Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Jane is in hospital after an epic party the victim of a hit-and-run car crash that left her crumpled and broken in a rosebush.  As she lies in her bed unable to talk or move she relives part of the accident, but not enough to put together the events of the night and what really happened.  Over the coming days as her condition improves in small and unusual ways Jane finds herself doubting what she remembers of that night, what her friends tell her, and what is really going on around her.  Was it really an accident, or is there something more sinister going on.  As the memories of the accident begin to return Jane also finds herself remembering events from the past, events that affect not only her.

Michele Jaffe is the author of several teen novels and has a deft touch with her storytelling, and she has chosen a difficult storytelling tool with the use of the flashback as a main part of her novel.  Too often novels that rely on the flashback fail because the author is too heavy handed or unrealistic - but Jaffe handles it well, although there is the odd time where I have to admit I went "huh?" but it soon settled back into the story.  

This was an addictive read, and the events unfold in a rapid setting and just as rapidly you are dragged into the "perfect" world of Jane and her friends.  Quite quickly the perfectness wears off and you realise how much of an act Jane's life is, and how quickly she also realises that she (and things) need to change.  A very engaging read that is quite different from the humour sprinkled novels that Jaffe has written before.  An excellent and recommended read for those who love novels about cliques, about mysteries, and about the perfectness of teen life before it all comes crashing back down to earth.

If you like this book then try:
  • Bad kitty by Michele Jaffe
  • Jinx by Meg Cabot
  • The kidnapping of Christine Lattimore by Joan Lowery Nixon
  • I am the cheese by Robert Cormier
  • The lying game by Sara Shepard

Reviewed by Brilla

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