4.3 34
by Michele Jaffe

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Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.

Everyone believes it was an accident,

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Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.

Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jaffe (Bad Kitty) has honed her craft with several adult thrillers, and that's a big benefit for a story that is superficially identical to a slew of recent YA novels featuring innocent heroines sucked into the popularity trap by rich girls with evil hearts. Jaffe, too, presents the de rigueur litany of designer names and cliquey cruelties, and there's no surprise when the villain is unveiled. Where this story distinguishes itself is in character development. Jane Freeman is a believable adolescent, trivial and thoughtless most of the time, but capable of insight and empathy when she stops to think. And trapped in an ICU bed after a near-fatal hit and run, Jane has a lot of time to do just that. She also seems to have company, as eerie threats from a "secret admirer" appear in her hospital room. Jaffe fully develops the evolution of Jane's situation and the piecemeal return of her memories after her trauma-induced amnesia fades. Even when adults around Jane question her sanity, readers will continue to trust this character who has been so thoroughly and sympathetically unfolded. Ages 12�up. (Dec.)
VOYA - Suzanne Osman
Lying in a hospital bed and partially paralyzed after being purposely struck by a car during a party, Jane desperately tries to remember what happened that night. Meanwhile, the cops investigate her attempted murder, and a parade of friends and family members visits her bedside as she tries to convince the psychiatrist that the disturbing communications she receives from her would-be killer are real. Part campy late-night made-for-TV horror movie, part teenage literary romp, Rosebush plants a bewitching garden of spooky gift cards signed, "Your Secret Admirer," creepy phone calls warning Jane of her impending death, an excessively controlling boyfriend, a best friend who commits suicide, and a cute hospital volunteer who wrestles with his own demons. Through the use of flashbacks, hospital visits, therapy sessions, and eerie phone calls that only Jane seems to hear, readers begin to piece together the haunting events that led up to her injury just as the killer returns to fulfill the unfinished deadly plot. The writing of Rosebush is at once poetic, harrowing, and poignant. Jane's life delicately unfurls like a tender rosebud. Then, as her past slowly starts to intertwine with the events at the party, the story barrels to a spellbinding conclusion. And, like Jane, readers will never guess who her attempted murderer turns out to be. Recommend this book to patrons who relish chilling suspense, delicious murder mysteries, and intricate relationships between friends, family members, and boyfriends. Reviewer: Suzanne Osman
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Rosebush has an interesting premise; a popular teenage girl named Jane Freeman wakes up in a hospital with no control of her body and mind. She discovers that her paralysis is the result of being hit by a car, but she has no memory of the event. Who hit her, and why? How did a girl who seemed to have so many friends end up nearly dying in a rosebush? The reader learns the answers to all these questions in flashbacks, starting from Jane's early high school years and ending on the night that she was hit. The mysteries and the suspense are compelling, making it difficult to put the book down until all the questions have been answered. However, the story is lacking. Jane is the cliche of the girl who gets a makeover and becomes popular only to discover that having a lot of friends isn't the same thing as having real friends. There is a secret in Jane's past that the book spends a lot of time leading up to, but it is not a very interesting secret and does not seem to enhance the plot. All of this could be overlooked if the end of the book justified the buildup, but instead it feels contrived and unrealistic. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—As one of the Three Must-kateers, "because whatever they did, everyone else must follow," Jane is super popular in her suburban New Jersey high school. She has the perfect friends, boyfriend, and life. But not everyone loves her. One night, she is found nearly dead in a rosebush after being run down by a car. Waking up in the hospital, Jane doesn't remember a thing from the time of her accident. Now, she has to figure out what happened and whether someone really is out to get her, or if she is just going crazy. Part psychological thriller, part chick lit, this page-turner is filled with quirky characters who are easy to love and hate. There are also a few racy scenes and some references to drug use. A suspenseful modern twist on the classic murder mystery, this novel is a quick and enjoyable read.—Jessie Spalding, Tempe Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews

Fear and anticipation stalk this psychological thriller as popular, pretty Jane tries to recover from a hit-and-run accident while wondering which of her beloved friends is trying to murder her. All of Jane's friends are pretty—in fact every young character seems to have stepped straight out of Vogue—and most are super-wealthy. Jane's fears come across as somewhat more realistic than her friends do, however, as she copes with threatening phone calls, dire messages written on mirrors and frightening gifts delivered to her in her hospital room. Plausible red herrings abound, along with the creeping suspicion that Jane might be imagining things. Jaffe manages the suspense marvelously while also unfolding Jane's emotional life, especially her estrangement from her mother and her hidden knowledge of the death of another friend. The friends alter before readers' eyes as they learn ever more about them through the veil of the unreliable narrator, who, as her hospital orderly observes, is a lousy judge of character. Cleverly written with a finger on the pulse of the target audience—awinner. (Thriller. 14 & up)

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Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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