Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…
…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.
When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.
It’s been a while since I read the first book but picking this book up brought that book right back to me. In this book, Rosie Zarelli is back and the story starts right before Rose’s sophomore year begins. In the beginning, Rose is at a party and it’s summer and the swim thugs are at it again. They’re hazing the new kid and they’re taunting him and almost drowning him and just being overall dicks. The second time that the kid gets thrown into the pool, he doesn’t come up. He doesn’t come up for so long that Rose gets worried and tries to help him out but gets thrown into the pool for her trouble.
Over the course of this book, we find out that the kid being hazed is Regina Dallado’s younger brother, Conrad. If you read the first book then you’ll remember that Regina is Jamie Forta’s ex-girlfriend, who still has a thing for him and who hates Rose’s guts because well, she’s the new girl in Jamie’s life. Although, that’s putting extras on a relationship that is stalled. Ever since Jamie got out of jail, he’s been a ghost…as far as Rose is concerned. No phone calls, no talking, no contact. He just up and disappeared from Rose’s life and Rose can’t shake her feelings for him but she’s also a little heartbroken throughout most of this book and I couldn’t help but feel a bit heartbroken myself.
I mean, who hasn’t been there? Who hasn’t been dragged through the mud by that one boy that you can’t help but love? The one boy that fills your every thought, every single day.
This book isn’t easy for Rosie because she’s got things going on at home with her Mom and her brothers (both things that are two totally different fights) and she’s going through things with Tracy (her BFF) and through it all, she feels alone and out of sorts and like a girl her age should and does feel and act.
And that’s what I liked most about this book. Rose was 16 and she acted 16. She wasn’t older than her years and she didn’t come off as fake, she just was. She did things that drove me crazy but she was honest with herself when she was being unreasonable and she was honest when it counted the most and with all of the pressure and all of the things she had going for her, I really admired Rosie for being true to who she was and who she thought her father would have wanted her to be. Her family was important to her and while she didn’t understand a lot of things, she tried to and she really made this book pop for me.
The thing that made me like Rose so much was how authentic her relationship with Jamie was. He’s that older boy who is more experienced than she was and seeing her feel things for the first time and experience things for the first time took me right back to a lot of my firsts at her age. Those things scared her and when she didn’t understand things with Jamie, she didn’t back away from asking him even though she was scared to death of bringing it out into the open.
All throughout the book, my heart continued to break time after time. Rosie just couldn’t win and it made me mad at the people around her and at Jamie, the most. He’s got a lot to make up for and he’s got a lot of explaining to do because I really want to know where his head is. He creeps up on you with these sweet gestures and the sweet way that he is with Rosie and then he just disappears, leaving Rose confused and…longing. She didn’t deserve the things that happened to her and I was sad at the end. There’s still so much left in the air and still so much story left that I wish we could have gotten more.
I’m interested in where Peter and Tracy go from here. I’m interested to see how Rosie’s relationship with both of her family members grows and what happens now that Rosie is in Angelo’s band. There’s still so much to learn that I’m kind of annoyed that I have to wait for the next book.
Overall, this book was great. It’s got some ups and its got a lot of downs but there’s still a lot of hope that things will turn up for Rosie. I thought that Rozetti did a fabulous job of stringing me along with this story. Not once did I want to put this book down. Not once was I bored with what was going on. I was much too anxious for everything to happen and turn around. I’m definitely going to read the next book…I can’t wait.
I definitely recommend this book.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5