kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

500 Words or Less

Availability: Ready to download

Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays. But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral com Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays. But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.


Compare
kode adsense disini

Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays. But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral com Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays. But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.

30 review for 500 Words or Less

  1. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    There was nothing particularly wrong with this book, but it was just so mediocre that I know I won't think about it ever again. I didn't really understand why this book needed to be written in verse because it stunted the delivery of the book, but if the author had chosen to written the whole book out instead, it would have probably been so boring and just as unremarkable. Although this book had a cool aim and cast of characters, we weren't really let in to know a lot about them, so it fell flat There was nothing particularly wrong with this book, but it was just so mediocre that I know I won't think about it ever again. I didn't really understand why this book needed to be written in verse because it stunted the delivery of the book, but if the author had chosen to written the whole book out instead, it would have probably been so boring and just as unremarkable. Although this book had a cool aim and cast of characters, we weren't really let in to know a lot about them, so it fell flat. Most of the book just ended up focusing on relationship drama, which made the tone of the book melodramatic and cheesy. Again, I like the characters though and one of the chapters had SUCH a good message about racism, so the themes throughout this are awesome, even if the forefront of the book rests on mediocre boy drama

  2. 5 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    the mc's thought process is basically a depiction of all my darkest thoughts on sleepless nights Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone. 500 Words or Less is about a half-Chinese, half-white girl who went through a breakup in the past and basically lost the friends most important to her. And while she's trying to discover herself, she starts a business where she starts writing college a the mc's thought process is basically a depiction of all my darkest thoughts on sleepless nights Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone. 500 Words or Less is about a half-Chinese, half-white girl who went through a breakup in the past and basically lost the friends most important to her. And while she's trying to discover herself, she starts a business where she starts writing college admissions essays for others in exchange for money. My original rating was five stars, but I've decided to lower it to three. Mainly because I feel like the concept of this novel was fantastic, but it was honestly kind of lackluster in execution. When a book is written in prose, the main reason is usually that it has more of an impact rather than if it was written in storytelling format. However, I feel like this book would still literally have had the same impact if it was written in novel format, and honestly I wish that it was written in novel format. In some instances, the writing was really beautiful, but in other instances I almost laughed out loud at the poems because they were... pointless, really. I feel like to me, personally, I didn't notice the weirdness of the poems because I read really quickly and kind of just clump together the words, but when I look at the poems again I just.... want to cringe. "It's not smashed. Your sandwiches are always smashed," Kitty said. Like... what was the point of these line breaks here. But besides this, I feel like this was a really poignant novel on racism and I honestly wish that this novel was longer so that the characters could be more fleshed out and we could have explored Nic's friendships and relationships more. Everything seemed kind of thrown together haphazardly to create a novel, and while this really did have a strong and important message, I wish the execution had been done a little better. Trigger and content warnings for death and excessive alcohol. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc via Netgalley!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra {semi-hiatus}

    *Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!* “When I write essays, I write about the emotionally raw moments, the lowest points, the authentic experiences that change and shape us. I am more than writing college essays. I am telling stories that we are too afraid to tell, because to tell them is to relive them, and sometimes it hurts too much.” First, forgive the formatting. My ARC was digital and for some reason my Kindle messed with the format of the ve *Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!* “When I write essays, I write about the emotionally raw moments, the lowest points, the authentic experiences that change and shape us. I am more than writing college essays. I am telling stories that we are too afraid to tell, because to tell them is to relive them, and sometimes it hurts too much.” First, forgive the formatting. My ARC was digital and for some reason my Kindle messed with the format of the verse so I'm just guessing how these passages were supposed to look. Now, into the book. I'm so glad verse is a rising theme in YA. I adore novels written in verse. Books like The Poet X and Solo were the greatest surprises of the year for me. Sadly, while I enjoyed 500 Words of Less, it did not live up to the hype I set for it. Don't get me wrong; this is a good book. The last few chapters left me in an emotional lurch and had me questioning my life choices and what matters in life versus what matters to society. Honestly, it was one of the strongest endings of a contemporary novel I have read in a while. But tragically the 90% of the novel that came before those last few chapters was nothing special. It wasn't memorable. The characters weren't very memorable. I could see snippets throughout the book of scenes and people that had the potential to be fantastic, but just weren't. I wish I enjoyed this more but even now, a few days later, I'm struggling to recall characters' names. However, I will read more by this author in the future. She has a strong grasp on certain issues in our society that I can tell will translate into stronger novels in the future. Not bad for a debut. Loneliness Isn’t this gaping hole in your heart because your boyfriend broke up with you. It isn’t being dateless on prom night. It isn’t even the emotional distance between you and your parents. Loneliness is living in your own skin with a person you don’t even know. Loneliness is the void of self, the absence of knowing who you are.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shealea

