My Invented Life

My Invented Life

by Lauren Bjorkman

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805089509
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 09/29/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

LAUREN BJORKMAN grew up on a sailboat, sharing the tiny forecastle with her sister and the sail bags. She now lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her husband and two young sons. My Invented Life is her first book.

Read an Excerpt



Jraise my mini golf club and try to focus on the clown’s chomping mouth. Other lips are on my mind, though—Bryan’s, to be honest. As my eyes wander in his direction, Eva leans in to kiss those lips. Bryan belongs to my sister, a circumstance I’d rather forget. My ball sails over the polka-dotted clown hat and disappears deep into Nowheresville, where the gum wrappers live. Mom bribed us into coming tonight by inviting our boyfriends. Except I don’t have one.

If life were one big stage (and it is), this would be the scene where the heroine (me) seethes with jealousy and the desire for revenge. The thick folds of her wool cloak conceal a weapon. She unveils the silvery blade to gasps from the audience and advances toward the doomed couple. O happy dagger!

But the pint-sized windmill in the background is all wrong. It creates a trashy-teen-movie sort of ambience when the scene calls for romantic boudoir. Think Othello taking the life of his beloved Desdemona.

Eva and Bryan’s kiss goes on for an eternity. When they finally come up for air, he looks over her shoulder right at me. I choose feigned disinterest over murder and saunter off in the direction of my lost ball. My so-called search leads me to a hidden bench that’s perfect for an intermission. I stretch out and close my eyes. Here’s what I should’ve said to Mom this afternoon: “Alas, no miniature golf for me tonight. My allergy to Astroturf, you know. Have your people call my people to reschedule.”

A sweet smell hovers over my bench. “Wake up, Sleeping Beauty,” Bryan says, brushing my cheek with a half-opened rose.

I am so lying.

There are no flowers for miles around. Actually, the smell bears an unfortunate resemblance to cigarette smoke. When I open my eyes, I see Bryan leaning against a chain-link fence a few feet away. He inhales.

“Are you okay?” he asks through a toxic cloud. The glow of his platinum blond hair in the artificial light haloes his face. A girl needs sunglasses to look at him without hurting her eyes.

“I’m tired, that’s all,” I mumble.

After his parents divorced three years ago, Bryan broke my heart by moving away from Yolo Bluffs. Last September he came back with his dad, and my romantic dreams were rekindled. Sadly, before he could fall madly in love with me, he succumbed to Eva’s perky cheerleader routine. And who can blame him? She is amazing in every way. Half the boys at school swoon in her presence. Still, here’s my chance to make him notice my less-obvious charms, to make him change his mind.

“You seem out of it,” he says, dropping down next to me. I sit up.

“I stayed up too late on New Year’s Eve. Mom’s grad student party,” I say. Inside my head I scream at him, Are you blind? You picked the wrong sister.

His smile reveals even teeth, not too big and not too small. The song “Sweet Cheater” runs through my head. My heart pounds out a few extra beats.

“Where’s your ball?” he asks.

“I don’t believe in balls,” I say.

Smoke pours from his mouth when he laughs. I cough. He immediately drops his cigarette and rubs it out with the heel of his white sneaker. “Eva says I should quit.”

“You should do what you want.”

Personally, I believe smoking compares unfavorably to eating raw banana slugs, and I’m one of the few who’s tried both. At least when he kisses Eva tonight his mouth will be tainted by eau d’ashtray. I take comfort in this.

“I can’t help it. I’m bad,” he says.

“That’s your best quality,” I say.

In the third grade, I would stare at him for the entire lunch period, spending many dreamy minutes on each dimple. Once Eva helped me write him a love survey: Do you like me? Will you kiss me? Will you marry me?

Bryan filled it out yes, no, and yes. Nothing ever came of it, but my crush lived on.

“Great shot, Eva,” shouts the member of the Eva Fan Club known as Dad.

I savor the last moments of our intimate silence until Mom ruins it by yelling, “Roz, where are you?”

“Coming,” I yell back.

