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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Book Review: My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

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.


My Invented Life was a dizzying mix of slapstick comedy, Shakespearean insults, drama geeks and teenage sexuality. When Roz actually asked her ouija board if Eva was a lesbian, well, I knew this was going to be a fun book. One particular aspect I appreciated was the Shakespearean insults that were casually flung about in normal, everyday conversations. For instance, Roz says to fellow thespian Carmen, "don't be a hedge-born clack-dish" (don't be a blabbermouth). Roz also had this tendency to play out conversations in her mind ahead of time so that they would unfold theatrically in her favor. But then she'd come back to earth to tell us what really happened. I found this extremely amusing. Here's an example from when Roz wanted to tell her sister's boyfriend Bryan that she suspected Eva was a lesbian-
"He stares at me for a long moment. "You mean she's gay? It doesn't matter. You're the one I've always wanted, " he says, wrapping his arms around me.

Then she says-
"Total drivel. One too many visits to Bryan Fantasy Land has wrecked my grip on reality".
Roz definitely steals the spotlight with her flair for the dramatic and the hilarious lengths she will goes to get Eva to give in and "come out". Yet, despite their differences, all Roz really wanted was for Eva to be her best friend again and confide in her. The two girls were extremely competitive with one another, but I found it really touching with how much Roz really did care about her sister.

The way Lauren Bjorkman captures the teenage voice was so impressive to me. The issues are dealt with such humor and insight, that I found myself completely at ease and really taken in by her writing. The incorporation of the play As You Like It into the storyline was a really great way to tie everything nicely together and it kept the plot fast paced and fun. My Invented Life is a smart, honest novel that is not only refreshing in it's depiction of teens coming to terms with their true selves, but it's also really fun!

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 240 Pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805089500
ISBN-13: 978-0805089509
Buy at Amazon, Borders, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound
Visit Lauren Bjorkman at her Official Website

About the Author:
I grew up on a sailboat, sharing the tiny forecastle with my sister and the sail bags. We are still friends. I still like to travel to exotic corners of the world, and have learned how to make bread from Bedouins in Yemen and played Hacky Sack with children in Thailand. I live in Taos, New Mexico with my husband, two sons, a cat that thinks he’s a dog.


The first thing I see is Eva’s journal. I’m not tempted. It rests seductively at the center of her night table, and the latch appears to be broken. Still I won’t touch it. Even though I know she’ll never find out. And even if it might reveal why she deleted me from her life. OK then, one little peek. Read Chapter One HERE.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

nice review. i really want to read this. it sounds great.


celi.a said...

I agree with Lauren - great review! I love those lines you pulled from the book...they convey who the character is (or at least her inner voice) in a cool way. Nice post!

Debbie's World of Books said...

What a great review! I'll admit based on the cover and book blurb I wasn't really interested in this book but after reading your review I'm going to add it to my wishlist. Thanks!

Ceri said...

Hehe - this sounds like a fun read. Really great review! Added this to my wishlist now.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This sounds like a great read! Your review certainly intrigued me enough to want this one on my list...even though I have a HUGE TBR stack!

Falling Off The Shelf said...

This one looks great! I've added it to my wishlist :)

GMR said...

Hmm...sounds like an interesting way to cover a real topic in a fictional setting. Nice work!

Cym Lowell said...

Great Review. Thanks for the support for Book Review Wednesdays! I love having all the different genres represented in one place. My Amazon account is going bankrupt.

One thing to complete the link-up. Could you add either my Book Review Badge or a simple link back to my Book Review Party Post? This way readers can go back and forth reading the list. (I hope I explained this right?). All this technology stuff is new to me ;)

Be sure to check back Friday AM when I announce the winner of the $25 Amazon GC.


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Great review! I love your blog!

~ Lori

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