Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to my stop on the Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

book coverE-ARC: 288 pages 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 18, 2012
ISBN: 9780373210480
 
Source of my copy: author
Series: Confessions #2


Synopsis (from Goodreads) 

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.


When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.



(Warning: Some spoilers, especially if you haven't read book 1, Confessions of an Angry Girl)

First of all, you need to read Confessions of an Angry Girl to enjoy this novel. Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend picked up a few months after Angry Girl ended. Rose's goal for her sophomore year was to lie low after all the drama that happened during her freshman year, but drama seems to follow Rose wherever she goes.

I have to admit I had mixed feelings about the previous book, Confessions of an Angry Girl--I couldn't quite connect with any of the characters, including the main character, Rose. While I thought Rose was smart, snarky and at times funny, she got herself in some stupid situations and into a lot of drama in Angry Girl.

Rose grew up a little in Almost-Girlfriend but she was still grieving the loss of dad and she has new stuff to deal with--her constant clashing with her mom both in and out of the therapist's office, her worry for her brother and his escalating substance abuse problem, wondering about the hot-and-cold attitude of her almost-boyfriend Jamie, being caught between the swim team/thugs' (who were not only bullies but also homophobes) hazing of Regina's brother, trying to find her place musically... these are only some of the stuff she's dealing with. And, like in Angry Girl, there was a lot of confusion, anger, frustration and raw emotions as Rose tried to deal with everything.

While reading Almost-Girlfriend I felt almost bogged down by all the drama but there were flashes of humor, usually through Angelo (Jamie's best friend--it was great to see more of him because he was pretty much the only character I liked in Angry Girl) and Rose's signature snark, which kept things somewhat light and kept me reading.

There were a couple instances this novel got blatantly preachy, not unlike it was in Angry Girl with the teen sex bit, only this time it's about abuse, bullying, hazing and homophobia. Yes, the information is relevant today and very important, but I thought it could've have been executed better.

I was happy to find that Rose had better friends in this novel than in the previous. Her best friend Tracy did a complete 180, from a self-centered, annoying wanna-be popular girl in Angry Girl to a more supportive and helpful friend in Almost-Girlfriend. Tracy stopped trying so hard to be popular (instead, she focused her energy on her fashion aspirations), she dumped her toxic boyfriend (who got even more awful in this book) and she became more confident and became her own person.

Unfortunately, I still failed to see the appeal of Jaime, the "almost-boyfriend" in the title. He did break up with his awful girlfriend Regina (who bullied Rose and made her entire freshman year a nightmare) but he was really hot-and-cold in Almost-Girlfriend. I don't know if he's the right guy Rose. We do learn more about him and his connection with Regina and her family.

Overall, I think where this book/series truly shined was in Rose's realistic, authentic voice. I was able to connect with Rose more in this book. Yes, she can be whiny and immature but the girl had A LOT to deal with and she's only fifteen. By the end of this novel, she did become a little stronger and found a little bit of herself but, needless to say, everything cannot be tied up nice and neat by the end of this novel and I am curious enough to see what will happen next to pick up the next book in the series.

If I'm giving this novel a star rating, I'd give it 3/5 stars.



About the Author
Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, published by Harlequin Teen. The next book in the series, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, is due out June 2013. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from The Wire, of course) in one of the world's greatest literary meccas, Brooklyn... and also in sunny Los Angeles. (Being bi-coastal is fun!) Visit www.Louiserozett.com for more info.




Giveaway
One lucky winner will get a signed copy of ANGRY GIRL, a signed copy of ALMOST-GIRLFRIEND, and a $25 iTunes gift card! (US only)

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