Friday, June 28, 2013

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend by Louise Rozett from Harlequin Teen.  The tour is hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  You can visit the rest of the stops on the tour here.  My stop today features a review and giveaway, which you can enter below.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend 
Release Date: 06/18/13 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.

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Confessions of an Angry Girl
by Louise Rozett
Release Date: 08/28/12
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
288 pages

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…

1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is nowenraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)

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REVIEW: Confessions of an Angry Girl
First of all, this was probably the first totally YA book I’ve read in a VERY long time.  Like, maybe since I was a teenager, and I’m frickin old.  But, these two books came in on a weekend where I was just burnt out on NA really – like really bad.  I was just frustrated with a bunch of books that I had committed to review, and all I really wanted as a book where the writing flowed and would allow me to just enjoy the story.
I read these two books in one day.  They were so fun.  Rose’s voice was just fabulous, I loved her.  Normally I’m not into the fourteen year old’s perspective.  It’s been a long time since I was fourteen, I was wild when I was fourteen, so pretty much nothing these fourteen year olds are doing in any of these books can hold a candle to my real life.  But that Jamie… yup.  He was sorta hot for a highschooler!  :)
I thoroughly enjoyed Confessions of  an Angry Girl.. I totally got it.  Rose lost her dad, she was really, really struggling with that and to top it all off, she was a freshman in high school.  It’s a lot for a kid.
And in walks this older guy who sorta pays attention to her, but is just aloof enough to keep her hanging.  I had a few these guys at her age, but I wanted to believe Jamie was a good guy.  And I did, for this entire book… all the way to the end.  And then… yeah. I’ve been there too.  
I was pretty much done with Jamie. He was a total screw-up.
I did very much enjoy how Rose worked through her grief with her online “friends” at the blog she made for her father. I thought that was touching.  I hate the thought of kids losing their parents because they are serving their country.  It’s just so tragic and sad, I hate it, but that was a nice touch and I think it really helped Rose work through her anger.
I think Rose is an incredibly strong character in this book even though she has a lot of self-doubt.  I like how she stood up to her mom about her blog and the way she chooses to cope with her sadness and honor her father at the same time.  That was strength, even if she didn't realize it at the time.  I also think Rose starts off stronger than she ends up and I think Jamie is the reason she grows weaker.  She trusts him and I'm just not convinced he deserves it. But love is love.  That's not something that can be turned off easily, and not amount of good advice will change someone's mind.  That's a life lesson that has to be learned first hand.

REVIEW: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend
So book two – Jamie is still being a douchebag, but now Rose is presented with two more very grown-up issues. Hate and domestic violence.  I’m just gonna go on record and say I agree with her decision. I get why Jaime was angry, he feels responsible for this family, but he was way out of line.  This girl is only sixteen and Jamie is as unpredictable as they come. 
How is she supposed to know what the right thing to do is? Did she stay silent because she was jealous of Regina and Jamie?  Maybe. Did she stay silent because she was told to?  Maybe.  Did she stay silent because she feared for what Jamie would do? Probably.
I’m totally over this Jamie guy and I got over him way before that final incident because Jamie threatened someone with a gun.  OK. A gun.  I’m a second Amendment Rights Advocate, I actually carry a gun at all times, I have no problem with guns, my son learned to shoot when he was ten.  But that incident when he took that gun out and threatened someone, I was done with him.  I cannot even explain how not cool that is and if Rose was my daughter, I’d hope she had the sense to figure out just how unstable that move really was and toss this guy out.

With that said, I can’t really make a decision on Rose until I read the last book because, of course, book two is right in the middle of her character arc.  It's impossible to determine if she's strong and self-confident or weak and timid until this plays out.  I think everything hinges on her making a decision to move on or get stuck in this pattern of abuse.  Because that’s what Jamie’s doing to her.  He’s mentally abusing her – he’s keeping her secret, he’s messing with her head, he’s not able to commit. But yet he wants all the perks, right? He’s playing with her. And he most definitely does NOT respect her.
One boy I did very much enjoy was Angelo!  I loved his character and I loved that he's going to be a bigger part of Rose's life, even if it is off "camera" so to speak, becasue of how the book ends. I'm officially Team Angelo. 

So, basically the one character that got me totally hooked on this series is a total jerk and I can’t stand him!  :) But that might be the author’s intent, I’m not sure yet.  Maybe he redeems himself next time around. With that said, I enjoyed the books, I enjoyed Rose, and I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next one.

***GIVEAWAY*** One lucky winner will get a signed copy of ANGRY GIRL, a signed copy of ALMOST-GIRLFRIEND, and a $25 iTunes gift card! (US only) a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author
Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, published by Harlequin Teen. The next book in the series, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, is due out June 2013. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from THE WIRE, of course) in one of the world's greatest literary meccas, Brooklyn...and also in sunny Los Angeles. (Being bi-coastal is fun!) Visit for more info.

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