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Rose Sees Red

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Partly based on the author's own experiences at the famous Manhattan high school for the performing arts, this novel explores friendship, freedom, and the art of challenging convention.

Set in New York in the 1980s, this story of two ballet dancers (one American, one Russian) recounts the unforgettable night they spend in the city, and celebrates the friendship they form de
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press (first published June 24th 2010)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  515 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Tara Chevrestt
This was all right.. I'd say it is aimed at ten year olds more than young adults except for some underage drinking on the museum steps.. There isn't really a major plot. It's just about a girl that wants to have friends and has to decide if she should just be herself or be what everyone else wants her to be in order to have friends.

The girl, Rose, all of a sudden makes friends with the girl next door, A Russian that is pretty much under lock and key with the CIA and KGB watching her family. A n
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rose is a dancer at heart. It's hard for her to fully embrace that though because chasing her dream has proved to cost her a lot. Right next door to Rose is a Russian girl. In all reality she doesn't know much about her but since she can see her into her room she feels a kind a thin line of connection with her. One day that all changes when the Russian girl, Yrena, decides to bridge the gap and climbs into Rose's bedroom. What follows is a night to remember.

In the beginning Rose is in a pretty m
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teenbooks, fantasy
Although I am an admirer of Castellucci, I thought this modern day fable was also predictable and a bit of a yawn. It had its moments, but we really never understand why Rose is depressed at the beginning of the novel and it seemed as if the character development was sacrificed to engineering a “message” fable about peace and freedom. The 80’s setting was kind of fun, though. But it was just kind of nice and oh so predictable. You knew that Rose was going to bust out and take Yrena with her for ...more
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
3.5 Stars

Though this book at times was predictable I enjoyed reading this 80's based story as it brought me back to the many memories of my youth in the 80's. The characters were believable and refreshing.

Margo Tanenbaum
When I saw the cover of this novel by YA author/diva Cecil Castellucci, I thought it was a contemporary fairy-tale retelling, a la Beastly. Instead, it's a novel set in the early 1980's about the last years of the Cold War, dance, friendship, and freedom. The main characters are two teenage girls: Rose, a talented dancer who attends the New York High School for the Performing Arts, and her neighbor Yrena, a 16-year old ballet dancer who lives right next door in a Soviet compound.

Rose has given
Jessica Saylor
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Quick Overview: Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci is the type of book you want to read when you are in a bad mood. It's inspiring events makes you want to go and experience life.

I am very glad I read Rose Sees Red. Rose starts off being like a lot of teenage girls are: so eager to fit in that they forget themselves entirely. Rose is doing the bare minimum for life, and she is barely squeaking by. Rose really spoke to my inner insecure 14-year-old counterpart, and I know that she will speak to o
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
It’s about a girl named Rose who goes to a performing arts school (for dance) in New York in 1982. That it took place in 1982 is great, but I wish it had been made clearer in the beginning of the book. There were some statements made (Rose lives next to a Russian family and, well, you can see where I’m going: KGB, Soviet Union, etc.) that made me raise my eyebrow, but I honestly didn’t put it together until halfway through the book. That’s a fairly minor complaint, though, and one of few that I ...more
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teenagers
Set in the height of the cold war, Rose lives in NYC across from a Russian station the 'men in suits' that loiter the streets are assumed to be KGB or CIA. Rose has seen a Russian girl in the window across the street for two years. On this day, they smile and meet and have a wonderful adventure that crosses the oceans, continents and mindsets that divide.
Castellucci describes Rose's life as one dominated by her cruel 'friend' clearly showing girl bullying and alpha behavior. Rose has sidelined
Megan Hawks
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It really was quite an interesting book.
Very insightful dialogue between the characters & being set in New York was really good.
I am familiar with some of the sights (such as the Statue of Liberty, etc) that Yuena (the Russian girl) sees before she moves back home to Moscow.
I also really enjoyed how the main character, Rose, overcame her shyness (just like me) and befriended Yuena. Yuena appreciated the new friendship with Rose as well as the friends Rose began interacting with...whom all
Savannah Callway
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I had no idea that this book was about the 80's till half way through it! Maybe I wasn't paying attention??? But the book was only was "okay". I felt like it was a little pointless (just my honest opinion, no need to get all pissy) she was your classic depressed-youth and I didn't care for her much, Rose that is.
I was confused with how suddenly Caleb was showing interest in her, I thought that she had the hots for Maurice. . . . Not Caleb. . . Oh well. It was a short book so not a huge waste of
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
A nice, breezy read. Predictable but I enjoyed the 80s backdrop and the message about being true to who you are.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I want to give teen lit the benefit of the doubt. I do. I know there's a lot of it out there that straddles the line of adult and youth literature. That there's a lot of creative work in the field. That it's often more vibrant than adult work. I mean, look at Teen Vogue these days... the mag is somehow doing the Lord's work as far as fact based content is concerned. And so, in receiving this book in a stack of ARCs and other books at an adolescent lit conference a number of years ago, I set it a ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rose sees red is a book that is written by Cecil Castellucci. The main character in this story is Rose. She goes through a very hard time during middle school. She gets bullied by her past best friend. However, she finds a girl from the Soviet Union and travels around New-York. While traveling, they find a person to love, share their stories, and a friend. In this story, there is a lot of meanings. At first, the book said that Rose, the main character can only see black objects. The reason is t ...more
Will Plunkett
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whenever I meet authors in person, and have the chance to talk with them, I always try to read some of their work (or more, if I've already read some of theirs). In reading the dust jacket summary, I liked that this was set in the "real" world, and not fantasy, even if a dancer doubting her friends or situation in life at the time weren't connections I had/have.