    The premise is intriguing and quite novel. However, the execution left a lot to be desired. I think this mainly stemmed from the limitations of its format. Frankly, I just could not see why this story had to be told in verse. Honestly, I think the impact of 500 Words or Less would have been more beautifully delivered in narrative form. I was a bit worried about the possibility that this book might inadvertently glorify or romanticize cheating in relationships. Thankfully, that did not happen at The premise is intriguing and quite novel. However, the execution left a lot to be desired. I think this mainly stemmed from the limitations of its format. Frankly, I just could not see why this story had to be told in verse. Honestly, I think the impact of 500 Words or Less would have been more beautifully delivered in narrative form. I was a bit worried about the possibility that this book might inadvertently glorify or romanticize cheating in relationships. Thankfully, that did not happen at all! Infidelity was handled with remarkable sensitivity, and even more so, 500 Words or Less tentatively explored the gender-based unfairness in infidelity. The story shined the brightest during the scenes that focused on Nic’s diasporic experiences as a Chinese-American teenager and her journey towards growth and self-discovery. These scenes held the most depth, and it was only during these scenes that I could really empathize with Nic’s plight. By the end of the day, this verse novel is teeming with untapped potential and I still enjoyed reading it, despite its numerous flaws – largely its lackluster execution and format. Ultimately, 500 Words or Less delivers a story about identity and loneliness that most people can easily relate to, while igniting necessary conversations on systemic issues that the less privileged, particularly people of color, are forced to endure. Content/Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[Death; infidelity; slut-shaming; parental abandonment; microaggression (challenged). (hide spoiler)] Disclosure: I am participating in a blog tour organized by Rich in Variety Tours, which is why I received a review copy of 500 Words or Less. This neither affects my opinion nor the content of my review. Actual rating: 3.5 stars * Read the rest of the review in my natural habitat!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    “Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone.” I actually really liked parts of 500 Words or Less - Nic writing the essays for her classmates, and her overall journey of what’s expected of her from society versus what she wants/needs in life. The essays were great at letting us get to know the other characters and Nic’s mindset and personality. I really loved seeing Nic challenge the racism “Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone.” I actually really liked parts of 500 Words or Less - Nic writing the essays for her classmates, and her overall journey of what’s expected of her from society versus what she wants/needs in life. The essays were great at letting us get to know the other characters and Nic’s mindset and personality. I really loved seeing Nic challenge the racisms and micro-aggressions she faced as a half Chinese-American woman. But I didn’t connect with the characters at all. Yes, I feel like I got to know them and their perspectives, but I didn’t really care for them or even like them in most cases. The story was mostly forgettable, or plot points came out of nowhere to force character change. It wasn’t the highlight I was expecting, or hoping for.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yusra ✨

    i'm trash for well-written novel in verse

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joy McCullough

    I absolutely LOVED this gorgeously written novel-in-verse. Full of moral complexity and no easy answers, put this on your TBR!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    ❈ laura ❈

