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Viola in the Spotlight

Viola in the Spotlight

4.3 19
by Adriana Trigiani

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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!



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.

Editorial Reviews

“Had us hooked on page one.”
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.”
“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.”
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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Viola , #2
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Sales rank:
File size:
586 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

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Viola in the Spotlight 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
GeGe44 More than 1 year ago
I loved this Viola Series; passing them on to my teenage granddaughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cowsr4me2 More than 1 year ago
I actually liked this book the sequel better than Viola in Reel Life the best of the two. Wonderful read for teens and adults.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
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+
AlphaAquarius23 More than 1 year ago
ahmazing book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is about me beat that!
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I did not realize i bought a teens book. It was a nice little story but quite a bit of it dragged for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg.B back tomorrow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waits and waits
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey hey hey. I know the authors brother-in-law. Ha beat that. :)