Book Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions #2)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Page Count: 288
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Rose Zarelli is a normal girl. One of her best friends is a gorgeous fashionista, and the other turned into a near supermodel over the summer. As for Rose, she is just hoping her hair doesn't go crazy. She lets her friend dress her up, creating a new persona for herself to push past her semi-disastrous freshman experience. Rose ended the school year having saved a life, but ruined the homecoming celebrations by calling the authorities and she is determined to move past that.

This second installment in the series sees Rose being dragged along to a pre-sophomore year pool party, where she is really hoping she will/won’t bump into Jamie Forta... the hot boy who does/does not like her and may/may not talk to her ever again. She gets kind of side tracked though by the swim team’s pretty horrific hazing of their newest recruit, Conrad Deladdo... brother of Rose’s nemesis, Regina. The thing is, Conrad is gay, and the guys don’t like it. Somehow that means Rose ends up totally soaked while fully clothed, and face to face with not only Jamie, but also Regina – last seen being thrown to the floor by Rose in a fit of rage which got Rose fast tracked into therapy for anger management. Cue the entertainment.
I thought this book had a lot of really interesting things to say. Firstly, Rose is still totally messed up by the death of her father in Iraq, and there is some great dialogue during therapy sessions with her mother. I particularly liked reading Rose’s inner dialogue there, and just wished so much that she was able to say out loud what she wanted to say. Second, her brother has totally disappeared off the radar at college, and who knows what he is up to; the development of this storyline was subtle and powerful, although it did become more sidelined than I would have liked towards the end. There was definitely more mileage to be had there for me anyway. Thirdly, Rose keeps getting dragged into the Conrad situation as a witness, and there is a lot of really good discussion about the problems faced by gay teens, including several mentions of The Laramie Project. (If you haven’t heard of that, look it up or rent the movie. It is totally amazing and moving.) Fourth, Rose is just like so many girls out there that hold themselves up to unrealistic expectations, and fail to realize their true strengths. Even without points one to three, I think this aspect alone would make this an excellent recommendation for teenage girls.
I found this book equally fabulous and depressing, but definitely awesome. I think a lot of girls will identify with it for both sides of the coin. Rose is a normal girl; she hasn't really found her own identity yet, and she struggles with low self esteem as many teens do these days. That’s the depressing bit, because I got to the point where I felt like Rose and my 15 year old self had so much in common, it was like looking in the mirror. She doesn't have much self belief at all, and she doesn't believe people when they compliment her. She just thinks that they are making fun of her, and what can you do for someone who just can’t see the good? I was so glad though that by the end Rose found something that she could recognize that she was great at, as I think that is a really key thing to unlocking the self esteem door.
So what was fabulous about it? Despite this near crippling set of feelings about herself, Rose still puts herself out there. She tries new things, she gets a little sassy sometimes, and she keeps her moral compass firmly pointing North. She has self-respect, even if she doesn't have self-worth, which I think is quite an interesting thing. She is absolutely head-over-heels for Jamie Forta, but she realizes that he doesn't treat her well, for whatever reason, and she tries really hard to be strong and not just swoon into his arms on the rare occasions that he stops by to talk. Jamie is an interesting character. He is so hot and cold with Rose, and it becomes apparent that he thinks he is no good, and that is why he keeps his distance. He is a hot head, and gets himself into dreadful situations, but it is always for the best reasons, like protecting someone he cares about. And there was another excellent storyline, but I can’t go into that more without spoiling things.
I really liked the points for discussion at the end of the book, and I think that even before that this would make an excellent pick for a teenage book club. There is just SO much to talk about in this story. It has been rattling about in my head ever since I finished it. Don’t let the teen-oriented title put you off either, this is worth picking up sooner rather than later.

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.


  1. I love these series. BOTH books have been so good and Rose keeps getting better and better as a character
    I CANNOT wait for the third book in the series
    GREAT review

  2. haven't read the first one yet but this sounds great,

    Le' Grande Codex

  3. This sounds like a wonderful raw series:)

    Love that she's snarky:)

    Lovely review:)

  4. Huh. This book sounds extremely awesome, actually. I can't believe this is the first time I'm hearing of it!

  5. First time I've heard of this book and it sounds interesting enough. That's a fantastic cover too.

  6. I have had Confessions of an Angry Girl on my wishlist forever. Haven't got to it though.... I feel like there would be a personal connection for me.
    Great review!


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