The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills: A (Rapid Fire) Review

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson (2011)

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna PearsonIf Harriet the spy had kept up her notebooks into her teen years and developed an interest in Anthropology (and been moved to North Carolina by her parents) this very well might have been the resulting book. Interspersed with Janice’s anthropological notes and observations, facts, not to mention her letter to the editor of Current Anthropology submitting her latest article (AKA the book) readers find a story of a budding anthropologist, her friends, her enemies, and the Miss Livermush pageant.

While the premise is amusing and Janice’s foibles somewhat endearing, the book was a bit too focused on the Anthropology gimmick. Janice’s focus is singular (to the point of referring to the mean girl bullies and her own circle as “tribes”) and often detracts from the story at hand. While it’s funny and will appeal to fans of Miss Smithers or The Sweetheart of Prosper County, Janice’s chosen interest is not enough to set this book apart.