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My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

My Invented Life (edition 2009)

by Lauren Bjorkman

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9114132,676 (3.5)2
Title:My Invented Life
Authors:Lauren Bjorkman
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

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My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman



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This is fun realistic teen fiction and I enjoyed it. The main character, Roz, is a quirky, funny and somewhat self absorbed girl who is just looking to find her place in her family, with her group of friends, with boys (or girls?) and eventually learns to be comfortable in her own skin.

The book is written in first-person from Roz's perspective so the reader gets full view of her. She's funny and smart and a little bit nosy. Ok, she's a lot nosy, but she always has good intentions. Seeing from her point of view is quite entertaining as there are these little asides inside her head. She imagines the way a scene will go - and then tells how it actually went. These asides are, of course, overly dramatic and always go her way and are really funny. I found Roz to be a little bit manic and crazy at times which kind of made me exhausted reading her. I don't know if everyone will enjoy the first-person perspective but it definitely gives a comical slant to the whole story.

The supporting cast of characters is varied and important to the story. They are all fellow drama geeks and have unique personalities. Since the book is from Roz's perspective, we meet them all through Roz's sometimes biased opinions of each. I would have loved to learn even more about each of them but I don't think

Roz and the rest of the drama geeks are performing Shakespeare's As You Like It as their school play. It's a humorous parallel to the teenage drama of Roz's life. Each character is in love with someone who is, in turn, in love with someone else. The main character is pretending to be someone she is not. By the end of the book - and the play - the truth is revealed and each person has found happiness with the person they are meant to be with.

Overall, this book takes a truthful look at the issues of teenage sexuality and identity in a humorous way through the eyes of an amusing young girl. It's a fun and quick read and will appeal to fans of lighter realistic fiction. It's not "heavy" or serious enough to be on par with other realistic teen reads (John Green's work, for example) but it's not meant to be.

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the author through Crossroads Reviews and Tours. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. ( )
  CherieReads | Sep 23, 2013 |
There is a lot to like here, not the least of which is the Shakespearean flavor (both a high school production of As You Like It and a heroine with a penchant for quoting The Bard). It starts out as it goes on, and I'll confess it took me a good hundred pages to begin to love it, but at the end I was a believer. The characters are complex, fluid, authentic teens- many of whom are trying to find out where exactly they fit on Kinsey's scale. There're also sibling dynamics to contend with, and oddments of history which float through. I didn't think the world was particularly solid, even though it's contemporary- there didn't seem to be enough grounding, somehow. There were some false notes for me (the dog, for one), but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this once I warmed up to it. I'm looking forward to Bjorkman's next book. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Eh. I didn't find any of the characters to be sympathetic, I didn't really like any of them, and I'm actually not quite sure why I finished the book. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Review: Roz appears at first as a self-centered, shallow teenager, who is just searching for way for all eyes to be on her. She just wants to get her sister, Eva back and the way she goes about is at first ridiculous but may be what gets her to come around to Roz's way of thinking. Roz is a sweet character though I commend her for what she does, and her methods eventually help her to grow as an individual and discover what she really wants yet at the same time it comes off as a way to one up her sister. The message that resounds throughout is that it is okay to be who you are and love who love. I think that what is most compelling about this work. The characters are believable but quirky and weird. The story and plot are okay. Overall, a quick cute read.
*Received this book from the author during a book tour with Crossroad Reviews for an honest review* ( )
  lilcrickit | Jan 10, 2013 |
My Invented Life is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," but instead of mistaken genders, we have mistaken sexualities. In case you don't get that similarity right away, the characters are also auditioning and rehearsing for a school showing of the play. Much of the book takes place in the big barn behind the school where the theatre geeks hang out and practice. The characterizations of the drama club crowd are pitch-perfect. The major players range from Eva, popular cheerleader who always gets the lead, to Eyeliner Andie, the showy goth chick with the super-skinny, shy boy toy. Amazingly, up until Roz decides to pretend to be queer, there doesn't appear to be any other non-hetero folks in the group.

Right before auditions, this tight-knit group (which also includes Roz and her arch-nemesis Carmen) is joined by the drama teacher's nephew, Jonathon. He's new (read: automatically crush-worthy for most of the group), has done something that has gotten him kicked out of his parents house (mysterious bad boy with a serious chip on his shoulder), and African-American (a fact which seems to surprise only Roz). Roz lays claim to him on the basis that he's her next door neighbor, she's the drama teacher's favorite, and she could use a friend. Coming out does not go as she hoped. She gets attention, RoZ iZ a leZ on the bathroom wall, but not the outpouring of love and support she was hoping for, so Roz starts a campaign to educate her classmates about the Kinsey Scale and to make them accept her as a lesbian. For Eva's sake, of course. Even though Eva still won't admit that she's queer (no matter how much Roz tactlessly badgers her about it), Roz keeps up the facade. She and Eva begin to bond again over The L Report (Roz's nightly updates on her "experiment" with lesbianism), Roz gains some new friends (including Jonathon and Eyeliner Andie) and a new understanding of what all those people online mean when they say "sexuality is fluid."

This is a cute story with an engaging and memorable cast of characters and a predictably happy ending (if you're familiar with "As You Like It"). It's also a great book about being the only "one" in a crowd, whether by "one" you mean POC, queer, poor kid, goth, whatever.

Book source: Philly Free Library ( )
  lawral | Jan 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805089500, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:52 -0400)

During rehearsals for Shakespeare's "As You Like It," sixteen-year-old Roz, jealous of her cheerleader sister's acting skills and heartthrob boyfriend, invents a new identity, with unexpected results.

(summary from another edition)

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