Every once in a while, a debut author has to take a moment out of her busy revision schedule to say, “Squeeeeee!” I did just that when I read the review of MY INVENTED LIFE in SLJ yesterday.
Here’s the review in full. I bolded the parts I liked best 😀
Gr 9 Up—Self-proclaimed drama geek Roz Peterson has an active fantasy life, which she often confuses with reality. She thinks that her sister Eva, who is no longer confiding in her, is a lesbian and in love with her friend Carmen. Roz dreams of Eva’s boyfriend, Bryan, reciprocating her longtime crush. In an effort to encourage her sister, Roz decides to come out at school and invent a new sexual identity for herself as a lesbian, the only problem being that she is basically heterosexual. The hapless Roz is an exceptionally unreliable narrator who makes clumsy attempts to figure out what is going on with all the other people in her life. All this real-life gender-bending takes place during the drama club’s production of As You Like It. This novel is particularly good at evoking teenage confusion about sexual preference and identity, and Bjorkman’s depiction of the drama-club crowd is absolutely spot-on, especially the characters’ trading of Shakespearean insults online and the practical jokes they play on one another. Narrator Roz is funny, well intentioned, and likable despite her cluelessness, and she is surrounded by a realistic cast of adult and teen characters representing a wide variety of viewpoints and sexual preferences. This is an enjoyable read that will be especially appealing to theater aficionados.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