Rose Zarelli 2.0 is centered and in control, or at least that is the plan.
Sophomore year finds 15-year-old Rose slogging through familiar territory (Confessions of an Angry Girl, 2012). Drunken parties, secret make-out sessions and screaming matches with her mother are only some of Rose’s extracurricular activities. Despite her determination not to obsess about bad-boy Jamie Forta, Rose quickly assumes the role of his pining, not-quite girlfriend. Everyone around her, however, seems to be moving forward. Robert has a girlfriend. Tracy has ditched cheerleading to become a fashionista. Even quiet Stephanie is cast in the school musical. But when her mother starts dating, and her brother, Peter, is kicked out of college for using drugs, Rose’s new persona shatters, forcing her to find her own voice, literally. The inclusion of issues such as homophobia, domestic violence and the reality of hate crimes fails to elevate this beyond barely camouflaged pulp. Rose’s determination to change is undermined by her complete lack of self-discipline. Her failure to move past old patterns is only marginally mitigated by her newfound passion for singing. While this new obsession is promising, it is not enough to rescue this sequel.
Depressingly familiar. (Fiction. 14 & up)