    “Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone.” ✰✰ Rep: biracial mc (half-Chinese, half-white) TW: cheating, death, loneliness, slut-shaming, parental abandonment. I don't know if books written in verse is not my thing, but what I know is that this book wasn't for me. In 500 Words or Less we follow Nic Chen who started her senior year after she went through a breakup after she cheated on her “Maybe I was broken inside, with a moral compass that no longer pointed north. Or maybe I just wanted to be wanted, to be heard, to be seen, by someone. Anyone.” ✰✰ Rep: biracial mc (half-Chinese, half-white) TW: cheating, death, loneliness, slut-shaming, parental abandonment. I don't know if books written in verse is not my thing, but what I know is that this book wasn't for me. In 500 Words or Less we follow Nic Chen who started her senior year after she went through a breakup after she cheated on her boyfriend with one mutual friend, losing both of them in the process. Now she's branded as the girl who cheated her boyfriend who was really beloved by everyone. One day, one of her classmates offers her a little job, to write her college admission essay since Nic is really good at writing. The new spreand and more of her classmates offers her the same. So, while she's writing them she beginsto discover more of herself. This is the second book that I've read in verse, and while and didn't love either of them, I actually enjoy the first one that I read (long way down if you're curious). So I know it isn't because of the format, if was just this book and me didn't connect. I didn't understand why is written in verse to be honest, I didn't see the purpose of it (if someone knows please tell me), it could have the same impact written in novel format. The characters were so bland and I've easily forgotten about them because we weren't really let in to know a lot about them. I think we could have explored more of Nic and her friendship with her two friends (that I don't even remember their names), and more of her family, but it just fell flat in the end. Two things that I liked about this book is how Nic wasn't afraid in calling anyone on their racism, and how the author talks about double standard in cheating (even though I find it kind of superficial). I despise cheating. I can't support someone who go with it. I won't desire them anything bad, but I can't support it, and even though I wanted Nic to progress with her life and be happy, I couldn't feel bad for her when she explained who lonely she feels after her boyfriend broke up with her. I was like: uhm, I don't know Nic, maybe cheating him is a good reason for him to break up?? But Nic and her boyfriend where friends with the person she cheats him with, and her boyfriend forgives his friend and still talks to him but he ignores Nic, and also, in the highschool everyone is doing slut-shaming to Nic but this guy is one of the most popular and no one gives him shit, and it's so unfair. Overall, it is a quick read, you can read it in a day. But I can't find myself recommending it when I barely remember it and knowing that I rolled my eyes a lot reading it and not in a good way, sadly.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Nic had lost a lot in the past two years. She lost her mother, her boyfriend, her friends, herself. Her senior year was not the one she imagined, but it was the one, where she came to understand herself and others, step by step, in 500 words or less. This book was not a lighthearted read. It was raw, real, and painful at times. There was a layer of sadness, which got thicker and thicker, until I was full-on crying. Eventually, though, some light broke through, and hope emerged in the end. Nic was Nic had lost a lot in the past two years. She lost her mother, her boyfriend, her friends, herself. Her senior year was not the one she imagined, but it was the one, where she came to understand herself and others, step by step, in 500 words or less. This book was not a lighthearted read. It was raw, real, and painful at times. There was a layer of sadness, which got thicker and thicker, until I was full-on crying. Eventually, though, some light broke through, and hope emerged in the end. Nic was a tough character to like, but easy to empathize with. She made mistakes she regretted and was emotionally distant, but because I spent the entire book essentially in her head, I sort of understood her. Her feelings of loneliness and brokenness were palpable, and I suffered sympathy pains for her. Several things stood out for me in this book. One was the writing. I enjoy books in verse. I feel as though a lot of consideration is given for every word chosen and the phrasing that is used, because the author is trying to tell the story in verse. del Rosario's writing was gorgeous, and packed quite a punch. It was emotional and full of vivid imagery. I fully imbibed all her words, and loved the way they felt and made me feel. The other stars of this book were the essays Nic wrote. Those college admissions essays were not your average fluff. This was where del Rosario confronted many social issues. The approach was interesting and thought provoking, and I felt like the ideas carried more weight in the way they were presented in such a personal way. I fully appreciated what they essays gave back to Nic. As she explored each of those characters' lives, she found bits of herself in their stories. She came to many realizations about herself. She started that journey towards acceptance of the circumstances, and maybe even started moving on. Yes, this book was somewhat weighty, but there were some lighthearted and happy moments shared as well, and in the end, I was left hopeful for Nic. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Thank you to #netgalley for a free ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. Raw, real, and an honest look at teens in America, 500 Words or Less is a beautifully written-in prose!!!-book. With a diverse cast of characters, this books captures a senior year in high school perfectly. The book's narrator Nic Chen is flawed and messy and falling apart, and such an excellently written character that you can't but help relate to her and her insights to her classmates.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Nic Chen's mother disappeared and after cheating on her boyfriend with a friend, Nic herself has been branded a slut. From whispers in the hallway to a lipstick scrawl of "whore" on her locker, Nic finds herself feeling isolated from her peers -- and herself. But when she begins to write college admissions essays for her peers, even though she doesn't need the money, she begins to uncover some of the depths of those around her. Depths she'd never seen before. And when she loses someone important Nic Chen's mother disappeared and after cheating on her boyfriend with a friend, Nic herself has been branded a slut. From whispers in the hallway to a lipstick scrawl of "whore" on her locker, Nic finds herself feeling isolated from her peers -- and herself. But when she begins to write college admissions essays for her peers, even though she doesn't need the money, she begins to uncover some of the depths of those around her. Depths she'd never seen before. And when she loses someone important in her life, it's by seeing the truth of her own story and depths she's not allowed herself to explore internally, that Nic is able to better speak and live her own truth. Nic is half-Chinese and half white, and she attends a racially and economically diverse school. Though the second part isn't apparent until later, there's a powerful moment when Nic realizes that someone she's seen as a golden boy in the school has grown up with a father working several jobs in order for his son to attend a prestigious high school. It's a big ah-ha moment to her own privilege, and it's one of the ways that del Rosario shows us what Nic believes on the outside vs. what she learns to be true of the inside. The family dynamics in this one are interesting, as Nic's parents are divorced and her mother is out of the picture. Her stepmother is the opposite of Nic's mother in every way, but there isn't discord or frustration; in many ways, her stepmother is someone Nic doesn't judge or see as someone less-than. We find out that she, in fact, knows nothing about her until later on. A well-paced verse novel set in the high-stakes period of college admissions time during senior year of high school. My one criticism is (view spoiler)[ Ben's death seems ridiculous. It happens so fast and serves merely as the catalyst for change -- it's too obvious, I guess, is the criticism I have. Too easy. Too convenient. We never got to know Ben at all, so his death being the big moment was kind of a let down. (hide spoiler)] .

