‘The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills’ is a YA book that is full of cliches and insults. There were many times that I was offended by something that was said in this stereotypical tale of High School life.
While it is obvious that the author Joanna Pearson is a talented writer and can weave an engaging tale, the tale itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Reject girl has one best friend, hates the popular crowds, thinks she is smarter than everyone else, thinks she is ugly, has a cute guy friend that she falls for and realizes that she needs to get over her issues and life isn’t as bad as she thought it was. YAWN!
I wanted to give up on this book several times because I was so fed up of all of the cliches but I did become vested in the main character Janice, even though I couldn’t stand her. I was hoping that her best friend Margo would just ditch her forever until she got over her issues.
While the plot of the story was unoriginal; I don’t know if the author thought she was being original by saying the same old things in the form of the student thinking she is an anthropologist, I still enjoyed reading the book.
I also took issue with her characteristic of black students, hip-hop, rap music and other references to race issues. I can see that maybe she was lightly trying to touch on racism in the South, but it came across poorly and should have been left out. And I am one who enjoys a good dialogue on racial issues and tensions; it was just not needed in the context of this book.
‘The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills’ by Joanna Pearson is a well-written book that teenagers may enjoy but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that enjoys an original piece of work.
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