Favorite Quote: “No fear. “
Rose Zarelli is fourteen, a freshman in high school, and seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She feels as though everyone she loves has left her. Her father died over the summer, her brother has left for college, and her mother seems to have left life. When Rose runs into an old friend of her brother’s, Jamie Forta, her tentative crush for him develops into something deeper. Unfortunately, he has a girlfriend whose harassment has Rose looking over her shoulder all the time. Dealing with changing friendships and divided loyalties, Rose’s navigation through the treacherous hallways of high school is leaving her feeling a little…angry.
Confessions Of An Angry Girl is an interesting view of high school and life, told through the eyes of a fourteen year old. A solid plot line and humorous dialogue hooked me immediately into the story. Ms. Rozett does a wonderful job of maintaining a realistic setting and tone throughout the story. We are treated to a trip down memory lane as Rose has to try to understand and deal with the changes that high school brings and where her place in it all is. Rose Zarelli has had a rough summer but tries to deal with it as she starts her freshman year of high school. Told in a youthful voice, our MC brings to life the raging emotions and overblown sense of life in general that is readily apparent in this age group. High school is such a traumatic, confusing time of life to begin with but Rose also has outside drama that only adds to her emotional turmoil. No topic is off limits for Rose or us. In here we deal with drinking, death, sex, romance, bullying, crappy lunches and everything else that made high school such a large part of our lives.
I really enjoyed getting to know Rose. Intelligent, clever, and snarky; Rose has a strong sense of self that resonates through the story. She pokes at herself in a self deprecating manner that is funny and endearing at time. She has a faint Jennifer Crusie heroine quality to her. Rose marches to her own beat and has problems with those who want to disrupt her marching. This brings her into continuous conflict with her best friend’s, Tracy and Robert. Tracy is your stereotypical teenager. She wants to be popular so she joins the high school cheerleading team. She wants her boyfriend to stay with her so she is thinking of sleeping with him. She wants people to like her so she chooses the easy route rather than the right route. Rose doesn’t understand Tracy’s rush to “grow up” and Tracy doesn’t understand why Rose isn’t rushing with her.
“Tracey always says I have to loosen up. But I don’t want to take off my clothes off in front of half the school, and I don’t want to have funnel full of vodka jammed down my throat. I don’t want demonic cheerleaders making me do awful things, and I don’t want a jock boyfriend who pressures me into having sex and might be cheating on me.”
Robert has had a crush on Rose for years and tries to push her into a relationship with him. Rose doesn’t always handle her rejection of him with finesse, but in her defense, she’s fourteen.
Rose’s crush, Jamie, was an enigma throughout the book. You’re never sure exactly where he stands in the love triangle that begins between himself, Rose, and his girlfriend, Regina. I liked that the romance per se remains low key and was used more as a stepping stone for Rose rather than an axis that her life revolves around. At times I thought Jamie was just stringing her along but I could also understand Jamie’s reluctance towards Rose in pursuing a relationship. She’s only fourteen and has been through a lot. He’s a junior, was friends with her older brother, and you get the sense that he has some serious issues of his own. For all his back sliding though, you sense that his feelings for Rose are sincere and he’s only pushing her away for her own good.
Jealousy and bullying is a strong theme in the book as we watch the antics of Regina, Jamie’s mean girl girlfriend. Rose becomes a victim after she once again chooses the right path rather than the popular and is made to pay a heavy price for it. Ms. Rozett writes the situation in a realistic manner, rather than an adult acceptable manner. She allows Rose to deal with it in her own way, hoping that Rose will choose the right path for herself.
The ending is a bit of a surprise and let down when Ms. Rozett does a double take and leaves us with a cliffhanger. All in all, Confessions Of An Angry Girl will appeal to young and old who enjoy a high school coming of age story surrounded by drama, humor, and a bit of romance. I am looking forward to seeing more of Rose, Tracy, Jamie, and the others in the sequel, Confessions Of An Almost Girlfriend, which releases in 2013.