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Rose of No Man's Land

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,497 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a gender-blurring, self-described loner whose family expects nothing of her. While her mother lies on the couch in a hypochondriac haze and her sister aspires to be on The Real World, Trisha struggles to find her own place among the neon signs, theme restaurants, and cookie-cutter chain stores of her hometown.After being hired and abrup ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 5th 2007 by Mariner Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,629)
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Caitlin Constantine
Apr 17, 2011 Caitlin Constantine rated it it was ok
How to describe this....Okay, how about this. Take Blake Nelson's "Girl" and have her embark on lesbian sex-fest with "Mrs. Dalloway" and jack her on up crystal meth and make her sweaty and grimy and tattoo-covered and roll her around in some period blood and you'll have "Rose of No Man's Land." (The reference to "Mrs. Dalloway" is not about literary quality as much as it's about the whole conceit of using stream-of-consciousness to track a day in a character's life.)

This is the thing about Mic
...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
On-hiatus indefinitely/DNF.

DNF on page 17.

I really don't have the urge to read this right now, and I'm sure my friend (irl) wants this book back. I feel bad that I've borrowed her books for so long.
Steph
Wow, this book is quite a trip. The first half is mostly just gearing up for the second half, in which our protagonist, Trisha, goes on an adventure with an exciting girl she's just met, Rose. There's alcohol and heavy drugs, there's stealing, there are creepy men, there's trespassing and tattoos. and there's some romance between the girls, of course.

But the thing is, I liked the first half of Rose of No Man's Land better than the second half. Did I mention that these are fourteen year old girls
...more
Anthony
Feb 09, 2016 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-ass-shit, teens
Tonight, as I read the explosive conclusion of this book in the unseasonable heat my head was rushing and I could almost feel Rose's touch, burnt out on liquor, sweat, and the amphetamine texture of Tea's prose.

That's what it feels like when you're waiting and sometimes searching for someone to love or something to change everything or something, anything to reach out and touch, to connect to on some level just so something will change at all and you don't fucking rot under the crushing weight o
...more
Ciara
Nov 20, 2008 Ciara rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: queer authors who want to understand the lowest common denominator
oh boy. here we go. michelle tea. is there an author i like less? i don't think so. why do i torture myself by reading her books? i have hated all of them, with the exception of the chelsea whistle, which i merely disliked quite a bit. she's like francesca lia block for queers--substance-less, mind-breakingly boring, content to rest of the laurels of sub-cultural associations in lieu of actual plot & character development, untaxingly insipid (i imagine this works well for people who have to ...more
Dan Keating
Jun 03, 2011 Dan Keating rated it liked it
Overall, I felt a little let down by Michelle Tea's Rose of No Man's Land. I probably ought to preface that statement by saying that I have unreasonably high expectations of young adult literature, at least when judged against the common standard these types of books are held to, but that notwithstanding I still felt let down - the kind of let down that can only come from an experience that was decent but had the potential to be so much more.

First off, the characterization. Michelle Tea crafts t
...more
JSA Lowe
Nov 05, 2010 JSA Lowe rated it liked it
Gulpable YA that I was kind of surprised to like, since the plot features teenaged girl-girl betrayal, shoplifting, hitchhiking, destruction of property, and snorting crystal meth while drinking vodka energy drinks (and then getting tattooed). And I loved it. The androgyne-female narrator speaks in capitalized letters ("Whatever, I Don't Really Give A Shit About Hair, I said") and everyone else's utterances are in italics, a bold technical move that gives the novel its flavor. It was just really ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Following on the heels of her graphic novel Rent Girl (2005), the award-winning Valencia (2001), about San Francisco prostitution, and The Beautiful (2003), a collection of poetry, Rose of No Man's Land is Tea's first novel. Critics describe it as raw, honest, confident, hilarious, unpretentious, cynical, and poignant__and agree that among coming-of-age novels, Tea's voice rings true. Narrated by Trisha, the novel takes place over one day, which stretched credibility for some critics. Yet Tea's

...more
Kat
Feb 09, 2013 Kat rated it it was ok
Shelves: so-gay
That meth binge was the most uplifting thing about this book about a disadvantaged lesbian coming of age. Also, I was not a big fan of Michelle Tea's overly descriptive writing style. This book took place over the course of about three or four days in a young woman's life and yet, it felt like years.
jess
Mar 04, 2008 jess rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ladyish, 2008
i'm ready for michelle tea to write books about being an adult.
Marnie
Feb 15, 2008 Marnie rated it liked it
My opinion on this book is pretty much the opposite of the rest of the reviews here. I found it at the library & thought it looked interesting, which it definitely was. It was disturbing. I thought the 1st 10 or so chapters were great, reading about what Trisha's life was like & trying to figure out where she fit in, & reading about the mall, plus the writing is really good. The names the author gave the stores were pretty obvious which ones she meant (she called Hot Topic "Dark Subj ...more
Lia
Sep 26, 2009 Lia rated it liked it
Pretty rare to find a coming-of-age novel that's not drenched in polemic. I thought Tea captured that teenage moment pretty well: a kind of impotent self-awareness, longing for what seems inaccessible and maybe some fear that things won't ever change. (I'm still holding onto that fear when it comes to the world, but the personal dimensions have shifted radically.)

