By Christopher Golden
Okay, so I could really use some new book recommendations, especially for some decent YA/fantasy/fairy tale kind of reads, because I have definitely been picking some lemons (most through GoodReads). When Rose Wakes, while definitely not as torturous as Sovay, was yet another book with so much potential that just sort of fizzled out into a “Whaaaat???” at the end.
The premise was interesting. Rose awakens in a hospital in modern Boston to find that she has been in a coma for the last two years. Now, finally awake, she has amnesia and can remember nothing of her past life. Her only relatives are her two aunts. As Rose regains strength, she starts high school, and tries to rebuild a life.
But she keeps having these dreams–creepy, very realistic dreams. In the dreams, she is a princess in a castle, and her country is besieged by war. And Rose herself is being pursued by an evil witch. Her aunts shrug off her dreams, and Rose tries to, too. But she can’t help but notice that so much of her life seems to be… unusual.
Okay, so, so far, so good, right? Good set up, and the story could go so many different directions. There’s just loads of potential. Except–Golden decides that the best direction for this story to take (SPOILERS SPOILERS) is for Rose’s curse to have been, instead of pricking her finger on a spindle and dying, that having sex with her husband on their wedding night would be the death stroke…!??! So Rose’s aunts are all obsessed with her not having boyfriends so of course Rose decides that she has to go about snogging this random dude that she’s only known, you know, three days. And then people are actually leaves because the evil with is making people out of forest materials and there are these crows going around protecting Rose except they really creep her out and then there’s this huge battle scene at the end and the one aunt gets killed really grotesquely and just… bleh.
So the whole story was just really unnecessarily dark and depressing, the plot got super confusing and disorienting, Rose herself isn’t particularly likable, and there are just way too many references to sex (especially for a 16-year-old heroine) for me to be comfortable with the story. The word that kept coming to mind when I was reading this book was crude. Not necessarily the writing style, per se, but the language and story: swearing, sex, violence–all in a way that just jolted into the story without really moving it along.
Yet another 1/5. And I’m seriously about sending me some book recommendations. Comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m always looking for something new!