The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: July 1, 2011
Rating: 4 stars
For anyone who’s ever survived a rite of passage or performed a mating dance at Prom . . .
The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC … has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.
Janice loves anthropology–the study of human cultures–and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual–but only if you’re good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva’s annual Miss Livermush pageant.
But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she’s always observed; and all the charts in the world can’t prove how tough–and how sweet–real participation and a real romance can be.
Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills was an absolutely delightful debut. I read straight through and just loved it. Janice has a great story to tell, and I loved every page of it.
The plot was a lot of fun. There were definitely aspects that were slightly cliched and predictable, but I loved them all the same. The book had little interruptions to the plot such as “A Note From the Anthropologist” which were a ton of fun to read. It was just another thing that made this book so great. I love contemporaries – and this one was quite funny at times, yet still had serious undertones.
The characters were probably my favorite thing about this one. They were all great. Even the minor characters stuck out in my mind. Janice was a character who developed a lot throughout the book, and really came into herself. I loved Paul – he was my favorite character of the book. All his quirky ideas he tried, he just seems like a very fun person.
After this debut, I am very intrigued to see what is next for Joanna Pearson. I really enjoyed this one! I would definitely recommend it to all, especially for those looking for a contemporary with charm and is a fast read.
This review is cross posted from YA Books Central, where it was originally posted.