The protagonist is pretty kick-arse, too, which is always fun - ey reminds somewhat of the working class girl in My Summer of Love, m
...more
Alexis
Apr 02, 2011 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I loved this book, but there's no way I would recommend it to a teen. It has a lot of scenes about doing crystal meth and it's edgy and gritty.

That said, I really enjoyed it. The premise begins when a gender neutral girl named Trisha takes a job at a clothing store called Ohmigod! in a mall in her town. She is soon fired, but meets a girl named Rose, who works at Clown in a box, a place in the mall that sells all varieties of fried food (deep fried veggies, corn dogs, Mars bars, everything!).

Th
...more
Katey
Oct 06, 2010 Katey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was an impulse read from the library. It wasn't fantastic, but definitely not horrible, and better than just okay. It's your typical down-and-out girl's coming of age story, complete with a strange new friend and a drug-fueled lesbian experience. Yadda yadda yadda.

Some major points were scored in my eyes by the author using The X-Files as an adjective.

And as a completely irrelevant sidenote, I kinda wish my last name was Tea.
Gabby Metzler
Aug 19, 2014 Gabby Metzler rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like edgy outlandish stories, or books about lesbians making mistakes
Shelves: queer
Dude I fucking love this book. It's fun, honest (or raw if you're into that), worrisome and cathartic.

It derives it's value from the fact that with a step or two down on the social latter the events of this book could have easily happened to anybody. Think of, how close you were to the places Trisha and Rose terrorized, All those hours you spent in Chinese buffets as a teen, or in the mall, and of all the sick looking kids in high school, or even your sick looking self at 14. With some edgy twi
...more
Christen
Jun 15, 2010 Christen rated it it was ok
Started out extremely strong and compelling, then just got tedious. Like I sensed even the author was bored by the project of finishing. I've heard enough good things about Michelle Tea that I intend to give her another shot, but this was pretty disappointing.
Susan Rose
Plot: This book covers Trisha's first few days of summer after 9th grade, (I think this makes her 15 I'm not overly familiar with the american grades and what they need). Trisha's family consists of a Mum who is a hypochondriac, her Mum's slob of a boyfriend Donnie and her bossy big sister who is obsessed with the idea of getting on the reality tv show called 'Real World'. The main plot of the novel is Trish getting a summer job at the mall, meeting Rose. This is a bad ass coming of age story fu ...more
Suzi bLu
Feb 28, 2010 Suzi bLu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best-ever
Holy crap its GREAT! I forgot how much I adore her and want to be her. Quiet my mind and remember the details of all the fkd up shit that has happened. Details baby, it's in the details.

Kurt
Dec 05, 2015 Kurt rated it did not like it
One star for tricking me at the beginning of the book into thinking I would enjoy the character and book. the ending was so sewer assed I threw the book when I was done.
Adam Hodgins
Nov 07, 2007 Adam Hodgins rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
I loved this book, a queer, outsider, working class story. This kind of writing makes me really happy, I just wish there was more queer guys writing stuff like this.
Irene
Apr 06, 2014 Irene rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty perfect example of a gritty coming-of-age novel. I loved the narrator's funny, dark commentary on everything, along with the crazy situations she found herself in. I admire Michelle Tea's imagination and her fearless storytelling.

I will never, ever forget the tampon scene! I think that scene might be the grossest, greatest thing I've ever read. I also loved the characterization of Rose. She felt so real to me, like so many girls I got into trouble with growing up. Intoxicating
...more
Emily B.
I though that this story was written in a great unique style that captured the voice of a teenager in a different light then usual. I really enjoyed how the author not only wrote the characters opinions but also wrote about the things that everyone thinks but doesn't often say. I thought towards the middle of the story the tone of the story flipped, and it was almost painful to see the character slowly fall down hill. I would definitely look for a sequel, maybe something that involved her all to ...more
Astri
Oct 29, 2015 Astri rated it liked it
Poignant, funny, and gritty. This book is not for the faint hearted and will challenge young and adult readers alike to think about LGBTQ youth's relationships, safety, and fragile identities. I saw the protagonist mature in disquieting ways throughout this novel and it left me with a quiet sadness.

