Series: Confessions #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 28th 2012
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 now enraged 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 My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time.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.)
Hello Rose Zarelli! Meet your almost 30-year-old future self because if you think you’re confused about the world as a teenager – Just you wait!
I adored this book and Rose! She was fresh, punchy, realistic, everything I want to see in a teenage character. She acted her age! She was 14 going on 15 not 40 and it was delightful to be drawn into her confusing, hormone driven world where up is down and boys are no longer infested with cooties but strange creatures to hold sweaty palms with and pray they don’t wipe them on their pants when you let go.
Rose is a freshman in high school and if that isn’t enough to deal with, she’s grieving the death of her father and the transformation of her best friend into a peppy pod person.
Rozett really captures the uncertainty and vulnerability of teen life especially that precipice we balance desperately on between childhood and adulthood. Rose is still a child struggling to fill out her new womanly body emotionally. Yearning for her father she doesn’t want to move on, she wants to still be the kid who can cuddle up on his lap. She’s the queen of snark and through her musings on all the teenage rituals and rules that don’t make sense you can really get an understanding for the underlying fear she’s coping with.
COAAG has one of the strongest teen voices I’ve come across in a long time – There’s one major theme here which is surprisingly lacking in so many YA novels and that is – Respecting Yourself. Instead of Rose succumbing to peer pressure she strikes out on her own path and sticks to it, when her friend almost chokes on her own vomit after binge drinking and everyone else would prefer her life in danger rather than break up a party, Rose does the right thing and takes the abuse and the bullying for weeks with little complaint. She won’t compromise her core being for anyone and it was admirable and I’m glad Rozett made the decision to let Rose be that person.
All the themes you would expect to see in a contemporary teen novel are here but Rozett crafts a book with real emotion and heart. Every snarky comment and cutting remark is felt by the reader.
Rose’s connection with Jamie Forta (misfit, bad boy, just misunderstood?) was really sweet. Jamie has a quiet, unassuming nature that made the fact he was older than Rose seem less threatening and weird. Rozett keeps the relationship on the right side of awkward and tackled those moments when their relative levels of experience become significant sensitively.
This book was by far one of the most realistic portrayals of the teenage experience, warts and all. The characters are so well-rounded that I felt like I was chatting with teenagers I know about their day. The ending sets the anticipation level high for book 2 and I can’t wait to see what Rose gets up to next. Fresh, fun, realistic with a sweet thread of childhood innocence running through it – Confessions of an Angry Girl is packed full of heart, emotion and angst. Highly recommend.