Sunday, 1 September 2013

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Published: December 7th 2010  
Publisher: Razorbill
Author’s website 

            Jane was found in a rosebush after being hit by a car. She doesn’t die, but it is apparent that someone is planning to finish the job while she is recovering in the hospital. She’s a spoiled rich kid with spoiled rich friends and of course everyone is pretty much unstable and creepy because that’s what rich people are. Someone in her elitist circle of friends is after her, and she has to figure out who tried to kill her by piecing together flashbacks of her life.

            The view straight up the model’s nose is so unflattering. Aesthetically, no one could come up with a better position or camera position for the cover shot? It’s funny, because Jane is supposed to be a photographer and she gets this atrocity for a cover.   

            Ah, the protagonist.
Protagonists don’t have to be perfect, because people are not perfect. In fact, I like ‘em flawed. Give me the damaged, the character-flaws, the mean girls, the na├»ve, the downright stupid. Perfection is an illusion, and perfect characters are unrealistic.
But Jane is…here, let me make a list:
1)      Boring.
2)      Stupid (“I’m not paranoid or crazy!”-proceeds to rip out IV while laughing manically).
3)      A “people-pleaser” (though there is no indication that she is, other than people saying it).
4)      Whiney.
5)      A boy jumper (going from boy to boy to boy in an unhealthy way).
6)      Shallow.
I could add some more, but I think readers will get the picture.
Because I dislike Jane so much, I didn’t become invested. Therefore, I didn’t care that someone was trying to kill her. Oops.  

Then there’s David, Jane’s boyfriend. No. Just no. “Hi, I’m a pot-smoking jerk. The author gives me the semblance of a deeper character, but doesn’t go into it enough to make me a full character. I’m just a-” and I won’t finish that sentence because I have decided not to curse on this blog, but you can use your imagination and stick in a word of your choice.
The parts with his mental abuse make me sick and frustrated, and the author probably intended for that to happen (at least I hope so).

            Some of Kate’s story was inputted, in my opinion, for the author to announce that she is totally down with certain…hot topic issues. I do like Kate because she has the most realistic depth (at least as far as I can recall), but I see how she is a thin representation of certain things that the author wanted to put into her book. Instead of conveying a character, I see a cardboard cut-out.   

            The boys in this book are all ridiculously creepy. No normal guys in sight. Don’t expect to find healthy relationships here. Not that the girls are any less insane, but if you consider it, there isn’t a boy in her age range I’d date because they are all, more or less, insane-in-a-very-bad-way.   

Murder Mystery Aspect
            It is a whodunit story, and a “who will do it” story-someone ran Jane over with a car and then they are after her to finish the job. Overall, I liked the different directions that the book pulled me, though I didn’t particularly think that anyone had it in them to actually kill Jane, though everyone is a red herring at some point. There are lots of characters in this book, so there are many aspects to investigate.
            I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but let me say that I didn’t suspect the culprit because it would have been too obvious. And then the author gives some very lame reasoning for the motive.  
            I do wish people would stop referring to this as a horror novel. Please read something in the horror genre. This is a mystery, and while people lump the two together along with thriller (like Netgalley), they all are vastly different from each other.  

Ultimately, it’s teen chick lit. Not that I’m interested in bashing the genre, but it’s not for me. I can’t stand listening to spoiled kids talk about their brand-name bags and shoes, and then complain about their privileges (Oh button, you have too much money and no responsibilities? Poor you!) Yet they go out and smoke pot and drink-while underage, mind you. Unfortunately, this book is little more than rich and entitled kids doing rich and entitled things. Nope, I can’t particularly care if they are trying to kill each other. I recommend this to girls, not boys-can’t see how boys in general would be interested in this-and I recommend this to girls who like chick lit like Gossip Girl.