Learning that there was an actual "no nukes" gathering/protest/rally in 1982 (although my brief research shows it was in June, not Octob
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have almost read all of the books that Cecil Castellucci has written so far and it's pretty much a guarantee that I'll enjoy them. I also know to prepare myself because she makes such bittersweet stories.

I really liked this book because it was set in my second home NYC. I loved reading about the places I used to go and the fact that you can still do things past midnight. I could also related to how Rose feels about herself and when it comes to friends. it actually made me think that it is not
Lara Elaine
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Not what I expected based on the book jacket but still a pleasant read nonetheless. I think that it could have done with more development but I was also hooked. I kept thinking things would escalate and while they did, I think I was expecting certain character relationships to develop more explicitly, as opposed to the outside environment and events moving things along.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-reads, ya
I really appreciated how the author stayed true to the story! What a great job leading us through the feelings of highs and lows of adolescence.
Katie LaGassie
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
A quick, easy read. Just have some tissues on hand! This book was "okay." It was not my favorite read, it was slower paced than I normally read; however, the second half of the novel was my favorite part. Watching the friendships blossom; seeing teens stealing the night and defying the walls put up by adults (especially world leaders); hearing the characters discuss the political and social climate and coming to revelations that are very appropriate to situations we now face; and seeing young ad ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's 1982, and Rose is starting off her freshman year at an arts school in New York City. It was a rough ending to the summer as Rose's best friend, queen bee Daisy, decided they couldn't be friends anymore. Now, Rose, who has always been shy, is finding it difficult to get settled in and make new friends even in an environment when all of the other students are into the arts.

Rose has always loved art. She has taken lessons since she was a little girl. Unfortunately, she has always doubted her
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Summary: The year is 1982, the setting is New York, New York. Rose is in a black period. She loves ballet, but her lack of confidence holds her back, and her social life is in ruins because of her backstabbing ex-BFF. Then one night, the Soviet girl next door comes through her window and takes her on an unlikely journey into friendship and understanding.

Plot: The setup's an old favorite. Teen girl has a passion she's afraid to pursue with all her heart. She had a bossy, smothering best friend wh
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rose Sees Red was my first read by Cecil Castellucci- and it definitely won't be my last! This was a short read (under 200 pages), but it included so much detail and development. I was drawn into the story from the beginning. Rose was a main character I liked right away and grew to like even more as the story progressed. The other characters were all well developed and likable as well and the plot was so different than anything I've read before.

