Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ROSEBUSH by Michele Jaffe

Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Date Published: December 2010
ISBN: 159514353X
Young Adult/Mystery
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained by publisher

Michele Jaffe’s young adult mystery, ROSEBUSH, is a dark story full of teenage angst that will take you back to those difficult teenage years, where every look and every deed seems of monumental importance, until it isn’t.

Jane wakes up in the hospital trying to figure out how she got there. One minute she was at a party with her two best friends and her boyfriend, the next minute she was found tangled in a rosebush with injuries received from a hit and run. As her memories of the night slowly come back, nearly everyone in her life appears suspect and yet no one seems to believe her accident could have been more than just an accident, even after the threats begin.

Michele Jaffe has penned a mystery that really keeps readers guessing. ROSEBUSH is not your usual young adult book with vampires, werewolves and paranormal powers. This is a story of a typical teenage girl living in New Jersey. She is part of the popular crowd at school, with a handsome boyfriend and the normal anxiety issues that many teens face trying to fit in and be loved. But someone has tried to kill this teen and no one believes her, when she says it wasn’t an accident and she wasn’t trying to kill herself. The story is really quite dark and troubling and this reader is not all that sure I would want my angst ridden teenager reading it. That said, the story was also extremely well written, going back and forth between the present and events leading up to the present. It moves at a nice clip and gives insights into both the main character and all those around her, each of which appears suspect at one time or another as Jane’s memory slowly comes back and she tries to put her pieces of memory into context. Unlike so many other books, Jane is not really a very likeable character (and her boyfriend is truly reprehensible), so the mystery really drives the story. As the killer moves closer and closer to taking another try at getting rid of Jane, she struggles to find someone to believe her. The suspense builds and builds, as Jane starts to reexamine the way she sees herself and those in her life.

Michele Jaffe’s ROSEBUSH, is a dark, complex and thought provoking young adult mystery that will keep readers guessing and remind them just how confusing and difficult being a teenager can be. This book should not be missed.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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