are not BFFAAs anymore, and she just can't figure out why. Furthermore, her other friend Caitlin keeps ditching her for her new and secret British boyfriend. Left with truly no plans, Viola doesn't know what to do. Thankfully, she gets offered a summer internship - one that will test her abilities as well as bring her awesome boarding school friends back her in life. Along with this also come plenty of surprises to keep Viola questioning certain things as well as making decisions that may or may not change her life once again. For the better or for the worse? Well, only time and some more pages will tell.

    Just like in Viola in Reel Life, Viola and her many friends were easy to relate to. Viola, in most ways, feels like the ordinary teen girl, and that's what I like most about her. She faces real situations that teens, as well as adults, face every day, and she still manages to hang her head high and power forward. Better yet, I love how Adriana puts such an emphasis on friendship rather than romance; because it's such a refreshing change from your average YA. Mentioning that, I also enjoyed the further development put into characters such as Caitlin and Andrew as well as Viola's boarding school friends.

    The plot of this also held strong, and even though it's very predictable at times, I still found the overall story to be not only engrossing but intriguing too, thanks to the characters and setting. I also liked that while this story was light, it still had plenty of depth to it to keep it a fun yet serious read.

    If you love realistic YA, Viola in the Spotlight is the book for you. Full of laughs, great characters, and plenty of fun, it's sure to have readers adding a new character to their list of favorites - Viola.

    Now if there only was a third one.

    Grade: A+

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    great!

    ahmazing book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Book

    The book is about me beat that!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Micaela

    I GO TO SCHOOL WITH HER DAUGHTER!!! I KNOW HER PERSONALY

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Nice little story

    I did not realize i bought a teens book. It was a nice little story but quite a bit of it dragged for me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Neontail

    Gtg.B back tomorrow

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Freshstripe

    Waits and waits

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 6, 2011

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