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    There was literally no reason for this to be in verse, and I'm irrationally annoyed by it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Solomon

    I devoured this stunning novel-in-verse in one sitting. It's raw and real, painful and hopeful. I felt transported back to high school -- in part because this takes place in a fictionalized version of a Seattle suburb, but also because Juleah del Rosario writes with such empathy for her messy, flawed teen characters.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kales

    I just didn't get it. Something fell so flat. And I still can't quite put my finger on it. I had no idea why this book was in verse. There was literally no point. I get that it was about essays that were 500 words or less but it didn't seem to fit with the idea of poetry or verse. At best, the whole thing felt like an odd grouping of Instagram poetry. As for the story itself, it was generic. A pathetic love triangle with cheating, disappearing moms, absent fathers, oh my! I can't tell you how man I just didn't get it. Something fell so flat. And I still can't quite put my finger on it. I had no idea why this book was in verse. There was literally no point. I get that it was about essays that were 500 words or less but it didn't seem to fit with the idea of poetry or verse. At best, the whole thing felt like an odd grouping of Instagram poetry. As for the story itself, it was generic. A pathetic love triangle with cheating, disappearing moms, absent fathers, oh my! I can't tell you how many times I rolled my eyes at this story. It was like a bad CW show. The only, ONLY reason this isn't a one star, is because of the essays. They were the best part of the story. Even though no one ended up using them, they were ridiculously vulnerable and interesting. I wanted more from that section of the story. It was unique. Overall, I wasn't impressed. There are plenty of better YA books in verse. Conclusion: Give this book away

