Review: 500 Words or Less by Juleah Del Rosario

500 Words or Less Cover

In 500 Words or Less, 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. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC of 500 Words or Less via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Confession: this was the first book in verse that I have ever read. I wasn’t entirely sure that I would like it, but the premise looked really interesting. Of course, I also started listening to The Poet X on the same day that I started reading 500 Words or Less, so I decided to dive all the way in on novels in verse.

I don’t regret it. I really enjoyed the way that this was written – most of the novel is written in a poetic format, but it also includes the essays that Nic was writing for her classmates. It really felt like you got to know the classmates, even when you recognized that Nic hated most of them.

This does need some trigger warnings for racist microaggressions, neglectful parents, parents leaving, minor character death, alcohol use and mentions of cheating in a relationship.

One of the things I both liked and didn’t like about 
500 Words or Less  is that the main character honestly felt unfinished. This was a major part of the plot, but it left me wanting a little bit more from the conclusion. I also felt like there was a lot that was left unexplained, especially when it came to the ending. 

However, I really enjoyed this otherwise. I’ll be interested to see what else del Rosario publishes in the future. You can pick up a copy of 500 Words or Less on Amazon or Indiebound.

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Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of the sale.

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