“Something’s up with you,” Bryan breathes into my ear. “Call me.”

Okay, so he’s not totally blind. We stand up and join the others. The moment we appear, Eva grabs on to him, circling her arm around his waist like a noose. Her face gives nothing away. Then again, she’s a better actress than I am, and I’m the best.

I poke around Eva the Diva’s room the next morning after she leaves for her ballet lesson. I haven’t come in here since she got mad at me before Christmas. More than mad. She took the folder on her computer desktop titled Roz: sister and best friend and moved it to trash.

The first thing I see is her journal. I’m not tempted. It rests seductively at the center of her night table, and the latch appears to be broken. Still I don’t touch it. Even though she’ll never find out. And even though it might reveal why she deleted me from her life.

Okay, then, one little peek.

December 20—Last day of practice before Christmas break. Finally got chorus line routine together. Skipped the cheerleaders’ party. Went for walk with Bryan.

The rest reads the same. Maybe TV Land hired her to write a script for America’s Boringest Home Videos. To be honest, I’d hoped for a confession, a green light to go after Bryan. Something like, “Roz wants that loser Bryan. I’m going to hook up with him to get back at her.” But back at me for what? I’m innocent. And I’m not looking for a new nickname—boyfriend-stealing lowlife—either. Still, there are extenuating circumstances to consider. For one, I liked him first. For another, all’s fair in love and sibling rivalry.

So that my morning won’t be entirely wasted, I close her journal and move on to pillaging her closet. We used to trade clothes constantly, without bothering to ask each other first. When my growth spurt made that impractical, we still shared accessories all the time—BD (Before Deletion), that is. Her new ivory scarf feels soft. I wind it around my neck, lie on her bed so my cheek rests on the angora, and hope for a miracle.

The blue pom-poms hanging on her door look like a pair of punk trolls in need of a haircut. I hate them. Since Eva deserted me for her petite cheerleader friends, I fantasize about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade. My fave internet advice line says it’s normal for sisters to grow apart during high school. True, we live in the same house, go to the same school, and hang with the same theater-geek crowd. The 24/7 thing can wear on a person. Except we didn’t grow apart. She dumped me, and it hurts.

Eva is one grade ahead of me, a senior in high school. Even BD we pretty much ignored each other in public by mutual consent. When we were alone, though, she used to tell me everything about everything—who kissed with too much saliva, how she had to wear a hoodie around her waist when her tampon leaked, things like that. She stopped spending time with me around Halloween to hang with Bryan. That always happens with a new boyfriend, so I didn’t freak. After Thanksgiving she started acting odd, and then she dissolved and recrystallized into a stranger.

Her door swings open. “Did you forget where your room is?” She tosses her gym bag into the closet. “Oh. Your GPS broke down.”

A National Enquirer headline flashes before my eyes. LITTLE SISTER TURNS INTO A GIANT ZIT ON BIG SISTER’S FOREHEAD. PICTURES INSIDE. She glares at the scarf. I remove it from my neck and set it on the bed. At least she noticed me.

“What do you want?” she asks.

Bryan. A rare bout of self-restraint shuts me up. My big mouth and my conniving side make a sorry twosome.

“I traveled far from a distant land to wait upon your gentle personage,” I say.

She sits on the edge of the bed. “What do you want to talk about, Chub?” The parents mistake her nickname for me as cute, not seeing the jab at my weight. I did plump out in fifth grade before shooting up in seventh, but I lost most of those pounds.

I roll onto my stomach to cover the lingering flab. “Anything. How’s cheerleading?”


A conversation cannot happen through a glass wall. She sees me fine but can’t hear what I’m saying. Maybe louder will work. “Isn’t there something in the whole freaking universe we can talk about?” I shout.

“Cheerleading sucks, actually.”

This unexpected opening knocks me off balance. My silver tongue and I soon recover. “Did something happen?” I ask.

“It’s gotten so competitive.”

“You like competition.” My elbow grazes a hard lump under her down comforter. Is she hiding something in her bed?

