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. 5 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. 5 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. 4 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

    ❈ 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yusra ✨

    i'm trash for well-written novel in verse

  8. 5 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!!!

  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

    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.

  12. 5 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)]

  17. 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.

  18. 4 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.

  19. 4 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tova

    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).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Stein

    OK THIS WAS GREAT! Quick read as well.

  22. 5 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

  23. 5 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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I did not love this book, however I’m 36 years old. I think that it has the potential to hook high school students.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily Polson

    Not a bad idea for a book--the college entrance essays themselves were interesting, and the author plays with important themes about trying to understand others and ourselves more fully--but it didn't need to be written in verse. There was no logical connection between that choice, the story, and its protagonist; she's writing essays for her peers, which are included in their prose form. In the end, I think the form obscured more than it complemented. *I received an ARC from the publisher for re Not a bad idea for a book--the college entrance essays themselves were interesting, and the author plays with important themes about trying to understand others and ourselves more fully--but it didn't need to be written in verse. There was no logical connection between that choice, the story, and its protagonist; she's writing essays for her peers, which are included in their prose form. In the end, I think the form obscured more than it complemented. *I received an ARC from the publisher for review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I cannot rave about this book enough. Every spotlight shone on every character felt like it revealed an insight to someone I’ve known in my life. Delicious small details that bring the story to life. Metaphors so apt they made me want to stand on the nearest chair and shout, “Yes!!”. And now I only want to read fiction written in verse, even if written only half as brilliantly as done here.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Calsee

    I devoured this book in one sitting. And then I read it again. I can't wait for the book to be available in stores so I can recommend it to everyone I know.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aryssa

    Some of the verse language was really beautiful but it didn't hold that beauty steady over the entire book like Ellen Hopkins does. Looking forward to reading more by the author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mariana

    When I read the blurb for this book for the first time I was immediately intrigued: a YA novel in verse about a high achieving student in an ivy-league obsessed school who attempts to salvage her reputation after a scandal by writing her classmates admissions essays? Yes, please! Drama among high achieving high school or college students has always been a particular literary catnip of mine and after the recent release of some incredible YA novels in verse like The Poet X and The Same Blood I was When I read the blurb for this book for the first time I was immediately intrigued: a YA novel in verse about a high achieving student in an ivy-league obsessed school who attempts to salvage her reputation after a scandal by writing her classmates admissions essays? Yes, please! Drama among high achieving high school or college students has always been a particular literary catnip of mine and after the recent release of some incredible YA novels in verse like The Poet X and The Same Blood I was ready to be blown away by more powerful poetry. This novel however differs from these books in almost every way, in style, content and emotional impact and while in the latter category I found it to fall short of it’s peers, it still delivers an engrossing and touching if slightly familiar message of to high school readers looking to wanted to explore contemporary YA stories in verse form. Let me start with my conclusion. My overall impression of this book was a positive one. The characters are complex and flawed and undergo growth throughout the story in a way that feels authentic to a cohort of high achieving, privileged high school students. The verse is clean and direct in a way that let’s the story flow and feels accessible to readers who are new to YA novels in verse (I would count myself among this number) and perhaps most importantly the themes that it touches upon like pressure (parental, peer and self imposed), status, grief, bullying, slut shaming and racism to name a few are very pertinent to its target reader audience and handled in a way that is authentic and nuanced. The book’s central theme of the importance of looking past the status labels that high school students give each other and themselves like jock and prep is a familiar but poignant one. The big issue for me that kept the book from reaching that kept me from loving as opposed to liking this book was the uneven pacing the contrast in tension between the first and second half of the book. The first half is mainly exposition to set up Nic’s moral conflict and lead up to establishing an essay writing business and the second half resolves many of Nic’s internal dilemmas while also throwing in some genuine emotional curveballs that had me turning pages as fast as I could. While this build up is expected in any story the contrast is so start that it is distracting in this case, and the excitement in the second half only serves to highlight how little I was hooked during the first part. The second elements is a little more subjective and perhaps might have been related to reading this book in a digital formal rather than a physical copy but I did not find the use of verse to particularly enhance the story especially, during the first half. While other books in verse are a little more inventive with their formating which they use to emphasize the emotional impact of particular scenes, this books was fairly conventional sticking to 2-5 line stanzas throughout the most part which did not detract but also did not add much to the reading experience. I felt that you could have simply formatted the sentences into verse and had the same story. In the later half you do get more a sense that you are reading poetry but for a YA book in verse this was a bit disappointing. This does improve in the second half especially when Nic is focusing on her relationship with her mother, the verse becomes much more fluid and powerful and I do want to highlight some of the aspects of the book that I greatly enjoyed and that I felt del Rosario nailed. The first is the voice. 500 Words or Less captures the voice and experiences of a teenage girl in a way that feels true to life. Nic’s voice is full of wry humor and subdued tensions in her relationship with her parents, her peers, her boyfriend and her friend which feels very true to teenage life. True to the subject matter, we do occasionally get pages like: “If only drinking a pumpkin spice latte Was like A million hugs, Then maybe Everything would be Okay. But what good Are a million hugs, When you only need one?” But hey what would teenage life be like without an eyeroll moment or two right? As good as Nic’s voice was my absolute favorite part about 500 Words or Less is that it includes some drafts of the essays that Nic writes for her peers which I found delightful to read and were both the narrative voice and the book’s message is the strongest. Del Rosario’s message on looking beyond one-dimensional high school labels, on healing and getting back up once you’ve been knocked down and how sometimes it’s ok to not be ok is if not an original one an important and one well reading through Nic Chen’s perspective. Read if you: Are looking to start reading books in verse Like school centric narratives about high achievers Enjoy reading essays, letters, etc within the main text Disclaimer: I was given a free e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review. All opinions are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)

    See even more reviews at: https://www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.... 500 Words or Less is a novel that focuses on the college application essay that is required to apply to school. Often it takes many brainstorming sessions and some self-reflection (speaking from my own experience). While this book focuses on that aspect of moving on to college, it’s also a powerful and emotional tale about self-discovery. The main character Nic is sought out by some of her peers to write essays though she’s been sh See even more reviews at: https://www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.... 500 Words or Less is a novel that focuses on the college application essay that is required to apply to school. Often it takes many brainstorming sessions and some self-reflection (speaking from my own experience). While this book focuses on that aspect of moving on to college, it’s also a powerful and emotional tale about self-discovery. The main character Nic is sought out by some of her peers to write essays though she’s been shunned/rejected by most in school She seems like the perfect student with the best grades and keeps to her self, but we find out by reading her POV that she is lost and broken. Though she feels no obligation she takes on the task on writing very personal essays all while navigating the loss of her mother, love for her ex-boyfriend, and the emptiness she feels inside. Getting ready to go to college is a huge step in any students life and it’s a hectic time of big life decisions. I felt that I could empathize with Nic as she (and most of us) tries to find herself along this journey of essay writing. She’s forced to overcome obstacles by not only taking a harder look at herself, but her relationships with people’s she close to. Doing so allows her to heal and move on to her future so she can let go of the past. This book teaches us that everyone’ is going through their own struggle no matter what their life looks like on the outside. It also shares the message that self-reflection is healing. I loved the writing style and being that the novel was in verse made it that much more powerful. I really enjoyed reading this book and its various narratives, but also it’s inclusiveness of people from different backgrounds, economic classes, etc. I felt that it had a very important narrative to share! *FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Rich in Variety Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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.