Rose has given up. She's given up on friendship, on happiness, on life being anything other than black, black, black. Yrena wants out. She's a dancer who doesn't want to dance, a prisoner in her own home, a resident of New York who never gets to see the city. To Rose, Yrena has always been the Russian girl who lives next door, seen through the window but never spoken to. At least not until Yrena crashes into Rose's room-and Rose's life-and sets in motion a night in New York City that none of them will ever forget. From YA superstar Cecil Castellucci, this is the story of cold hearts and cold wars warmed by simple human connection and the liberty of being young and free in the early hours of a new day.
I don't know if ya'll know this, but I'm kind of Cecil Castellucci's biggest fan. Not one of. The. Biggest. Fan. I own all her books, I've reviewed them on this here blog, and I've pimped out/gifted anything she's ever written to anyone I've ever known ever. So when I stumbled across a blog entry o'hers asking if anyone would be interested in a tour she was conducting for an ARC of her latest novel, my typing speed reached something just below light signing up. And here we are.
Oh, Cecil. How you speak to me.
Rose Sees Red is about Rose, a girl growing up in New York, circa Cold War Era, and who hasn't had the best of luck in either the friend department or the dance department, despite being excepted into a pretigious Performing Arts School (her attendence of which costs her her best friend Daisy, who gives her the choice between their friendship and dance, so she chooses dance because Daisys a total brat). Rose Sees Red is about Rose trying to figure out what friendship is and what type of friend she really wants.
What I really oved about Rose was how self-aware she was. She knew exactly what kind of student she was, what kind of dancer she was, what kind of person she was. She knew she wasn't very book smart, and excepted it. She knew she wasn't some dance goddess with blood made of water, and she excepted it. She knew she's just a normal girl, and excepts it. There's no real angsting going on here, with Rose trying to figure out who she is and all that, because she knows. That's not the problem. The problem is that, while she knows who she is, she also knows that person is obviously poisonous to any relationships she might develop in the near or distant future.
Anyway, the book starts on the morning of one of the strangest days of Rose's life. She goes to school, is approached by two of her signifigantly more popular school mates to get pizza, is thusly invited to a party (her first), then when she goes to sleep that night, she is awakened by her Soviet neighber Yrena to go on a bit of an adventure. The whole thing seems very surreal to Rose, almost dream like, despite the hyper-realism of her character and her surroundings. Maybe its the time period.
Castellucci once again pairs her AWESOME AMAZING writing skills with a fucked up yet likeable heroine who is just trying to figure shit out. Rose Sees Red is so made of win I suggested it to my English teacher (who I hate and try to avoid contact with at all times). This is saying something. The only critism I can think of is that WHY IS IT SO SHORT? MOAR, I DEMAND! MOAR!
Rating: 9 out of 10
Also: Sorry I've been MIA. I have no excuse. Just a lazy girl sometimes. Now make me a sammich, woman.