“No I don’t. I like to do things well.”

“Like thieving boys, you mean.”

She loads an angsty CD into her stereo and lowers herself into a plié using her ballet barre next to the supersized mirror. “You mean Bryan?” she says after a few dips. “From whom did I thieve him?”

Like she doesn’t know. “Nobody.”

I run my fingers along the edge of the mysterious object under the blanket. A book. Before I can read the title, Eva pounces. She’s the mountain lion to my jogger, pinning me and wrenching the book out of my hands. The back cover rips off in the struggle. I manage to stand up and hold it out of her reach. She gives up and goes back to the barre.

Expecting smut, I read the blurb aloud for maximum embarrassment factor. “‘A beautiful coming-of-age story about a girl who falls in love with another girl and their journey of self discovery.’ . . . Oooh, does Bryan know about your side interests?”

Her face flushes red. “As if a cheerleading babe could be a dyke,” she says.

“I didn’t call you a dyke.”

The old Eva would’ve made a joke of it. Now you know. Just between you and me and the tabloids, Britney Spears and I are lovers.

“Andie lent me the book. The stage tech with the eyeliner.”

“So she’s your secret girlfriend,” I say.

“Don’t be bitchy. Oh, I forgot. You can’t help it.”

Overreactionville. Silly repartee has always been our trademark. The oh-so-thin filter between my brain and mouth fails once again. “You’re the one who’s going off. Maybe you really are gay.”

She comes over to where I’m sitting on the edge of her bed. “You guessed my secret. I wanted to tell you sooner,” she says, taking both of my hands in hers, “but I was afraid. Do you still love me?”

“More than ever,” I say. We embrace. “It’s cool having a lesbian in the family.” The word lesbian rolls out of my mouth like I use it every day.

Another tender moment in the invented life of Roz Peterson.

When I say to Eva, “Maybe you really are gay,” she casts me a scornful glance.

“Reading a book about lesbians doesn’t make you a lesbian,” she says.

My foot taps the floor. When I force it to stop, the other foot takes over the job. “I know that,” I say. “So why did Eyeliner Andie think you’d be interested?”

She pitches her voice low and sweet. “How would I know, Chub?”

I’m not one to give up, especially when common sense dictates I should. “Maybe she has a crush on you.”

“Go away and bother your imaginary friends.”

“What about Carmen?” I ask. Carmen is Eva’s best friend and cheerleading partner. “She’s cute.”

“Though parting be such sweet sorrow . . . get out!”

In elementary school Eva used to beg for my company while she practiced ballet. Of course I was sweeter and more pliable back then. When I was nine, I read aloud five volumes of Little House on the Prairie while she lengthened her arabesque. At the time, I thought she was doing me the favor. On my way out, I turn off Alanis and her whinefest about her self-absorbed life.

“That’s mature,” Eva says.

I roll my eyes and take Andie’s book with me.

Back in my room, I can’t sit still. I pick up the glass butterfly that Eva gave me as a thank-you gift years ago. She couldn’t stand being the center of attention and proposed running away from home to avoid performing the solo assigned to her in our grade school play—Pirouette for a Lacewing. I came up with a better plan. After her grand entrance, I tumbled onstage behind her, somersaulting wildly to distract the crowd.

Maybe Eva really does like girls. That hardly seems like a reason to cut me out of her life, though. And the details don’t support my theory. For one thing—if she has the hots for girls, why the long parade of boyfriends? She’s run through six in the last two years. And for another—the make-out sessions with Bryan look all too real. The butterfly slips from my hand onto the floor. With a little help from Mr. Superglue, it becomes Frankenfly, a blobby and misaligned creation not unlike my life. I throw the whole thing in the trash.

