Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions #2)
Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Kat's Review
I liked the first book in this series well enough, but was impressed at the author's willingness to address tough topics once again in the sequel. Although Rose's kind of relationship with Jamie Forta is still a central part of the book, the story touches on so many other areas of Rose's life that it's not just the same storyline rehashed. Central to this book is the them of homosexuality, and gay-bashing in the context of a high school setting. Rozett doesn't back down from some of the difficulties gay youth face at school, and she doesn't make the adults in authority experts on how to deal with them, nor does she make them entirely clueless. 
Amidst all of this, Rose is still mourning the loss of her dad, her brother is increasingly lost to drugs, her relationship with her mother is deteriorating by the day, and Rose learns disturbing information from Jamie about the girl she hates. Still, throughout all of this, Rozett is able to infuse humour and sarcasm into the story, giving it a bit of levity. Rose as a main character can be both frustrating and hilarious, as she tries to navigate how to handle situations that even the adults don't know how to handle. She struggles with her conscience, particularly when her efforts to help go unappreciated even by those who she is helping. It's a difficult position to be in for a young girl, who feels as though everyone else is playing a game and she alone doesn't understand the rules.
I feel Rose grows quite a bit in this novel, and I really like the person she is on the way to becoming by the end of the book. I'm curious to see how things work out for her in the next novel.
Rating: A Good Read
This is the kind of book a teen could probably identify with and enjoy, particularly the parts where Rose is faced with situations to which there really are no good ways to respond. It's a great book to get kids thinking about current issues without being too preachy, and discussing different ways to handle the same situation.  Good read.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review.

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