Here is the official blurb from Goodreads:
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 nowenraged 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 My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time.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.)
Rose has lost her father, her brother has left for college, her mother isn’t really present, and her best friend is suddenly chasing popularity. On top of all of that, Rose is starting her freshman year of high school. This is a lot of change for this one girl to take, and she is incredibly sad and lonely (more so than angry, though more on that later). She feels somewhat abandoned by the people she cares about and has a lot of doubt about her place in the world.
The only person who offers her any solace is Jamie, an upperclassman who was a friend of her brother’s. Their friendship offers some of the happier moments of the book as they flirt and get to know each other. The problem is that Jamie has a girlfriend – a cheerleader on the squad with Rose’s best friend, Tracy. Once this cheerleader from hell finds out that Jamie and Rose kissed, she unleashes a fury of bullying on Rose, making her life ever more miserable. This was painful to read, and I kept wishing that Jamie would realize what was happening and step up. In addition to seeing what this mean girl does to Rose, we see how Tracy interacts with the team in her quest to be accepted. Peer pressure makes her do insane things, and the hazing is meant to humiliate her. Rose acts as a voice of reason through much of the book, encouraging Tracy to walk her own path and to practice safe sex with her boyfriend.
Rose is a quiet, contained character for the most part. She doesn’t express what she wants very often. She bottles things up (except with her brother), and there is a growing sense of her needing an outlet before she explodes. The tension grows and grows until you want her to explode.
One of my complaints – and it isn’t really a minor one – is that the title and synopsis are misleading. I expected Rose to cause chaos, but as I mentioned, she is a voice of reason. I expected her anger to be all-encompassing, but I never got the sense that she was out of control. She just came across as in pain. She starts to express her anger a couple of times, but it always gets suppressed. I liked this book a lot, but I would have loved it more if it had taken more chances. If we’d seen more of Rose’s ugly side. Because that is what I thought the novel would be – a girl pushed so far to the edge of reason that she would do things out of character. Again, these expectations were built up by the title and jacket so I went into the book with preconceived notions. I’m also not sure I bought into the chemistry between her and Jamie, but a sequel is planned and I think this will be explored more in the next book.
This book deals with issues of bullying, grief, and the loss of a parent. If you like quiet, strong characters, you will like this one.
Find it on Goodreads.
**ETA: The Bookanistas have added five new members. I’m so happy to welcome Lenore Appelhans, Tracey Neithercott, Rebecca Behrens, Shari Arnold and Kimberly Sabatini. Can’t wait to read their reviews!
FIRST… Jessica Love welcomes our FIVE NEW BOOKANISTAS!
Carrie Harris croons about THE COLLECTOR by Victoria Scott
Shelli Johannes-Wells hails HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda
Stasia Ward Kehoe celebrates YALSA’s TEEN LIT DAY
Nikki Katz raves about ROOTLESS by Chris Howard
Gretchen McNeil adores UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody
Rebecca Behrens and Tracey Neithercott share why they’re excited to be newbie Bookanistas