Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

WildRosesTitle: Wild Roses

Author: Deb Caletti

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 320

Rating: 3.5/5

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan lives with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he’s an erratic, self-centered bully. And he’s getting worse: He no longer sleeps, and he grows increasingly paranoid. Before, Cassie was angry. Now she is afraid.

Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino’s first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she’s doomed. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain, but this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.

In the end, only one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred….

I really liked most of my first Deb Caletti books (not necessarily her first books, but the first ones I read), but this book and the other one I read with it (see tomorrow’s review) haven’t captured my interest as much.

This book started out pretty interesting, and the look at mental health issues in general was pretty interesting as well, but it’s difficult to really get behind the main character and her romantic relationship, which makes it kind of hard to really enjoy this book in general. I noticed a lot of similarities with this book’s main character as I did with the one from The Six Rules of Maybe, which is the other Caletti book I read with this one. Cassie of this book seems even worse though, because she’s not as shy – the main character of Six Rules is an allegedly good girl who never hurts anyone, so she’s less judgmental – at least out loud. Cassie is overly judgmental though, which made it very difficult to read this book without wanting to throw it to knock some sense into her. No, the book itself isn’t nearly bad enough to warrant throwing across the room, but Cassie might.

The biggest example I remember being really, really frustrated with Cassie in involved a fellow student. Cassie was stuck in a group project with two other people who she apparently hated because she complained about them all the time. One of these people was a boy who’s apparently 100% stereotypical gay, from his mannerisms to his appearance to just about everything if I recall correctly, yet he doesn’t quite know he’s gay yet. Of course, it’s not possible that he’s just a very feminine straight guy who actually does know his sexuality without the high and mighty Cassie figuring it out for him. Sure, it’s quite possible that he’s gay, but it really annoys me when she repeatedly complains about the fact that he just needs to come out of the closet already. I guess I’m glad she seems to accept the fact that he’s gay, even if she’s a bit too critical to seem truly accepting.

I also had trouble caring about the romance. The love interest was a nice enough guy, which is always nice in young adult books, and I really liked it when his brother and friend show up, but they can’t really make up for the rest of the book (i.e. Cassie), especially since they really don’t have that many scenes in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, even when I was interested in the actual story, it’s difficult to connect with the characters that the story is happening to, which made it difficult for me to fully enjoy the book. In the end, though, this hasn’t completely discouraged me from checking out Deb Caletti’s other books, which is a good thing in my book.



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