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valary

    beautiful, sad, broken and real

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    I've always been a huge fan of novels in verse and 500 Words or Less is no exception. I really liked this one and I can definitely see it being relatable for some people. For a verse novel, I really did connect with the main character Nic. The only part I didn't really like was the ending/twist.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tova

    Thank you for posting relatable content! And if you'd like to see my own 500 Words or Less Essay you can read my full review + college news & essay here! --- This book is coming at the most opportune moment in my life. It comes out about a month into what will be my senior year of high school in which I will be applying to colleges and write a lot of applications, essays, and scholarship forms. So basically, I will relate to this like hell (most likely).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hallie

    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own. It starts with slut-shaming written all over Nic’s locker in lipstick. Nic Chen never dreamed that her senior year would include being outcasted for cheating on her boyfriend with his best friend (and it’s not lost on her that his best friend has suffered no consequences for his part in cheating) and being known as the girl who’s mom walked out. She’s ready to make a new name for herself when she sta Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own. It starts with slut-shaming written all over Nic’s locker in lipstick. Nic Chen never dreamed that her senior year would include being outcasted for cheating on her boyfriend with his best friend (and it’s not lost on her that his best friend has suffered no consequences for his part in cheating) and being known as the girl who’s mom walked out. She’s ready to make a new name for herself when she starts writing other seniors’ college application essays. 500 Words or Less is written in verse and interspersed Nic’s essays for her classmates. The contrast between the two writing styles invites readers to think about the way we see ourselves compared to how we present ourselves to others. Nic carefully considers her classmates inner thoughts and realizes how much each person must be confronting on a daily basis while pretending they’re not. Nic, a half-Chinese, half-white teen carries many burdens. Her mother walked out on her family unexpectedly and Nic is still reeling from the abrupt separation. She’s also friendless after cheating on her boyfriend. She confronts slut-shaming, misogyny, and racism throughout the novel. She feels self-destructive and at fault for everything that’s happened to her. When a classmate and former friend dies unexpectedly Nic is overcome with all the grief and emotions she’s been holding back. This novel explores how hard people are on themselves. Nic struggles with moving forward but she finally starts to find more understanding for herself. As Nic’s classmates start receiving their acceptance letters, Nic starts finding her own self-acceptance. At the beginning of the book Nic is lonely, hurt, and angry at herself. By the end of the novel she is able to own her mistakes and take responsibility for what she’s done while moving on and forgiving herself. She allows herself to grow and finds new possibilities.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Thompson

