Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
by Louise Rozett
Expected Publication Date: June 18th, 2013
Approximate Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Obtained Via: E-arc given by publisher in exchange for honest review
Format Read In: Kindle ARC
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.
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is one of those books that lands directly in the middle of the pile– good, but not great; some issues handle well, others not, etc. It’s such an “in the middle” book for me that it’s hard to discuss my thoughts on it at all. So let’s break it down, shall we?
What I Liked:
I liked Rose for the most part. I found her to be a sympathetic main character who had quite a few flaws but also made me want to read the rest of her story. I felt for her, and I REALLY liked the portrayal of her grief over her dad’s death and the tension she felt between wanting to remember him but also moving on from grief.
I also liked the musical theater parts, Holly, who becomes a new friend of Rose and is a genuinely sweet person, and most of Rose’s friends. Even though there’s a few issues with friends throughout the book, in the end the friendship relationships are really complex and endearing. I had great friendships in high school so I like reading books about them as well.
Rose’s journey of “finding herself”, for lack of a better phrase, was really well-handled. I like that it wasn’t instant, but she found something she really loved and went after it. She wasn’t perfect right away, but she saw her own potential for the first time and I loved that.
I mentioned this in the first paragraph, but by far my FAVORITE thing about this book was the portrayal of Rose’s grief. I liked that there was some distance from her dad’s death(a year and a half), so the book really explores the type of grief that Rose experiences as she really begins to work what happened and what her life will look like in the future in this regard. It broke my heart at places to see Rose struggle with so many conflicting emotions because I’ve been there too. My eyes actually got a little misty at times, which is rare with books for me.
What I Didn’t Like:
Basically, the boys in this book. With the exception of Peter, Rose’s brother(who definitely has problems but also reaches out to Rose on occasion), I could have done without the lot of them. Robert, an old friend of Rose’s and Holly’s boyfriend, is quite simply a jerk. He’s not the in the book much, but I found myself wanting to race ahead every time.
BUT the main boy in this book is Jamie. Jamie is supposedly your average “bad/dangerous” boy who secretly has a heart of gold and is really a nice guy. He’s actually not a “bad” boy in the traditional sense, at least not to me, but he does sort of portray that whole “dangerous”(and by dangerous I mean unpredictable and undependable) attitude. Rose’s reaction to him were quite annoying, since as soon as he’s around she forgets every resolution she’s ever made. There are occasions when Jamie shows a nice(and protective side), but they’re too infrequent. After reading, I got the sense that Jamie was suppose to be this torture soul, which I can sort of see, but I don’t feel I was shown enough to really GET him. He’s not the worse love interest ever, but he doesn’t really make sense either and is not really great for Rose at all.
Final Impression: There’s a lot of “almost” in this book, and there were several “almost” in my reading. I almost really liked this book, but I didn’t. In the end, I just liked it at the time and probably won’t want to revisit the story again. It wasn’t bad or even mediocre, but it wasn’t captivating or that awesome of a read. The best part was the portrayal of grief, but there were too many things I disliked(mainly the boys) to make up for it. It’ll fall on the lower end of a 3/5 stars.