Because this review is of the second book in the series, it may contain spoilers for Confessions of An Angry Girl and if you haven't yet read that book you might want to not read further.
Honestly this book. It broke my heart in so many ways. Rose Zarelli, you have my sympathies. Because really, you just can't catch a break, can you?
At the end of the first book, there's sort-of-maybe a thing going on between Rose and long-time crush/bad boy, Jamie Forta. And there would be all kinds of confusion if that's all that's going on in Rose's life. But of course, it isn't. Because Jamie is mixed up in this thing with the Deladdo family. There's obviously history there with the Deladdos taking in Jamie when he needed it the most and of course he had that thing with Regina which makes everything difficult for Rose as Regina is Rose's archnemesis... I found it interesting in this book how much more we learn about Regina Deladdo and about her little brother, Conrad. My heart goes out to the pair of them but I feel all conflicted about Regina and Conrad because of all the ways in which Rose gets dragged into their drama.
And then of course there's Jamie Forta. There is so much drama between Rose and Jamie. They're just in two very different places right now. And that really makes things difficult for Rose to know where they are as a maybe-couple and she's just constantly confused about how he even feels about her. Theirs is a relationship that is so complicated and my heart definitely wants them to be together ... but ugh.
What I do love more than anything is the strength that Rose possesses. To do what's right and to stand up for others around her despite the negative consequences that she might have to put up with. It's the reason she called an ambulance to a high school party in the first book and it's the reason she stands up for a bullied freshman in this book. I do love that Louise Rozett brought in the story of Matthew Shephard and talked some about awareness and acceptance. The Laramie Project sounds like an amazing and moving thing to be part of. I'm glad of its place in this book.
But aside from that, I just love Rose. She decides to become Rose 2.0 in this book and do things that make her happy and question the things that aren't doing that and I applaud her for that. She messes up and says and does the wrong things sometimes but she tries to learn from those mistakes and make amends and move on and I really admire her for doing so.
I cannot wait to see more of Rose and Jamie Forta and my all-time favourite character, Angelo! My wait for the next book in this series is going to be agonising...