Jennifer's Reviews > Rose of No Man's Land

Rose of No Man's Land by Michelle Tea
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's review
Apr 03, 2008

really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer by: a bookstore in Providence
Recommended for: anyone looking for a nontraditional coming of age story
Read in December, 2008

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, Kristy, is as cutely perky and optimistic as Trisha is not and Kristy's main goal in life, besides becoming a hairdresser, is to get on MTV's The Real World. No one really cares what Trisha does or doesn't do as is symbolized by the opening of the novel where no one bothers to wake Trisha up for the last day of school and she sleeps through it.

But Trisha's life is about to change. Kristy helps her scheme her way into a temporary job at the mall at a clothing store called Ohmigod!. On her first day, Trisha meets Rose, a young woman who works in the food court, who blatently tells her, "Ring me up for this," and then says, boldly stuffing some jewelry in her bag, "I'm taking this." Trisha is intrigued by Rose and that momentary connection seems to set the rest of that day (and night) into a crazy course of events--from Trisha getting fired to Rose and Trisha going on a crazy, eventually drug-fueled adventure that ends in blood, a tatoo, and heartbreak.

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