Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original ed (August 28, 2012)
Firstly, kind thanks to the publishers, for granting me the permission to review this book via Netgalley, for no charge, for an honest review. This book was read on my kindle.
Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make 1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?
2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.
3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)
Firstly, many thanks to the publishers for granting me access to review this book, for which it was kindly received via Netgalley. This was read on my Kindle. When i saw this book, i was drawn in by the title, and the synopsis- normally i am drawn in by covers, but this one was different. Nevertheless, i still liked the cover and realised a link from the story once it was read, which made me smile. This book is also a contemporary YA and right now i am really into reading these. Therefore, i had high hopes for this book! I also had it in my mind that we would have a book of 'confessions', all insights into what this girl had done wrong when angry and the reasoning..........but i was wrong! What it is, is much much more! and i have to say that i absolutely LOVED this book! When i finished reading it, i scribbled some notes down and one said.....
'Wow! Just Wow! But argh I need more!! I have read this so quickly- half the book in 1 sitting. I was so involved in the story, routing for Rose, a page turner and a half.......'The story is centred on Rose, who during a short period of time has had her dad die in Iraq, her brother go to college and change, a mum whom can help other troubled teens but can't help her daughter, a best friend Tracy- who is fickle, superficial and is all about image and status- wanting to be a cheerleader, into drinking and thinking about sex. They are both freshman at high school. She has an older love interest, Jamie who seems hot and cold, and she is getting bullied by his 'maybe' girlfriend Regina. Anyone going through all this is surely going to be angry, Rose is only 14 too (turns 15 in book) and all this for someone so young must lead to some intense anger inside.
Even though i knew Rose was 14, when i was reading the book, she just seemed older. Initially I wasn't entirely comfortable with the main protagonist being this age, because a 14 year old is very different to a 17-18 year old, the way of thinking and acting is yards apart despite only 3-4 years difference. I thought she would be a whiny teenager but i was wrong. Rose seems older than her peers; she thinks and acts older than them, she is the sensible one, much more clued up to the world by how she deals with peer pressure and teen issues. This is demonstrated with her view on drinking and how she educates her best friend with valuable lessons regarding 'sex education'. Not only is it the way she acts, but also in her mind set, we know her thoughts since the narrative is from her perspective, therefore getting a much deeper insight into this angry girl's thoughts and analytical mind. I am not saying Rose is perfect, she does some embarrassing things and some cringeworthy stuff but i mean in general and compared to her peers she does seem older.
Another problem i had with her age is to do with her love interest, Jamie, who is 17, 14 to 17 may only be 3 years but as a teenager this gap seems much bigger than say 24 to 27. This uncomfortable feeling is worsened when it is realised why Jamie came to be interested in Rose. Yet when you are Rose's age, it seems cool and grown up to have an older male like you! Despite the issues, I wouldn't let something like this put me off a book and i am so glad i didn't. The author portrayed these teenagers perfectly in my opinion and I thought it was brilliant that the author could write so realistically in the view of a 14 year old. This whole 'love interest' situation was kept at the right level given their age difference. The feelings were all there and you really felt them as a reader, which, as an adult author it cannot have been easy to convey them in a first person perspective. If the situation would have gone further than a kiss, than i would have felt extremely uncomfortable to the point of not reading it,as Rose would have been underage! Infact, they only share a stolen kiss or two, which were breathtakingly beautifully described by Rozett and raw with emotion! I did feel really sorry for Rose's close friend Robert, who is a true friend but has a massive crush on her and would do anything for her. He really did seem like an odd body guy, and no matter how sweet he was, why is it always the badass boys who get into trouble that get the girl? I was even leaning more for Jamie than Robert!
