Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

Title: Wild Roses
Author: Deb Caletti
Pages: 320
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 25, 2008

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan has a secret: she's living 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. Dino has always been difficult, but as he prepares for his comeback concert, something in him begins to shift. He seems more high-strung than ever, set off by any little thing. He stops sleeping, starts chain-smoking. And he grows increasingly paranoid, saying things that Cassie is desperate to make sense of, but can't. So she does what she thinks she must: she tries to hide his behavior from the outside world. Before, she 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. She tries everything to keep away from him, but is drawn to him in a way she's never felt before. It should be easy. It should be beautiful. It is not. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain. But this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.

As the novel crashes through two irreparable events and speeds toward its powerful end, one thing becomes clear: in the world of insanity, nothing is sacred. Not talent, not spirit, not love.

Relatively normal Cassie Morgan used to a normal life, but all that changed as soon as her parents divorced and her mom got married to world-famous violinist Dino Cavalli. Surely it wouldn't be as bad right? Wrong. Cassie's home life is a wreck with Dino on the brink of insanity and constantly being moody. All she wants to do is go back to having a normal family. When she spies Ian Waters going into her house to take private violin lessons with her step-dad, her interest is immediately piqued. Dino forbids them to be together, but that doesn't stop them. Though Ian is keeping secrets that could break Cassie's heart and complicate things even more...

Musically-oriented and completely heartfelt, Wild Roses is a beautiful novel about the complexities of love, forgiveness, family, and friendship. The novel is told through Cassie's perspective and seeing the insanity and madness Dino brings into her life, readers will get pulled into Cassie's stubborn, yet strong psyche--unlike Dino's deteriorating one. Throughout the novel, you can see how Dino's actions and chaotic behavior affects not only Cassie, but her mom as well. Even so, Cassie's mom still holds onto that shred of hope of Dino being normal again. Alas, it's too much to hope and soon, Dino is going on a downward suicide?

Cassie's relationship with Ian is complicated from the very beginning. Ian is on his way to a prestigious music academy, while Cassie still has no idea where she's headed. Ian doesn't want to go, and when they're together, he's completely free and uninhibited. But he's keeping secrets from Cassie that have everything to do with him moving. They're relationship is innocent, and as it progresses, hearts will be broken, and betrayal might conquer.

When everything ends, Cassie and Ian have to face bittersweet goodbyes to the only thing they've ever truly loved; each other. Wild Roses is a touching, bittersweet book that takes readers on a journey of first love, family, and redemption. Caletti weaves another great tale, reminiscent Sarah Dessen's work! A- =)

The Bottom Line: Bitter + Sweet = Reality

---Report Card---
Originality: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 8/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 9/10
Setting: 4/5
Voice: 4/5
Style: 4/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 89/10 (A-)

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Michelle B. January 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM  

I've always wanted to check out Deb Caletti's work. This review has kind of sealed the deal for me. Thanks for the great review! :)

Precious January 9, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

This sounds good! Insanity + Love + Secrets + Doing Forbidden Things (Ian).
Maybe I'll buy this when I see it in the bookstore here called FulyBooked. You made me want to read it. Nice review! :D

prophecygirl January 9, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

I really like the sound of this one! I've never read anything by Deb Caletti before.. hmm... hello, wishlist ;)

Nina January 9, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

Wow, this book sounds fantatic. I mean it gets an A from you! :)

Thao January 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM  

I think this book is really nice, especially its ending. I'm not thrilled much by Ian and Cassie's relationship though.

IceJewel January 9, 2010 at 11:47 PM  

It sounds like a great book with a different story.
I'll surely check this book out !
Great review :)

YA Book Queen January 10, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

This sound really good! I've never read any of Caletti's books, but maybe I should read this one!
Awesome review :)

Mariana S January 10, 2010 at 2:14 AM  

Looks like a really good book. I want to give a try to Deb´s books and this seems like a nice option to start. Great Review

Justine January 10, 2010 at 3:54 AM  

Ooh, I haven't read this one yet. But I've got to. It sounds good :) And the cover is fantastic!

Stephanie January 10, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

I love this: "Readers will get pulled into Cassie's stubborn, yet strong psyche" -- so true! This is a beautifully written review. I enjoyed this one too --

Aliceee♡,  January 11, 2010 at 7:55 PM  

I loved this book, it was so sweet and real unlike a lot of other books out there. I think I've got to reread this one (:

April (BooksandWine) January 13, 2010 at 12:14 AM  

Nice review, I've only read The Queen of Everything by Caletti, and actually used to have a quote written down from that book, because I loved it so much. Not sure where the quote went to, but I will certainly be putting Wild Roses on my 2010 TBR!

Maria April 3, 2010 at 5:39 AM  

I just ordered The Nature of Jade and it looks like I'll have to order another Deb Caletti book. I always hear good things about her books.

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