Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

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

by - January 24, 2012

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.

Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.

~Add To Your Goodreads Shelf~

The idea of this book really appealed to me, I didn’t know much about Anthropology but I love High School stories like this one and figured it would be a great thing to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this one. I didn’t love it and I wouldn’t go as far as to say I loved it, it was just ‘meh’. Not really memorable enough. Even as I type I’m forgetting lot of stuff about it.

The idea of the story is pretty basic: Anthropology student wants to create an awesome paper for some Anthro thing, so she can try and get a scholarship in some college because the one near to her just isn’t good enough. She works out that the best way to do this is to enter her town’s pageant competition so she can see it from the pageant contestant’s point of view, that way she can study them better and make her paper super super awesome. Along the way she realises that her friends are better than she realised and she need to appreciate them more and everything ends up with shiny happy rainbows.

Except Janice is really, really mean. And pretty shallow too. She cares more about her stupid Anthro paper than her friends and for some reason got it into her head that she’s amazing at Antro and bla bla bla. Now, the real problem is that when she realised how mean she was being and changed, I didn’t particularly like her character then either. I guess we just weren’t destined to be friends.

The Miss Livermush pageant. Oh lord. The cheesiness of this name never failed to irritate me. The entire book is centred around this pageant and yet when they finally started the pageant there wasn’t really much there. It was over pretty quickly.

The book itself is written like this: Anthropology Observation #33333388822: Yada yada yada (instead of chapters, which I really liked, it was cute). Then while I was trying to read the story, a few random facts would be thrown at me, mostly ones that I could leave out of the story and not notice the disappearance. I think they were just thrown in to bulk up the story.


Received free from a blogger who has closed their site, in exchange for an honest review. So naturally I nicked my review back off her because she was rude to me.

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  1. I didn't like this book all that much either; Janice was SO mean at the start but I did enjoy the Anthro insights-I enjoy when such things are incorporated into the story.


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