Book Review: Rosie Girl

Posted July 21, 2017 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: Rosie GirlRosie Girl by Julie Shepard
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on July 11th 2017
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 375
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

Little Peach meets We Were Liars in this haunting YA debut about a troubled teen searching for her birth mom who uncovers disturbing family secrets along the way.
After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn’t give your girlfriend’s step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she’s been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie's birth mother isn't dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere—having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won't reveal. Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she'll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary's no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there's Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who's been acting strangely all of a sudden. As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie's mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. With the ultimate unreliable narrator and twists and turns around every corner, Rosie Girl is an unforgettable tale of identity, devotion and desperation.

I can’t even begin to express how disappointing this book was. It was hardly promoted, and I was looking forward to helping it out in that respect, but I honestly can’t recommend it and wish I could get back the time spent reading it. There were times when I felt I would be better off DNFing it, but I wanted to know how the mystery would turn out. I thought about flipping to the end to get the answer, but I was reluctant to do that. In hindsight, I should have.

Rosie Girl is a book about a teen girl that is struggling with emotionally abusive step parents at home after losing her biological father to heart disease.Her best friend Mary is having sex for cash to help them both escape South Florida. Rosie wants to go to design school, Mary wants to escape to the mountains. Rosie receives a box from her father with a letter inside that states her birth mother is still alive. So Mary helps Rosie raise money to hire a private detective so she can help find out where her mother is.

Okay, so this book had a ton of problems. The first is the completely obvious foreshadowing. The twist is completely in your face if you pay attention which is why I call it a “twist that is not a twist.” Also the blurb tells you right off before you even start reading that Rosie is an unreliable narrator which also gives you a major hint and shows you what to look for.

Now I’m going to get into some spoilers, so you might want to stop here if you are still considering reading so this is your official SPOILER WARNING.

I did not like and I do not like when mental illness is used as a plot twist. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I feel like using an alter personality as a plot twist (which this is) attempts to separate people with mental illnesses even further from society and does nothing good towards making mental illnesses understandable for people that don’t have them. I think there are maybe ways to create sympathy if you are going to use a twist like this (even if I don’t like it), and I don’t think the author went far enough in doing that since the ending just stops with the twist in a really abrupt place.

This book was meant to be a thriller and not a contemporary about dark issues, and I definitely think it tried to do too much and was unsure about its identity.

Despite all the negative, I think the author has writing skill and I would read another book of hers, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

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