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My Invented Life 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful coming of age story
shortyoa More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a lesbian novels for young adults, there aren't enough if you ask me. This book had me constantly laughing. The narrator's sense of humor is outstanding, as is her character. The story is not predictable, and there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. There are typical high school stereotypes here, but they work, and the story is original.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
My Invented Life is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," but instead of mistaken genders, we have mistaken sexualities. In case you don't get that similarity right away, the characters are also auditioning and rehearsing for a school showing of the play. Much of the book takes place in the big barn behind the school where the theatre geeks hang out and practice. The characterizations of the drama club crowd are pitch-perfect. The major players range from Eva, popular cheerleader who always gets the lead, to Eyeliner Andie, the showy goth chick with the super-skinny, shy boy toy. Amazingly, up until Roz decides to pretend to be queer, there doesn't appear to be any other non-hetero folks in the group. Right before auditions, this tight-knit group (which also includes Roz and her arch-nemesis Carmen) is joined by the drama teacher's nephew, Jonathon. He's new (read: automatically crush-worthy for most of the group), has done something that has gotten him kicked out of his parents house (mysterious bad boy with a serious chip on his shoulder), and African-American (a fact which seems to surprise only Roz). Roz lays claim to him on the basis that he's her next door neighbor, she's the drama teacher's favorite, and she could use a friend. Coming out does not go as she hoped. She gets attention, RoZ iZ a leZ on the bathroom wall, but not the outpouring of love and support she was hoping for, so Roz starts a campaign to educate her classmates about the Kinsey Scale and to make them accept her as a lesbian. For Eva's sake, of course. Even though Eva still won't admit that she's queer (no matter how much Roz tactlessly badgers her about it), Roz keeps up the facade. She and Eva begin to bond again over The L Report (Roz's nightly updates on her "experiment" with lesbianism), Roz gains some new friends (including Jonathon and Eyeliner Andie) and a new understanding of what all those people online mean when they say "sexuality is fluid." This is a cute story with an engaging and memorable cast of characters and a predictably happy ending (if you're familiar with "As You Like It"). It's also a great book about being the only "one" in a crowd, whether by "one" you mean POC, queer, poor kid, goth, whatever. Book source: Philly Free Library
Sarah_Quigley More than 1 year ago
We've all been there. One of our friends thrusts a hardcover into our hands and says, "You have to read this." And you're thinking, "Hmm, yeah, maybe." I try not to be that friend, insisting that people read things just because I liked them. I'm very careful never to say, "Omigod, you've never seen [insert name of awesome movie here]?!" Like it's a personal failing not to have seen that movie. I don't do that. All that being said, I very strongly urge to read My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman. Note, I didn't say you have to. I won't be that pushy. But let's say that by not reading it, you are seriously missing out. Ah, how I loved this book. It's the story of Roz and her sister, Eva, two very different girls trying to figure out who they are in a small California town. But it's more than that. There's Shakespeare, in the form of a school production of As You Like It and Bjorkman's highly clever interpretations of many of the Bard's best quotes. There are secrets. Who is gay? Who is straight? Who gets the guy? Who gets the girl? Bjorkman left me guessing right up to the end. My Invented Life is written in such a fresh, funny voice that I often found myself envying Bjorkman's talent and wit. It was a good kind of envy, though. The kind that inspires me to be a better writer. I could go on and on (and I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I did, right, Lauren?), but the book really speaks for itself, so do yourself a huge favor today and pick up a copy.
Syds_Shelf More than 1 year ago
Absolutely hilarious--with as many twists and turns as the school production of Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT which provides the backdrop for the action in this playful romp. The writing is crisp and clever, making the book a quick, fun read. I especially adore the way Bjorkman peppers the story with Shakespearean insults and even includes a glossary of terms in the back of the book. Roz and Eva's sisterly antics ring so true--just the right blend of love and competition. And who couldn't fall in love with Roz whose misguided good intentions lead to all kinds of laugh-out-loud moments. My favorite thing about this book is the way Bjorkman makes us laugh while also making us question our assumptions about people. Ultimately it's a story about complex relationships, figuring out who we are, growing up, and forgiveness. Recommended for teens and adults (and would be wonderful paired with a reading of AS YOU LIKE IT).
