I just read - no, devoured - Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
This book was A-FREAKING-MAZING. Suspenseful, beautifully written, totally engrossing right up to the very end. The kind of book that makes me think, This is why I'm not published... because I didn't write THIS!
Here is the synopsis from the back cover:
Jane wakes up tangled in a Rosebush, paralyzed and without a clue how she got there.
Her friends convince her she was the victim of a hit and run accident - but Jane begins to suspect someone is out to kill her. Now, she must use the clues left behind by each person who visits her in the hospital - friend, stranger, enemy - to piece together what really happened, before it's too late.
The truth will change her life forever. That is, if it doesn't kill her.
Great premise, right? It only gets better from there. A warning though: those who are offended by the (unfortunately accurate) portrayal of teenagers having sex, smoking pot, and experimenting with same-sex kissing, this book is not for you. While it's not the focus of the plot, it's definitely there, so I'm just sayin'.
I did have a couple WTF moments. Without giving too much away, I'll just say the first one was the Scott Situation, call it contrived, and leave it at that. I thought it was trying too hard. Ok, now I'll really leave it alone.
Second... Why did Jane stop at destroying the flower vase when she knew about Ollie's freakish pasttime? Come on Jane, even I would have gone Rambo on the rest of those gifts.
Third... I'm still not quite sure I understand the "killer's" motive. I was left guessing up until the last second, but once I knew I found myself thinking, "Really? Am I buying this?" I'm still not quite sure. I know we're never supposed to suspect the real perp, but I felt like I still had questions at the end. Which, of course, the author could have done intentionally but I'm nosy like that - I like closure.
All in all though, this book deserves to be read. Michele Jaffe does such an amazing job painting a picture of the loneliness teenagers can feel - even pretty, popular girls. As she puts it, "There's a finite amount of space at the top of the social pyramid and once you've reached it, there's only one direction to go and no shortage of people who want to push you there." Jane wanted the perfect life, but learns the hard way that perfection is all smoke and mirrors, and comes at a high price.
You'll be dying to know who put the price tag on her head. Go forth and enjoy!