Out June 25, 2013
Rose Zarelli is going to be different this year. She is no longer going to be on the track team, or do anything because people think she should. It’s her sophomore year and she is the new and improved Rose, Rose 2.0. She is going to be the singer with the awesome voice and she is NOT going to let Jamie Forta jerk her around. But if she’s not careful, while Rose is trying to be her new self, she might miss out on important ques, from her brother, her best friend, and her mum. As Rose navigates through her sophomore year of high school, she discovers that before she can make any changes, she needs to find who she really is and trust in herself.
Sometimes when you pick up a sequel you are more disappointed than relieved to know what happened to the characters. That is not what happens with Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend. If anything, I like Rose MORE in this book than in the first one. Rose is so real in this book it’s sometimes painful. Her growth throughout the story is believable. The reader can see Rose’s struggle and understand where it comes from. Part of her struggle stems from her father, who died 18 months earlier. She feels that he abandoned her. He also was one of the few people who ever told her that she is beautiful and she is now angry with him for placating her and lying to her about her lack of beauty. Her father’s death created problems between her mum, her brother and herself. As the family has to relearn how to be a family minus one person, Rose also has to learn to forgive her father, herself and the rest of her family. As she learns to do this, she is able to trust herself more.
At the beginning of the novel, Rose is incredibly hard on herself and has no positive self worth. She wants to change and do something different. Rose doesn’t really believe in the change though. When she tries out for the school musical, she gets nervous and doesn’t preform as well as she wanted to. After running out into the hallway, Rose beats herself up. She tries to trick herself into thinking that she doesn’t care about the musical so that when she doesn’t get a part, she doesn’t feel a bad about it. This negative self talk is what she needs to change and it happens slowly throughout the book. This change doesn’t happen overnight, which is what makes Rose a believable character. As the book and plot progresses, Rose learns through singing and music and not through Jamie Forta that she is worth something and if someone (Jamie Forta) can’t see that, it is their (his) loss.
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is an amazing book that many girls will be able to relate to. Rose’s character development is perfect and sends positive messages about dealing with body image issues and problems with self worth.
**I read an advanced readers copy of this book. Thank you to HarlequinTeen for giving me a copy.