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Roz and Eva are sisters. Eva is a senior in high school. She is a cheerleader, a talented thespian, and Roz thinks she is perfect. Roz is a junior and she and Eva are super-close sisters. Then Eva suddenly kicks Roz completely out of her life. Roz doesn't know why and she is determined to find out. She believes that Eva has a big secret and she does hilarious things to find out what it is. MY INVENTED LIFE addresses many areas of teen life. Both Eva and Roz explore their sexuality. They compete for the same friends and Roz figures out how self-control is a trait that she needs to work on. I enjoyed the humor and the sweetness of this book and think many will enjoy it.
annamariie on LibraryThing 19 days ago
I have a sister (nah, you don¿t say). I also have a best friend. The subject in those two statements are one in the same. In that way I can relate to much of what Roz is feeling with her sister. At some point, although it¿s easy to remain close, you also grow apart, it¿s simply a part of life. You go from stuffed animals and movies to boyfriends and¿ movies. Now, we¿re not the huggy-huggy tell-you-anything type family, but I know without a doubt if there was something I had to tell someone, or needed to trust someone with, I could go to her. Which is what completely breaks my heart about My Invented Life: The fact that Eva doesn¿t think she can trust Roz.The beginning of My Invented Life is cute, sarcastic, and filling to the brim with sibling rivalry. The middle is full of mystery and Shakespeare. And the end is a tear jerking conclusion full of sibling revelations and self-discovery (and more Shakespeare). The plot was a tiny bit confusing at some points, and when Roz and Eva are talking to each other I got lost in who was saying what. Speaking of Roz and Eva, I love them so much. They are such believable teenagers, as well as believable sisters. I loved most of the side characters as well, and one thing I can say that everyone will get once they read it: I did not expect Bryan to be that way. I also absolutely LOVED the Shakespearean insults. They¿re so ridiculous sounding, it makes it even better and even funnier, and makes it easy to turn a heavier scene into a lighter one. It¿s weird to hear (read?) someone insult someone else and want to laugh.The only problem with My Invented Life is that there doesn¿t seem to be one clear shot of conscious plot. There is the main story line, which is Roz trying to figure out if her sister is in fact a lesbian. Other then that though the story is all over the place. It¿s hard sometimes to realize when something is taking place, as it switches between being at home one day to being at school the next a lot through the paragraphs. Without a divider or a bigger break between those paragraphs the days get jumbled together.I also was surprised to see a mentioning of Matthew Shepard in My Invented Life. I am glad that people are not forgetting what happened to him, and that they¿re still (somewhat, even inadvertently) raising awareness for the absolute horrid things that happened, and that things like that can be prevented. I grew up with a ton of gay/lesbian/bi friends -guys and girls- and I am SO glad I was raised in a family, and in a town where I am free to be who I am no matter what that might be.Over all though it was a fun story with plenty of twist and turns, I loved the characters, the plot -although sometimes confusing- was interesting and the writing was great. Lauren Bjorkman definitely has a new fan, and I absolutely can¿t wait until her next book, Miss Fortune Cookie, in 2011.
molly.elizabeth on LibraryThing 19 days ago
'Inside my head I scream at him, Are you blind? You picked the wrong sister.' This quote is from 'My Invented Life' which is narrated by the main character, Roz. Her sister dares her to lie about her sexuality, and her entire life becomes a lie. She finds out things that she never would've thought of, and, in the end, her 'invented life' blends with her reality. I thought that this book was really interesting, but I didn't like the style of the book. It was written as the main character's thoughts, but she would make things up, and then backtrack and say that it didn't actually happen. At the beginning, this was really confusing, but I liked the storyline a lot. The genre of the book is realistic fiction, but I didn't find it too realistic, because the characters use Shakespeare in daily life. I know they're theater geeks and all, but I don't think that actually happens. I connected with Roz, the main character, because I too am a little confused about certain things. I would recommend this book to high school girls.
