Madness is beauty. Madness is ugly. Madness is pain.
Wild Roses had all the elements of a great novel that really appealed to me. Of all of Calet3.5/5
Madness is beauty. Madness is ugly. Madness is pain.
Wild Roses had all the elements of a great novel that really appealed to me. Of all of Caletti's novels to date this one was always the top of my to-read list. I'm still really glad that I read it, even if it didn't quite hit that sweet spot for me.
In Wild Roses, Cassie is the daughter of divorced parents, and her mum has been married to the famous violinist and composer, Dino Cavalli for four years now. Problem is, to Cassie Dino is an arrogant, pompous asshole. The hate is mutual. But when Dino aspires to write more music and do more with his creative calling he decides to stop taking his antidepressant medication. Cue disaster and chaos.
So yeah, Caletti addresses mental illness (and the experience of living with someone with mental illness), creative arts, divorce, love, family.... I'm not sure how much knowledge/experience Caletti has with these things but I feel like in general the reactions of the mum and Cassie were quite realistic. The unintentional protection, the shame, the hiding. It was certainly harrowing at times to read, and I was all the time expecting a more dire ending, but found myself surprised.
There is of course a bit of a romance with Cassie and this boy who becomes Dino's new student. I'm not really sure if I liked him or not (I'm leaning towards not). He was extremely wishy washy and he didn't really have any passion and I do feel like musicians NEED to have that passion. I suppose that he was written that way to serve as a comparison between him and Dino--great vs phenomenal; sane vs insane; accepting vs paranoid; etc. Still. I didn't really feel the romance, didn't feel much for the whole arc in general.. it all fell flat for me.
I have a fairly good feeling that if I had read this back in year 10, when dreams of my own endeavour were flying off the walls, I would have simpl4/5
I have a fairly good feeling that if I had read this back in year 10, when dreams of my own endeavour were flying off the walls, I would have simply adored this book. SOMEBODY EVERYBODY LISTENS TO is about dreams, and how even in the face of personal/financial issues, those with the will and strength to power on will prevail, at the least to an extent.
Retta Jones has lived in her small town Starling in Tennesee her whole life. And ever since she could remember all she's ever wanted to do is sing. After she graduates high school, she's in such a mad rush to get out there to Nashville to live out her country music dreams. However, the road to stardom is much bumpier than it at first appeared. First she needs to find a way to get there, as in, a car. Then she needs to find a job to earn money in order to facilitate her ambitions. When things finally start looking up, she's needed back at home...
Retta has a genuine, great voice. She isn't overly confident or cocky about her singing, she knows how tough it would be to make it big in the music industry; her passion for singing shines through, as does her natural ability to string together the events going around her into these beautiful lines of poetic lyrics.
Supplee is evidently a huge country music fan and enthusiast, and it REALLY shows in her book. Retta's experiences are incredibly realisitc and detailed, as well as humorous! I couldn't help but chuckle at the horrible situations that Retta got herself into.
The prose isn't all that special, but it did read pretty quickly. The thing that really stood out (which I shouldn't need to mention again but will, to prove a point) were those lyrics that Retta wrote.
The pull of home will always be here. Running fast or running slow. It's the place to get away from, the place I long to go. I can hear it in the treetops, feel it whispering against my skin. It's the air I breathe, the way I am. Home is my beginning and my end.
The novel has a clear focus right from the beginning: Retta dreams of becoming a recognised country musician. But the world around Retta is shifting - at home and in Nashville. I love the connections that Retta makes with those around her at home. It all just felt so . . . genuine.
What some people may be wondering is ANY ROMANCE? Sadly, I have to tell you that there is hardly any. Retta has a crush on a guy, but there is never much development with it. Though I do wish there had been something more definitive with their relationship, I found the absence of a romance okay. Instead of having all the drama that a new relationship would involve, Supplee chose to let us focus most of her dreams. I felt that a romance may have gone one way or the other - flat (as in, just a happy ending fluff thing) or completely dramatic (which I would have not liked), so I guess this book is one exception where having no romance was perhaps good? Opinions?
Fans of country music will want to read this. Even as a part-time country music listener I enjoyed reading the little biographies of some of the BIG country music stars. A fun, quick read that may inspire people to follow their dreams; if things go wrong, imagine how interesting the story leading up your Big Break will be!...more