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Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run. Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.  
With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

I should probably start off by saying that I am a huge Michele Jaffe fan. Huge. I started reading her books back in freshman year of high school... and I didn't start with the YA titles. Instead, I was addicted to her Arboretti Family novels, which are adult historical mysteries set in Europe with plenty of romance and steamy encounters. 

After I devoured those, I read Bad Kitty, one of her YA novels. I didn't know if I'd like it since it is nothing like her adult titles, but I loved it! The main character, Jasmine, is wonderful and hilarious and I'm not sure if anyone could manage to not laugh aloud while reading Bad Kitty and its sequel, Kitty Kitty. These books don't get the attention they deserve!

Then Rosebush came along. Again, the description made it sound like a complete departure from what I was familiar with from Jaffe. At this point, Jaffe had proved that she's a very versatile writer and I'd missed her characters, so I had no choice but to give this newest offering a try.

Rosebush reminds me of an edgier, more succinct version of Pretty Little Liars. Admittedly, I've never read these novels, but I have watched some of the television show, so this comparison is based entirely on my knowledge and opinion of the CW show rather than the novels. I felt like Rosebush brings the same rush, panic, and mystery as PLL in a much smaller package, which packed an impressive punch. I felt so much emotion in such a short span of time that I was left breathless.

Having read Jaffe's adult novels, I knew she was fully capable of writing a good mystery/thriller, but it was interesting to see it done in a YA contemporary setting rather than historic London. I truly had no idea who had tried to kill Jane. One minute I felt sure it had to be one particularly guilty looking individual, then I be totally unsure by the next chapter. I really couldn't put Rosebush down until I determined which character ran Jane down or Jaffe revealed the culprit! 

Rosebush was full of twists and turns that kept me muddling through the details of Jane's accident right along with her. Jaffe has delivered another compelling read, ensuring I'll be reading her next book... no matter what genre is!

Razorbill, December 2010, Paperback, ISBN: 9781595143532, 326 pages.

This weekend I was able to attend the RT Booklovers Convention and I finally was able to meet Michele Jaffe in person! It was the end of the day and I was tired and a hot mess, but still SO EXCITED to meet an author that I've been reading for years! She's completely fabulous and I'm extremely jealous of her hair. In the photo below we're trying out a pose recommended by one of Michele's friend that is supposed to make us look amazing in photographs...  Did it work? ;)

Michele's new book, Ghost Flower released this week and I must get my hands on a copy!



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