Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Invented Life

With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.
Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel.



 Oh didn't I just adore this novel. It has to be one of the most open-minded novels written. And I'm not saying so because of the issues embraced and talked about. There are a lot of issue based books out there but what the open-mined aspect of it really comes through because of the characters, I loved them. Every one of them. Even the mean girl. Yes, can you believe that? I didn't start out loving her. I mean, she was a meanie and a bully of sorts but Lauren Bjorkman does such an amazing job with all the characters, they all have rich backstories to them and it worked out oh-so-well for me as a reader.

Roz is a most endearing protagonist - fickle, impulsive, overtly imaginative with an odd tendency to insult in Shakespearean slangs (!) Don't you just love her already? She is out and ready to pretend to be gay to help her sister come out of the closet - who she believes is really gay after finding a book about lesbian lovers in her possession. It starts as a trifle dare spurred on by impulsiveness that sets off a a random set of events that make up this book. And it's a hell of a ride.

The thing about My Invented Life, is that the atmosphere of the book is light and pleasant in spite of the difficult things the characters have to face up to. It doesn't bog you down. Yet keeps you hooked so you can't stop reading and then makes you wish it didn't end  so you could keep reading it. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again.

The writing is utterly delightful. You know the author's done a fine job when the writing, the story, the characters are all handled skillfully. And really, Ms. Bjorkman's characters are indeed ones to be boasted about. Roz, Eva, Jonathan, Bryan, Nico all had distinct personalities and the collison of them all in the school production of As You Like It is insanely amusing. And Andie. Eyeliner Andie has to be one of the most dynamic characters ever created in YA fiction. Oh, how I loved her. She may only be a supporting character but she is a genius in creation. It shows a lot of responsibilty on the author's part to create someone like her. Because books and what you portray in them send you signals, and they may be wrong ones or right ones. And authors have such great influence over readers it is important to portray things in the right light. And Lauren Bjorkman's handling of Andie's sexuality...wow, just wow.

Way back last year, I interviewed Lauren Bjorkman but I didn't get to read her book till now. And, for me, this is a book to hold on to. My Invented Life is clever, outrageously hilarious, big-hearted and has that funky vibe which just makes it very, very cool. I adored it to bits. And I had a lot of Shakespearean fun doing that :)


To give you an idea, have a look at the book trailer:



What's the most fun book you've read recently?

7 comments:

Jennifer Hillier said...

Love the premise of this book! And love the trailer!

The most fun book I've read? I'd have to say BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey. I laughed my way through it.

Jen Daiker said...

I can't see the book trailer but this sounds SO GOOD. I love how you shared in a very detailed manner! You have me running to pick it up. The cover art is SO FUN as well!!!!

I'm with Jennifer, this year for the funniest book was BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey. It was incredibly funny. I'm still chuckling after reading it last month!!

Lydia K said...

This sounds great. What a glowing review! I have to say the title itself is really catchy too.

Lauren Bjorkman said...

Hi Bee! Your thoughtful and positive review made my day. So cool that you totally get what lurks below the surface in My Invented Life--open-mindedness.

Andie is my favorite character, too, with Jonathan a close second. Maybe I should write a book with her as the main character.

Nomes said...

oh you wrote such a gorgeous review for this book bee :)
i can't wait to read it :)

Angela Felsted said...

What a great premise. This looks so fun!

Medeia Sharif said...

I believe I have this on my wish list. Love the trailer.

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