    This was my first experience with a novel in verse type book. It was a quick read because of that, but it was also hard-hitting. There were topics that I can't even face about myself that I was forced to for this book and it was beautiful. Full review to come EDIT: SPOILER FREE REVIEW Nic Chen doesn't want to be known as the girl that cheated on her boyfriend. In a school full of Ivy League-obsessed classmates, Nic wants to redefine her reputation. To do so, she starts writing their college admis This was my first experience with a novel in verse type book. It was a quick read because of that, but it was also hard-hitting. There were topics that I can't even face about myself that I was forced to for this book and it was beautiful. Full review to come EDIT: SPOILER FREE REVIEW Nic Chen doesn't want to be known as the girl that cheated on her boyfriend. In a school full of Ivy League-obsessed classmates, Nic wants to redefine her reputation. To do so, she starts writing their college admissions essays. The more essays she writes, the less Nic realizes she knows about herself, the less she knows about what she's thought of others. As Nic becomes less and less sure of herself, she begins to wonder if her moral compass points north, or if it ever did. This book was given to me by Edelweiss+ and the publisher, Simon Pulse, for an honest review. Thank you so much for the opportunity! This was a heartbreakingly honest book that leaves you reeling after it's finished. I have never read a book like this before, format-wise and one that left me completely breathless by the end. The turns were so unexpected they tipped me right over, the ending the biggest of them all. I don't know where to start with this one. I have never been left so...speechless. Even after THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera was I able to articulate how it affected me, but I'm kind of in shock right now. The way the book was formatted was different from anything I've ever read before, I believe it's called a 'Novel in Verse'. Essentially it was a bunch of poem like chapters that made up the book. It was very intimate reading because it wasn't filled with a lot of the fluffy words that authors use to make their book pretty or add to the word count. It was raw and as close to talking with a human as you can get. To put it simply, it blew me away. Nic Chen is our main character throughout this book and she was so real. I wanted to talk to her, to make sure she was going to be okay, to see if she needed anything. She was disturbed and broken after cheating on her boyfriend and was willing to do near anything to go back to what they had before. A strong, resilient woman that shattered after everything. Not only that, but as the name might suggest, she was of Asian descent, and while it did say in the book I cannot remember what it was exactly, I'm so sorry for that. However, there was one character, one of her former best friends, that loved to make jokes about her ethnicity, calling her all sorts of different racial slurs and names, essentially trying to portray her as a stereotype. She handled it very well, and so did the author. On the Edelweiss page where I reviewed the book, it has a little section that the author wanted to be included and it's basically a 'you're wonderful and don't let others tell you otherwise' type thing and I just fell in love with Rosario right there. The other characters around her were also handled with the love and care that they needed to become real people. None of them felt like they were there to add unnecessary tension, or to create some drama the book didn't need. Everything that was needed for Nic Chen's story to be told was included. Rosario created an atmosphere so like school I couldn't believe it. Of course, there were the stereotypical people, but they're stereotypes for a reason, even my actual high school had people like them. Nothing was fake, it was as real and raw as you could get. The heartbreak, the despair, everything you could think of was there and you felt all of it right alongside Nic. I don't want to call it 'romance' exactly, but the relationships in this book were handled so delicately and perfectly. They were real and haunting. Nic makes mistakes in them, I mean the premise is her trying to convince herself and others she isn't just a ruthless cheater, but she can still mess up. And it's okay to, as long as you grow from it. This book was all about growth and learning, and by the end, Nic hadn't done all the growing she needed to make things right again, but she had started. She had learned she wasn't perfect and it was okay. She was trying and that's all that mattered. Nic was broken but she had started to pick up pieces. The chapters that included the essays were stunning. Nic truly started to understand herself and others, managing to somehow get into their heads. By the end, you couldn't tell if she was writing about them or her, and I believe it was a little bit of both. She was able to put them in the essay with her truths she was too scared to face otherwise. A character that truly deserved more than what she got.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rashika (is tired)