Michelle Tea's writing is accessible and highly visual, although her propensity for mixed-metaphors is a definite weakness. I wish I could give half stars - I would give this 3.5 if I could. Overall
...more
Lily Mason
Jun 26, 2015 Lily Mason rated it liked it
What was I just part of?

This reads like an unedited manuscript, complete with writerly errors: your instead of you're, it's instead of its, then instead of than. The formatting on my ebook was messed up and the punctuation was inconsistent.

And then there's the matter of plot, or somewhat lack thereof. Trisha, a gender-bendy lone wolf goes on an unexpected adventure, starting with a day-long stint in a thinly-veiled Wet Seal, then going on to a drug and sex fueled hitchhiking excursion with a gir
...more
Ecclectiscapist
Aug 21, 2008 Ecclectiscapist rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls who like girls
Interesting coming-of-age story that revolves around the main character, Trisha, meeting a girl named Rose the first day of her first ever job at the mall (which she held for only part of a day). They go on a whirlwind adventure together, and a great many firsts happen, including Trisha's first romantic encounter, which is with a girl.

The dialogue is real, feels very teenage, suburban and hopeless... the sexual content is fiery in spots. Reminded me of my first experience with a girl (the identi
...more
Kelley
Jun 22, 2010 Kelley rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this queercore coming of age book from Michelle Tea. Tea explores the life of a working class, gender bending teen who discovers her sexuality/sexual orientation in one crazy day during the first week of her summer vacation. All in one day, Trisha gets hired at the mall, steals, lies, assists others in stealing, gets fired, does crystal, loses her virginity, hitchhikes, gets drunk, rips off a child pornster, and wreaks havoc on the glittering oceanfront strip filled with gawdy, neon-gl ...more
Kirsten
Feb 16, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Trisha's life is not exactly thrilling. Her mother is a hypochrondriac on disability, and her father is a junkie and is rumored to be in Louisiana somewhere. The best thing that can be said for Donnie, her mother's boyfriend, is that he doesn't try to molest Trisha or her older sister, Kristy. Kristy's the only one who has any ambition -- and her main ambition is to get on MTV's "The Real World" by documenting how screwed up her family is. Trisha feels like she's ready for something -- anything! ...more
Heather
Oct 01, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Young, but I had expected that. I wanted to pick up Valencia in anticipation of the film, but this is what the Free Library of Philadelphia had, so this is what I got.

Michelle Tea's writing style is always a treat, but I can't help but wonder how many books she can write about teenaged lesbians doing drugs and discovering their sexual identities. There are a lot of gems in here (particularly the bathroom scene with Trish and Rose... ahhhhh I understand completely how that feels!), but it fizzled
...more
Jennifer
Dec 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a nontraditional coming of age story
Recommended to Jennifer by: a bookstore in Providence
This is one of those novels that is so achingly, uncomfortably realistic that it left me thinking about the main character, Trisha Driscoll, long after I closed the book. Fourteen year old, Trisha thinks of herself as a loner. She has no close friends and spends a lot of time in her room, drinking beer stolen from her mother's loser boyfriend. Her mother rarely leaves the house, actually rarely leaves the couch, and she invents new diseases each day to explain her situation. Her older sister, Kr ...more
K
Oct 28, 2007 K rated it liked it
Shelves: teens
Funny and profane account of teenage Trish's first few days of summer, starting when she misses the last day of ninth grade because her family doesn't care enough to wake her when her alarm clock shorts out. With a couch-ridden mother who diagnoses herself with every disease discussed on TV, an aggressively optimistic sister angling to get on MTV's Real World, and a long-departed dad who is probably getting high in the Louisiana swamps, Trish seems headed for a summer of loneliness and closet al ...more
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Michelle Tea (born Michelle Tomasik) is an American author, poet, and literary arts organizer whose autobiographical works explore queer culture, feminism, race, class, prostitution, and other topics. She is originally from Chelsea, Massachusetts and currently lives in San Francisco. Her books, mostly memoirs, are known for their views into the queercore community. In 2012 Tea partnered with City ...more
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“Maybe if everyone walked around being in touch with each other's hidden pain it could work out and even be beautiful, but it doesn't feel safe to be the only compassionate person on the planet.” 58 likes
“It was a sort of loser luck, I guess, the luck of the cigarette-smoking ghost-grannies who shuffled the scuffed linoleum, but I’d take it over no luck at all.” 0 likes
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