stephxsu on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Sisters Roz and Eva used to be close, until cheerleading, competition over school theater roles, and boys drove them apart. Now, however, Roz believes she has a chance to win Eva back: some evidence supports Roz¿s hypothesis that Eva is a lesbian who has trouble admitting it, even to herself. In an attempt to make Eva more comfortable with coming out, Roz declares herself a lesbian, right as the drama club begins rehearsing for a Shakespearean play.Little does Roz realize the consequences that would result from her announcement. As she and her friends/fellow drama geeks exchange insults and pranks, Roz realizes that the application of ¿labels¿ is more complicated than she thought, and she may be quite blind to the workings of the human heart.MY INVENTED LIFE is a spunky and witty GLBTQ book that deals with the fluidity of sexual identity, and the complexities of placing labels on people. The fantastic narrative voice and the unique premise will make this a delightful read for nearly anyone.This book¿s strongest point is its protagonist. Roz is a feisty girl with a good blend of sass, passion, and self-delusions. Her witty, laugh-out-loud narration¿always direct, never dully over-eloquent¿will draw you into the story even if you may cringe at some of her behavior and want to shake some insight into her. For the most part, the secondary characters are also well-drawn: they¿re people with endearing quirks, people who you¿d like to hang out with. They¿re complicated and funny, occasionally bitchy and selfish. In other words, they could¿ve been our high school friends.Because MY INVENTED LIFE is so energetic and fast-paced, it occasionally runs the risk of getting annoying. Every once in a while I felt like I had gotten too much of Roz¿s snarky mentality, and her secret desires¿her invented life¿sometimes gets repetitive, in an ¿okay we get it already¿ way. Similarly, I had trouble understand the sisterly dynamic between Roz and Eva. Sibling relationships are especially difficult to write about, since they contain the requisite family love as well as voluntary platonic devotion, and I felt that Roz and Eva¿s relationship¿particularly Roz¿s almost grovel-like approach to her sister¿pinged around in all directions in a way that jarred me and made me the slightest bit skeptical of the believability of their relationship. That being said, MY INVENTED LIFE is a fresh approach to homosexuality. In this story, the characters¿ sexual orientations are rather fluid, defying categorization. You can never completely say that this one¿s a lesbian, that one¿s totally gay, and so on and so forth. This is admirable because labels regarding sexual orientation are hardly ever direct in real life: there is a huge amount of gray area between heterosexuality and homosexuality, an area that many people unknowingly dwell in. I thought that MY INVENTED LIFE did an exceptional job of capturing the complexities of labels; readers will think twice about when it means to assign people to strict categories.All in all, readers can take MY INVENTED LIFE at two levels. It can be read as a witty romp through the intertwined lives of theater geeks, or one can consider the usage and flexibility of homosexuality in the story. Either way, it makes for a satisfying read without being offensive to any kind of readers.
mesmericrevelation on LibraryThing 19 days ago
My Invented Life is a wonderful story about sisters, friendship and understanding. It has a great message and will make you laugh out loud. Roz is really funny with her big mouth and Shakespearean insults. The writing is amazing and you just wish the story wouldn't end. I have a feeling I will be reading this book again real soon.
fayeflame on LibraryThing 19 days ago
With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest¿who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they¿re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman¿s hilarious debut novel.My thoughts:Everybody needs to read this book! it is soo funny and i loved every minute of it. I was taking this book with me everywhere I went, sneaking a page here and there. My Invented Life is light-hearted and you can't help but smile and love the characters. It's also honest and it tackles some really serious issues like sexuality and acceptance.Roz is one of my FAVORITE characters. I mean she is so funny, and she reminds me of me and my friends.She would always say "my father is no prostitute" that had my cracking up. I just loved her. I loved the bond she had with her sister Eva. While she was helping her sister, she ended up finding herself. We don't have to impress people, just be yourself and everything well just fall in place. I know some of us want one of those "do-over" days or we play out in our minds how we want a scene to be.But some thing we can't erase,you should say what you feel(unless it is totally mean or gossipy, Roz had to work on that) My Invented life has definitely touched my heart, Filled it was joy and laughter thanks to Lauren. She is an awesome writer and i look forward to more of her books in the future.