    I went into 500 Words or Less not knowing what the book was about at all so I was in for a bit of a surprise when it wasn’t actually a fluffy contemporary? Nic Chen is a complicated MC. She cheated on her ex, who everyone knew to be a great human being. Worse than that, she cheated on her ex with his best friend (who coincidentally, her ex is still talking too…so…) But she doesn’t want to known as the girl who cheated on her ex so she starts writing people’s college essays for them. But the more I went into 500 Words or Less not knowing what the book was about at all so I was in for a bit of a surprise when it wasn’t actually a fluffy contemporary? Nic Chen is a complicated MC. She cheated on her ex, who everyone knew to be a great human being. Worse than that, she cheated on her ex with his best friend (who coincidentally, her ex is still talking too…so…) But she doesn’t want to known as the girl who cheated on her ex so she starts writing people’s college essays for them. But the more time she spends writing essays, the less sure she is of herself or how she perceives her classmates. Honestly, Nic Chen is one of the most well written characters ever. There are so many layers to her and she feels SO REAL. She is not perfect and it is wonderful that she can make such huge mistakes and somehow not be villainized. In so many stories, she’d be a bitchy side character but del Rosario has offered her multidimensionality. It’s been months since I’ve read this book but I still haven’t forgotten it because Nic Chen has left such a remarkable mark on my mind. EVEN IF YOU HATE CHEATERS i really hope you’ll give Nic Chen a chance because she is worth it, and this book is worth it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm always looking for new verse novels for my library--they are extremely popular and great for reluctant readers. I was really emotionally invested in the first part of this one--Nic is struggling with having cheated on her boyfriend and the aftermath, and having an imperfect narrator generally makes for an interesting, honest story. She's also still dealing with the fact that her mother left, and she's been writing othe Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm always looking for new verse novels for my library--they are extremely popular and great for reluctant readers. I was really emotionally invested in the first part of this one--Nic is struggling with having cheated on her boyfriend and the aftermath, and having an imperfect narrator generally makes for an interesting, honest story. She's also still dealing with the fact that her mother left, and she's been writing other students' college essays...which is cathartic but also unethical. The second half wasn't as enjoyable for me, however--especially after (view spoiler)[Ben's death. It seemed like a simple way to force Nic and Jordan to deal with what they'd done instead of having to own up to things with Ben. I would have rather had uncomfortable conversations and discoveries, so I felt kind of cheated. But with all the friend and romantic drama, this one will definitely be popular with my students. (hide spoiler)]

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I've become a big fan of novels-in-verse, and this was a relatively enjoyable one for me. That said, I wouldn't list it with my favorites. And, even though I currently spend my days talking books with high school students, it's not one I would push into the hands of any student I know right now. It's a story about a young, rich half-Chinese, half-White high school student who is struggling with her moral compass and her identity. A lot of the poetry, on its own, is wonderful; the hard part is we I've become a big fan of novels-in-verse, and this was a relatively enjoyable one for me. That said, I wouldn't list it with my favorites. And, even though I currently spend my days talking books with high school students, it's not one I would push into the hands of any student I know right now. It's a story about a young, rich half-Chinese, half-White high school student who is struggling with her moral compass and her identity. A lot of the poetry, on its own, is wonderful; the hard part is weaving it together. The novel-in-verse format makes it challenging to get to know all of the many characters all that well. There is the requisite edgy (sex, alcoholism, parental abandonment) content. For me, it felt like just a bit too much all at once. Of course, I'm not the ideal audience. I read this in under an hour, which undoubtedly enhances my feeling of all the content being "too much." At the same time, I think it'd be difficult for typical audience for this type of book (a teen who doesn't necessarily like to read much and who would take a much longer time to absorb it) to identify with all the Ivy League-bound characters. I've read plenty of deep and thought-provoking novels-in-verse that "worked." This one might have been stronger in prose -- with some of the wonderful poetry mixed in.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 Stars. I quite enjoyed the voice, and the pacing was great (yay novels in verse). I think Nic’s vulnerabilities will resonate with older teen readers. Discusses broken families, break ups (cheating), privilege, and lots of AP classes. Why 3.5? Ben’s whole story arc. I would have preferred if the only scene he was in was the party scene. That should have been it. No school system would have ever allowed him to transfer 2nd semester of his senior year! And that other thing at the end...ridicul 3.5 Stars. I quite enjoyed the voice, and the pacing was great (yay novels in verse). I think Nic’s vulnerabilities will resonate with older teen readers. Discusses broken families, break ups (cheating), privilege, and lots of AP classes. Why 3.5? Ben’s whole story arc. I would have preferred if the only scene he was in was the party scene. That should have been it. No school system would have ever allowed him to transfer 2nd semester of his senior year! And that other thing at the end...ridiculous and unnecessary. Collection development: a lot of on page drinking, a little off page sex. Nothing risqué, just realistic party scenes. Purchase for high school libraries.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I liked this novel about high school angst and imperfect families. Nic, Ben, and Jordan are best friends until Ben and Nic started dating. Then one night, Nic and Jordan betray Ben. None of them are the same. To find herself and her purpose, Nic begins writing admission essays for her classmates. In 500 words or less, she shows them to us, scars and all. I appreciate the publisher and NetGalley allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    Honestly, this one was just meh. Creating a good narrative with prose poetry is tricky and this one was sort of a miss. It was overly maudlin, I didn't really care about the characters, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for any of the decisions that the main character made. I just really really didn't care for this book. I wanted to! And I liked some parts of it--it was really interesting to see the story from the main character's point of view, but that wasn't enough for me to like it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    A.M. Rose

