Book Review: Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
This is a young adult novel that is quite different from anything else being published currently. Jane is one of the popular girls at her high school – she’s beautiful and smart and other girls envy her looks, her life and her dreamboat boyfriend. But in the opening chapters of Rosebush everything goes terribly wrong when Jane is run over and left for dead in a rosebush. Partially paralysed, Jane convalesces in hospital and only slowly starts remembering events of that night. Frighteningly, she becomes increasingly convinced she is not the victim of a random hit and run, but that she was deliberately run over by someone she knew – a person she thought was a friend.
This is an edgy, dark thriller that will appeal to young adults and women of all ages. It perfectly captures the nasty side of the teenage years and trying to fit in at whatever cost – but the story is also a wonderful psychological mystery. Is Jane going insane and imaging that one of her friends has tried to kill her – and probably wants to finish the job? Or is she right and there really is a person who hates her to such a degree they want to murder her. And of course, the reader soon learns the truth behind Jane’s perfect teenage façade. Her boyfriend isn’t ideal, she misses her deceased father and is struggling with her mother’s relationship with another man – and her best friend died in tragic circumstances. This is a gripping and intriguing novel, a wonderful, slightly black-tinged read.