Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Review: The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills

The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills
Joanna Pearson
2011; Scholastic; ISBN 978-0-545-19773-1 (hardcover)

Summary:  In the small town of Melva, North Carolina, Janice Wills knows what group she belongs to: Socially Unimportant Intelligent Girl.  As a budding anthropologist, Janice has made it her goal to have her research on Melva's adolescents published in Current Anthropology before she graduates from high school.  She's the kind of girl to take notes and remain detached in order to observe everything; she's not the kind of girl who'd enter Melva's Miss Livermush Pageant, in spite of her mother's encouragement.  Yet slowly, Janice begins to see the flaws in her research methods.  She's not clever and smart and observant--she's mean and closed-off and scared.  With the help of old friends and new challenges, Janice looks at her world with a new set of eyes.

A coming-of-age story with a different slant, The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills combines a realistic protagonist with some engaging thoughts on teenage culture.  Janice has a lot of growing to do over the course of the novel, and her growth comes believably, with a few missteps along the way.  The focus of the novel is Janice's development, set against the backdrop of her small town.  A quick read that includes a dash of romance and some good friendship issues, this first novel occasionally descends into stereotypes and cliches.  Yet there's still an engaging sweetness to this novel, like taking a few bites of pecan pie.  The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills will be enjoyed by fans of novels like The Sweetheart of Prosper County.

Other Reviews
Christina Reads YA:  http://christinareadsya.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-rites-and-wrongs-of-janice.html
Dear Author: http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-c-reviews/c-plus-reviews/review-the-rites-and-wrongs-of-janice-wills-by-joanna-pearson/
Letters Inside Out: http://www.lettersinsideout.net/posts/review-the-rites-and-wrongs-of-janice-wills-by-joanna-pearson/
I Like These Books: http://www.ilikethesebooks.com/2011/08/rites-and-wrongs-of-janice-wills-by.html

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