Friday 11 January 2013

Wild Roses - Deb Caletti

Pages: 296
Publisher: Point
Release Date: 20th February 2006
Edition: UK paperback, Secret Santa gift

Other Titles by this Author: The Queen of Everything, Honey Baby Sweetheart, The Nature of Jade, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, The Secret Life of Prince Charming, The Six Rules of Maybe, Stay, The Story of Us

Here is something you need to know about me. I’m not a Hallmark card, ooh ah romance, Valentine-y love kind of person...

When Cassie meets her stepfather’s latest protégée she is irresistibly attracted to the boy on a bike with a dog called Rocket.

Ian Waters is a musical genius, like Cassie’s stepfather, Dino Cavalli. He is talented, gorgeous and funny, and Cassie’s starry-eyed and swept away. But she knows if Dino finds out the sky might as well fall in...

I read Honey, Baby, Sweetheart years ago and really enjoyed it, but I struggled to get hold of more of Deb Caletti’s novels so I was so pleased to find that my Secret Santa had got me Wild Roses!

The narrative voice of Wild Roses captured me straight away. Cassie’s voice is edgy, real and has a conversational tone to it that I loved. It felt like she was telling her story, not having her story told for her. She has the voice of a teenage girl with all of the rash conclusions, dramatic moments, deep and philosophical thoughts and countless daydreams. I felt so bad at her having to deal with Dino and the pressures living with that on top of her relationship with Ian and dealing with her parent’s divorce.

Speaking of Dino, I really didn’t expect him to be such a strong focus of the novel. Although both of Cassie’s parents are refreshingly present and well-rounded in Wild Roses, a large part of the novel was about Dino. Though I understood his illness and appreciated that that was part of the reason he acted the way he did, I couldn’t find any sympathy for him. He’s a horrible person that made life miserable for Cassie and her mum. Though I think that’s more of a personal reaction that a comment on the writing or characterisation.

As Dino’s illness became more and more prominent and things got more extreme I could feel the novel building towards a dramatic crescendo. I have to admit that I envisioned a slightly more severe and dramatic conclusion that occurred. It made me wonder about the darkness of my imagination right then... I loved the way that Dino’s decline related to the anecdotes about famous genius’s and the inevitable connection between brilliance and madness.

One of my very favourite things about Wild Roses was the ending though. It wasn’t the cheesy, perfectly happy ending that it could have been, but a strong and realistic one. Nothing was tied up in neat bows or packaged in to neat boxes, but the ending was left open and hopeful. As it should be I feel.

After rediscovering Deb Caletti through Wild Roses, I’m definitely going to look in to getting my hands on the rest of her novels!

This was one of the books I received from my Secret Santa.



  1. Thanks for the awesome review. I have not read anything by Deb Calleti, but there is another of hers, Love is All You Need, that caught my attention.

  2. I love this book - Deb Caletti's writing is gorgeous.

  3. Deb Caletti is just one of those authors that I feel like I should read. I've only read Stay by her, but really enjoyed it.

  4. Why have I not clicked the follow button before now??!! I really have lost it!

    I haven't heard of this author before but your review has really convinced me to try her out! This book sounds really good and I'm glad that you enjoyed it! :)

    New follower, obviously, via GFC :)

  5. This book sounds wonderful - it seems Deb Caletti is another author I've missed out on, will have to remedy this - fab review :)


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