Another major theme in the book is bullying! and handled perfectly by Rozett, as unfortunate and horrid as bullying is, it does happen in schools, and it makes this story realistic. Bullying can start over silly events such as they did in the book. The author didn't just skim by it in a couple of chapters and then it drops, she had it weaved throughout and it is quite upsetting. I felt my heart strings pulled, it sent me straight back to high school in my head, so many emotions were involved, and i found it really uncomfortable to read about the bullying. I did wonder why she didn't ask for adults to help but then i realised that often adult's help can make things worse or so it seems that way when you are 14. I felt so protective over Rose, with everything she had gone through in a short space of time, i wanted the bullies to get their comeuppance and leave her alone!
Having so many high school issues in a book and portraying them in such a way for it deemed to be a realistic story is brilliant, these issues do not stop just because of what is happening in Rose's home life and i think that was a wise move by the author to add more depth to the story. These issues; peer pressure, drinking, smoking, underage sex, sex education, partying, teen relationships, friendships and bullying is so difficult for the majority of teenagers to deal with but Rose didn't give into any pressure despite the anger inside and everything else, it shows how incredibly strong she is. Throughout the book, i believe there is development in her character, she becomes more confident, deals with some issues with herself and her family. However, in my opinion i didn't find Rose as an angry girl. She doesn't take her anger out on people or things, she may have anger and upset inside, but mainly it was words (P*ssed off etc) which is understandable. However, i believe that she is also full of fear, scared of what could happen and consequences in all situations but by the end she does seem to be working on this. I think these attributes she has stem from her dad's death in Iraq, she has not gone through the grief stage properly as it has alienated her and her mum's relationship- her mum is no longer there for her. Her brother leaving for college, and doesn't want to talk about their dads's death either. She has is all bottled up with no one to talk too so she can deal with the grief.
I have mentioned other characters throughout this review; Tracy, Jamie and Regina and there are other additional ones which i am not going to discuss. All these characters were great additions to the book regardless if i liked them or not because they are all people you can relate to and they were well developed characters. The only character that i took too and adored was Rose, how could i not! She grew on me so fast and i just wanted to hug her. Tracy, should have been there for her best friend in the situation but was selfish, she used Rose when needed and i really disliked her. Rose provided her with much needed sex education, this discussion and the other major issues mentioned are perfect for a YA novel; if teens read this book they could get so much out of it. Jamie, portrayed as a badass, getting into trouble, skipping school etc but at the same time he was loveable but he seemed hot and cold, i feel like he should have been there for Rose when he knew what she was going through if he did care for her! But then there were times when he was just so perfect, like when he ran to her when she fell running etc. I liked him when he was with Rose, but disliked him when not. Regina,a cheerleader was a bully, a nasty piece of work and how could someone be so heartless! I really wanted to punch her! It made me tear up at some points.
This book just takes you through a range of emotions, from laughing or smiling and then utter sadness and tears! For an author to be able to induce those feelings in a reader is incredible and shows the skills they have in writing. Another aspect i loved was that at the start of each chapter was a word with a dictionary definition plus a little phase to how it relates, i thought it was an original idea and Rose loves long words! I loved this book, i really did, i loved Rozett's writing style and even though is was quite slow paced at first, it really did pick up pace and was an absolute page turner, i couldn't put it down. I just wanted more and more. Yet the way it ended, it didn't feel like an ending, it annoyed me because it wasn't a rounded off conclusion. Therefore, i cannot wait for the next book 'Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend', i have high hopes for that book! I hope to learn more about Jamie, and i would like for him and Rose to have more time together. I am still not thrilled about the title as i don't think it suits the book like i said before but i worry this assumption could put people off from reading this book. I would recommend that people read this book for sure! Roll on the next book!
Overall, a fantastic read! even if there are some slight flaws, i still rate it highly! I would re-read it, i would recommend it and i think it is a perfect contemporary YA book. This book has so many different levels that it has taken such a long review to get my thoughts across. I actually found this review very difficult to write, because there is so much content to discuss, i loved it but i struggled to articulate my thoughts and feelings into words. So summary two words= READ IT! please :) Of course i give it a 5/5