Review: 500 Words or Less by Juleah Del Rosario
I wholeheartedly enjoyed 500 Words or Less. It was an emotional read that was written beautifully.
The premise of 500 Words or Less is that Nic Chen has made an awful mistake her senior year and to redefine her reputation she begins to write her classmates’ college admission essays. The book is told in verse and only breaks that to showcase an essay that Nic had written for her classmates.
I loved how it was written, and I think that may have been my favorite part of the book. Outside of poetry books, that would be my first venture into a young adult novel where the majority of the story is told in verse. I found it to be very effective and that the writing was so beautiful. It created a unique style for the book and also a unique voice for the main character, Nic.
Nic was broken; she was not in any means a perfect human being. She was flawed. However, she felt extremely bad for what she had done and that was conveyed well within the pages. She was also suffering from the impact of something that had happened to her. It was interesting to see how those two situations impacted who she was at the beginning and the decisions that she made at the end.
There is something that needs to be said about the way in which the supporting characters were described. Like mentioned earlier, Nic writes her classmates’ college admission essays. Although, the essays were written by Nic, it perfectly crafted the personalities of her classmates. Those essays felt raw and did more than just introduce those characters.
500 Words or Less is about growing but it is also is about finding yourself and loss. The writing is beautiful and the overall story, is unique and heartbreaking.