    This book is beyond amazing. It's full of so many fells from the first page all the way through the end. Juleah is a true literary artist. Her writing style is effortless and beautiful. Each word carries so much weight you can feel it. Because of this book I want to read all the books in verse. If you read it, you are sure to love it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hazel (Stay Bookish)

    It has been a while since I read a verse novel and Juleah made me renew my love for it with her beautiful writing. I was wary of the complicated situations in the book, but Nic's emotions of loneliness and guilt were so relatable. Having Nic's drafts of essays she wrote for others was also unique.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Stein

    OK THIS WAS GREAT! Quick read as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma (Miss Print)

    What happens when your attempt to be a better person might be making you worse? Nic Chen isn’t going to spend her senior year known only as the girl who cheated on her boyfriend with his best friend. She had enough grief when her mom left under a cloud of scandal. This year isn’t going to be a repeat of that. To revamp her reputation with her Ivy League obsessed classmates, Nic has a simple plan: she will write college admission essays. For a price. But as Nic learns more about her classmates, she What happens when your attempt to be a better person might be making you worse? Nic Chen isn’t going to spend her senior year known only as the girl who cheated on her boyfriend with his best friend. She had enough grief when her mom left under a cloud of scandal. This year isn’t going to be a repeat of that. To revamp her reputation with her Ivy League obsessed classmates, Nic has a simple plan: she will write college admission essays. For a price. But as Nic learns more about her classmates, she realizes she still has a lot to learn about herself and her moral compass in 500 Words or Less (2018) by Juleah del Rosario. 500 Words or Less is a shining verse novel with a strikingly original story. Through free verse poems Nic contends with painful memories from her past including when her mother left and her last year in high school that changed everything. Nic is a flawed character well aware of her own shortcomings both in reality and in the eyes of her peers. She grapples with her identity, both as a biracial teen and an outsider at her school, as she tries to figure out how to embrace all of herself--even the ugly pieces. 500 Words or Less is a unique story whose format works well to emphasize elegant prose and complex characterization. An excellent debut that proves del Rosario is an author to watch. Recommended. Possible Pairings: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan, Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lucie

    *I received an eArc of this book through Edelweiss* This was just... fine. I really liked the idea of this book, but the execution left something to be desired. I hated the main character and her actions made no sense to me. She was supposedly so smart yet everything she did was so dumb. The other characters were pretty one dimensional and I didn't care about them. I felt like I knew more about random people than her 2 best friends, and for the majority of the book it seemed like she barely even l *I received an eArc of this book through Edelweiss* This was just... fine. I really liked the idea of this book, but the execution left something to be desired. I hated the main character and her actions made no sense to me. She was supposedly so smart yet everything she did was so dumb. The other characters were pretty one dimensional and I didn't care about them. I felt like I knew more about random people than her 2 best friends, and for the majority of the book it seemed like she barely even liked them. However, I was fascinated with the story and all the ideas brought up in here and that kept me reading. The ending felt very unnecessary and almost manipulative, so unfortunately the book ended on a sour note for me.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.