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Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
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Rosebush Penguin Group, 2010, 326pp, $16.99
Michele Jaffe ISBN978-59514-353-2

 
 
       “The image is stark yet beautiful. In the foreground and slightly to the right, set in blue-gray grass, is a fantastic bush. It looks like something from a fairy tale, a witch cursed into an alternate form, gnarled fingers reaching for the sky. In the center lies a girl.”
    That girl is Jane Freeman. In Michele Jaffe's, Rosebush, a dramatic mystery novel, Jane awakens in a hospital and finds out that a car hit her and someone left her for dead in a rosebush. With only fragments of that night remembered, she has no clue who did this to her. However, Jane quickly realizes, this killer isn't done with her yet. She keeps seeing death threats, hidden in get-well presents and written on mirrors. Everyone around her is saying that she’s just hallucinating. Even though her sanity seems questionable, Jane can’t believe that these are just hallucinations.   Jane delves deep into her past, unearthing things she’s kept tucked away for years, and try to remember the events of that night, in order to figure who is trying to kill her.
 Going into this book, I was aware that the writing might leave something to be desired. I wanted it to be a riveting, heart-pounding, twisty-turny experience. It wasn't. Though the writing was draped with cliches and did a weak job of maintaining much suspense, it had its occasional moments of beauty. The first person narrative and the flashbacks helped elevate the story. The action, unfortunately, had an annoying predictability. It seemed like Jaffe was taking formulaic twists and turns: Jane has a past that's riddled with secrets and mistakes, she's torn between three guys, her friends seem to be more like enemies, and all of this come back to haunt her in deadly ways. Still, there were moments towards the end where my heart was pounding and I thought,“Oh my god, what's going to happen?” Although I thought the ending was not well supported by anything leading up to it, this book had enough gripping moments to make most people overlook it's imperfections.
If you're looking for an enjoyable yet substance-less read, this book is not a bad choice. Aimed towards girls, Rosebush is best suited for people who are in 8th grade or high school. There is some phenomenal young adult literature out there and this isn't it. However, sometimes okay is good enough.
Saryu Chennat
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 19, 2011 – Finished Reading
March 2, 2011 – Shelved

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