A high school senior attempts to salvage her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates by writing their college admissions essays and in the process learns big truths about herself in this mesmerizing debut novel-in-verse, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and Sonya Sones.
Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays.
But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.
Provocative, brilliant, and achingly honest, 500 Words or Less explores the heartbreak and hope that marks the search for your truest self.
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Juleah del Rosario is the author of 500 Words or Less and Turtle Under Ice. She wants you to know that she grew up outside of Seattle on the eastside. She currently lives in a book- and mountain-filled existence as a librarian in Colorado. She is Chamorro and Filipina. Most importantly, she wants you to know that you are loved and you are whole.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I added this to my TBR I didn't know it was a novel in verse. When I found out it was, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I'm not a fan of novels in verse, but I think 2018 is trying to tell me to give these books a try. Almost every one I've read this year (this one included) I've really loved. Nic Chen hasn't had an easy summer, so she tries to take her name back and not become the girl who JUST cheated on her boyfriend. To do so, she has the idea to help all her classmates get into Ivy League schools by writing their college admission essays. But the more she helps people, the more she sees that everything isn't what she thought it would turn out to be. Although I liked this one, I wasn't sure a novel in verse was the best way to tell this story. It kind of felt a little choppy, like I was missing parts of the story. That's the main reason I don't really care for novels in verse. I always feel like there's some part of the story that I'm missing. I didn't really hold it against it because it may be just me and how I feel about novels in verse. As for the plot, I really enjoyed this one. Although I didn't get the gut punch emotions that I should've gotten from a story like this, I still thought it was an interesting story to tell. And it was not at all like I expected it to go. But, that's what I loved most about it. I also really loved the diverse cast of characters. There were all different ethnicities and even some poverty rep as well. I loved that this book was able to capture the true meaning of diversity in high school. There was some of everyone in this book and it was glorious. I don't remember the last time I read something that had captured everyone. This wasn't something I was expecting to love so much, so it almost flew under my radar. I'm glad I gave it a chance and didn't look over it because it wasn't something I "usually" read. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is scary. In this case, Juleah's debut was well worth it
This book was very hard for me to rate. I don't normally like books written in verse, but I liked this one. I think it had a good flow and it made the words more impactful. I think that this book had a powerful look at racism and how it affects everyone, those white and those not. The underlying theme and privilege and where it can take you was another powerful message. However, the main character fell very flat for me. There was no resolution to her story. I have no idea who she was as a person or what she saw in Ben. Granted, she didn't know who she was as a person either so I wasn't shocked that I didn't know. Ben and Nic confused me. I wasn't ever clear on why they were together or why she was pinning after him to come back to her. There seemed to be no substance to their relationship. I didn't know what made it tick or how it kept ticking that long. The plot twist at the end seemed dramatic and not like it fit the story. I wanted more from all of the side characters as I hardly knew them. But neither did Nic, and we were seeing the story through her eyes. Overall, this book had powerful messages but left me feeling empty. There was no substance, no meat. But then again, there was no substance to Nic either. *Thanks to Netgalley for this review copy*