Once Upon A Romance

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Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

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Cover art: Rosebush Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Rosebush
Author: Michele Jaffe
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN-13: 978-1-59514-353-2 (Hardcover)
Release Date: December 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present Day/New Jersey
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Michele's Website/Blog: www.michelejaffe.com


Dear Readers:

Wow! This one will have you sitting in your room at night a little frightened, wondering who amongst your friends could perhaps be targeting you for death. Do you all remember the movie Heathers? (If you never saw it, I recommend you go out and rent it immediately!) This reminded me a great deal of that awesome flick – with its ‘creepy, fun’ way of looking at a very dark and eerie subject.

Our main character is Jane Freeman. When we first meet Jane, she’s tangled in a rosebush by the side of the road – limbs broken, blood flowing – yet, she can’t remember a thing about what happened to her. She knows her name; she knows that she’s a junior at Livingston High School; she knows that she specializes in photography; and, she knows that her boyfriend is named David and he’s one of a kind.

Ollie is David’s best friend, but he doesn’t really like Jane very much. He’s into NYC gals with huge trust funds. Kate and Langley are Jane’s best friends; they own the type of beauty that would make Vikings fight over them. Jane is mostly a plain girl. Yes, she’s lovely, but without Kate and Langley she knows that her popularity would be nil and void. Jane was extremely popular at her old school back in Illinois, but because of her mom’s job, she up and moved them to this prestigious area and threw Jane in with extremely snooty sharks – making her zero on the popularity scale. Not only that, but Jane’s mom met and married Joe, a construction magnate (who reminds Jane a lot of the mob who greases each others’ hands), and moved them into the Barbie Dream House of New Jersey.

Luckily, Jane met Kate in the stalls of the girl’s bathroom one day where Kate was crying profusely over something. Jane was so nice to her, that Kate and Langley decided they needed a third for their clique. After all, their other member, Elsa, had disappeared from the school because she heard voices in her head and needed a "rest" far, far away. These teens weren’t the Three Musketeers; they were the Three MUST-keteers, because anything the three of them wore, said, or did, was something that everyone else had to follow along with.

One night there was a party being thrown, and Jane couldn’t wait for it; this night was the night she was going to tell David how much she loved him and literally ask him for his hand in marriage. But the next minute, it seems, Jane is in the ICU recovering from a hit-and-run accident that left her sprawled in a rosebush.

The storylines are absolutely fantastic in this book; this author does ‘creepy’ extremely well. While Jane sits in the ICU and her memory slowly comes back to her, she notices that her friends, mother, and her boyfriend are acting seriously strange – like they’ve all gotten together to bury the truth about what really happened. Next comes a police officer who looks at Jane as if she’s to blame for all this; then phone calls start coming to Jane’s hospital room from a complete stranger telling her someone’s out to get her; and, then even Jane’s own mother has her locked up in a psycho ward because she thinks her daughter has finally lost it…every new character and event keeps the reader glued to the page.

Turn the lights on and read all night, because this one is a definite can’t miss. My only hope is that Hollywood sees what I see in this book, and brings a brand new Heathers to the screen for this generation.

Until next time,
Amy

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