A ballerina, Rose wants nothing more than to be a f
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
As much as I loved the Janes graphic novels that Castelucci created with Jim Rugg, I was thrilled when I received the ARC of this book, her first novel in some time. It's great to see Castelucci's distinctive voice back in full paragraphs.

Rose is a dancer, although by her own admission, not a very good one. She attends the School for Performing Arts in NYC, a decision which lead to the loss of her friendship with Daisy. Now relatively friendless and alone, Rose is convinced that she belongs to
Brianna Soloski
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: female
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
197 pages
3/5 stars

Rose Sees Red tells the story of Rose, a ballerina who is trying to find her place both on stage and in her typically teenage life. She meets her neighbor, Yrena, in person for the first time more than two years after Yrena moves in. They go on an NYC adventure that has the potential to rival any other. Yrena is from Russia and although she hasn’t defected, she is being watched. Rose and Yrena bond over an unforgettable night in NYC – from a p
Jennifer Rayment
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Good Stuff

* Compelling, realistic and touching
* Made me feel and remember what it was like to be that young and idealistic -- and that is a wonderful thing
* Once I started reading it I didn't want to put it down, thank goodness it wasn't a super long read
* Extremely well written, you really feel you know these people and understand them
* Very realistic portrayal of YA's and their heightened emotions and being on the cusp of adulthood
* Parents a little more realistically portrayed -- yu
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it
The Russian history class I took in the latter half of my freshman year of college was my favorite of the year, and since its end I've been mourning the loss of my semiweekly acquisition of knowledge of the country. For that reason, I'm glad I kept Rose Sees Red unread until after the class was over, since my newfound knowledge of the Soviet era made this book even more interesting. However, I do prefer this book for giving insight into the lives of such normal people during the time, rather tha ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The cover:

I like the single red rose standing out against the vines and the NYC skyline, but I'm thinking they could've done that with the title, too -- maybe keep "Rose Sees" in navy blue or black, and then make "Red" red. As well, the skyline could've been a more distinct colour, like navy blue or even brown; a whole cover of gray is a little monotonous.

The book:

In the beginning, Rose is not a pleasant character. Her thoughts are black, in her own words, and she continually puts herself down w
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rose lives next to a Soviet Russia compound in New York. Everyday, there are men in suits outside, KGB or CIA(you can tell by their eyebrows).When Rose chose dance at The Performing Arts School instead of following her friend Daisy to Bronx Science, she lost a friend and was shunned from the group. She is too shy to really open up and be vulnerable at her new school and therefore hasn't made any friends. That is until the girl from across the street (in the compound) decides to befriend Rose bec ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Rose has made her decision. When she chooses to attend the High School of Performing Arts rather than the Bronx Science school, her friend Daisy disowned her. Rose couldn't even tell Daisy that she was going to try out for the dance program, because Daisy decided a few years back that they shouldn't do ballet anymore. It made Rose realize that Daisy wasn't a real friend in the end.

Every morning, Rose and her brother, Todd, watch as the Russian girl next doo
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rose red
In yerna’s school there was a rumor that yerna is going to be a dancer and that is when she started to get friends nonstop, and all the popular girls also came to talk to her. She said it was the coolest thing to ever because all she ever wanted was to be famous. But like always it faded off.
One day yerna was taking out the trash when she heard a soft voice. Then the girl appeared, she is a girl from school her name is Rose. They have been friends for over four months now.
Yerna’s birthd
Anne Kat Alexander
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.

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Live Video Chat with Cecil Castellucci - July 20, 6 p.m. Pacific 450 90 Jul 28, 2010 12:23PM  
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Cecil Castellucci is an author of young adult novels and comic books. Titles include Boy Proof, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell), First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Beige, The Queen of Cool The Plain Janes and Janes in Love (illustrated by Jim Rugg), Tin Star Stone in the Sky, Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon) and Star Wars: Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure.

Her short
“I took that smile and I put it right where the hole in my chest was. It was better than coffee, or chocolate, or a perfect pirouette. I clutched it and held it tight.” 29 likes
“Were we all like that? Were we all trying to change how we looked on the outside to match how we felt on the inside? Were we all trying to change how people saw us?” 2 likes
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