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Roz is a character that will not be silenced. She has a personality that rushes into things head first without understanding the consequences. Her kooky attitude shows no restraint in her `Invented Life¿ or in the real life. She has a good will, one that may be blinded at times by her sense of karma. Her over-exuberance may be her downfall though when the reader thinks that enough is enough yet she still pushes forward. Eva has a conflicting opinion by me. Either you can understand her or you just wish she would stop hiding. Eva has a secret that she herself wasn¿t aware of until much later in her life. Roz has a clue and in an impulsive dare she decides to make Eva realize and come out with her secret. On one hand you can sympathize with Eva. On the other hand you want to take that hand and slap her silly. Her fear creates a hostile personality; one takes it mostly to Roz (though not something I can¿t entirely blame her for, but can still be irking). She can be the sweet older sister or the sister you wish just pack up and leave for college already. You can¿t always take and never give back and I feel that Eva doesn¿t give back enough half the time. The supporting characters are just as conflicting. While I love many of them¿Andie, Nico, and Jonathan¿some I had to grow to love or shove out of the way (Carman, Bryan, and Aunt Sapphire). Each has a quirky personality from flamboyancy to the weird, shy, yet cute/intense sometimes, and the divaesque type. My Invented Life is a LGBT novel that I have yet to come across where the protagonist isn¿t the one trying to find herself but does in the end. Created in two worlds, one in the mind filled with hopeful desires, and the hard cold factual life. In the end they meet eventually to get the happily ever after paint gun and all. Overall: Humorous, annoying, a tad ridiculous, benevolent but always, always loud.
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Collegiate_Bookworm More than 1 year ago
I'll be honest- I didn't read the full synopsis before I dove into this book. I do that sometimes just to give myself surprises throughout (don't you hate it when the back of the book tells you the whole story?). However, even if I did read the back cover of My Invented Life, I still would have had plenty of surprises throughout this novel. The characters are in a league of their own- daring and cautious all at the same time- all the more reason for them to be "theater geeks". Roz is a protagonist like no other. She wears her heart on her sleeve (literally at some moments) and will do anything- and I certainly mean anything- to show that she's there for her sister. While she's in the process of doing just that, she learns a thing or two about herself as well. To that point, I will say that Bjorkman does an excellent job of showing that Roz isn't cookie- cutter or perfect by any means. She's got a lot of growing up to do. Beyond the characters, the writing is superb. Bjorkman pushed a lot of limits in this novel - from acceptance (of yourself and others), to sexuality, to labels. While she does tackle some of the tougher subjects, she still manages to keep things... hopeful, which you can see through Roz's persistent personality. I think this novel is a must-read for anyone. While you may not relate directly to the characters, this novel is definitely realistic and is full of lessons that get you thinking. Not to mention, Roz is one of the stronger characters I've read, making her somewhat inspirational :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ACasualReader More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what I would think about this book. What I found was a ton of laughs with Shakespearean insults, drama, geeks and teens questioning their sexuality. Roz was such a funny character and steals most of the spotlight. She goes to extreme lengths and pulls all kinds of stunts to get her sister Eva to admit the secret she thinks she's hiding. Even though Roz and her sister are completely different, they are extremely competitive with each other and Roz wants nothing more but her sister back so they can be best friends again. One aspect to this story I thought was hilarious were the Shakespearean insults. Take these for example: Sheep-biting moldwarp (more annoying than a horsefly mole) or how about Hedge-born clack-dish (don't be a blabbermouth). Could you imagine the face of the person you would say this to? Try it, it'd probably be hilarious! Another aspect that I thought was funny and at times, was confusing; Roz would play out a scene differently in her own "invented life" if a certain situation happened that she wished would have went another way. I thought Lauren Bjorkman captured the teen voice and the issues of sexuality were dealt with great insight and humor. My Invented Life was a fun and honest book. It was a great depiction of teens understanding and coming to terms with their true identity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not at all like it says it is. I thought the characters were anoying and the story was stupid. There wasn't even a defined ending. Nothing major happened, its like the author just stopped writing.