The story seemed so promising on the book jacket. Viola, the Brooklyn daughter of two filmmakers, is sent to boarding school in Indiana for the year while they film a documentary in Afghanistan. Viola dreads the move and does not want to get along with her optimistic roommates. Strangely, this conflict is wrapped up by page 60 and the rest of the novel flits between minor troubles and successes for the protagonist.
This is not to say that I don't like 'light' novels. My real issue with Viola in Reel Life was that it constantly felt like it was written by an adult, particularly one who wants to share her knowledge of film making and perhaps works for the New York tourism board. I was never able to lose myself in the story because I felt like the novel was constantly trying to teach me. There is an audience for this kind of book, but it's just not me.