Review: The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson

“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.”

When I first heard about The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills I figured it would be a cute little light romance novel. The synopsis is a bit misleading, because of this it was much different than I expected.

The focus of The Rites and Wrongs is Janice coming into herself and learning how to not just sit in the corner observing all of the time. It was very refreshing to read a book that focuses on the growth of the main character as a person instead of her just learning how snag a guy. Not that there I don’t enjoy books like that – I do! But it was a nice change from what I expected the book to be like.

As Janice is trying to figure out who she really is there are very entertaining observations about different characters, situations, and events. Janice is working on a study of high school life, so some of the excerpts from her “work” are hilarious! Some are pretty accurate from what I recall of my own high school days.

I was happy to know that unlike some books when the main character isn’t popular, Janice actually had friends! Margo and Paul are two of the most noteworthy. Margo got on my nerves a bit at times, but you could tell she was a great friend. Paul was adorable! He reminded me a lot of a good friend I had growing up. Despite their problems, he like Margo, showed his loyalty to Janice.

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills is an entertaining book with a great message. Plus it involves something called livermush. Which in my opinon sounds absolutely disgusting.

I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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