Kat Alexander's Reviews > Rose Sees Red

Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
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Mar 07, 11

bookshelves: read-2011, reviewed, figment-review
Read from February 28 to March 04, 2011

There are certain things Rose has learned living next to the Soviet compound in the Bronx, New York, in 1983. How to tell the KGB from the CIA, for instance (it's all in the eyebrows). Also, that world powers can act an awful lot like children.

Not that Rose cares all that much. Tagging the suits as KGB or CIA is fun, as is watching Yrena, the Russian girl next door, but Rose has other things to worry about. School at the Performing Arts academy, avoiding former best friend Daisy, et cetra.

Rose sees the world right now as being black--no friends, no hope, and the Cold War raging on.

Nothing like a night on the town with people she barely knows to bring some colour into it, eh?

Out of the one-nighter sort of books I've read, I think this one may be my favourite. I adore Rose. I adore her frankness, I adore her real-ness, I adore the way that she cares about the Cold War without being an international affairs buff. I adore her friends. I love Caleb to death. The characters as a whole are original, real and refreshing--people I'd want to spend time with.

Not to say they're all nice people, of course. There's got to be someone awful and nasty. Daisy, in the case of Rose Sees Red. Still, while she's mean and nasty and all, she still brings something to the table--she evokes memories of mean and nasty people I've met, and presents some interesting challenges for Rose herself.

The tale itself is gripping. There's a decent amount of set-up time before the story takes off, but it's nothing terribly long and once it really got going, I could hardly put the book down (something my teachers definitely appreciated). Set in 1983, it's still relevant to now--it's not like the Cold War was really that long ago--and easily relatable.

Beautifully crafted, brilliant characters, great story, and pretty short. Overall, just a pretty great book.
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