The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: July 1, 2011
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
This is a fun debut by a talented author. It is a fast, well-written book with a cute premise.
Janice Wills is a seventeen-year-old "nerd," an excellent student who goes to high school in the small town of Melva, North Carolina. Janice longs to become a cultural anthropologist, and this book is sprinkled with funny examples of her attempts at objective, scientific observations of the rites of passage that teenagers go through in her town. Janice would have gladly stayed entirely on the fringes of those rites for the rest of her high-school career, but much against her will--at least initially--she is pushed into participating directly in one of the biggest rites of passage in her town, the annual Miss Livermush pageant.
This book is a humorous version of the classic, coming-of-age, young-adult novel, but there are many useful insights sprinkled among the comedy. In a YA field that is overflowing with dark, depressing fiction, it was a pleasure to spend some delightfully entertaining moments with this engaging novel. I look forward to more comedic works by this author.
Readers who liked this book might also enjoy: Populazzi by Elise Allen, Also Known as Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher, Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer, and The Oracle of Dating and The Oracle Rebounds by Allison van Diepen.
I rate this book as follows:
Chick-Lit Plot: 4
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program.