Books.org
Book cover of Wild Roses

Wild Roses

by Deb Caletti

Published: March 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 320
Paperback
ISBN: 9781416957829






Overview of Wild Roses

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan lives with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he's an erratic, self-centered bully. And he's getting worse: He no longer sleeps, and he grows increasingly paranoid. Before, Cassie was angry. Now she is afraid.

Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino's first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she's doomed. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain, but this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.

In the end, only one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred....

Synopsis of Wild Roses

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan lives with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he’s an erratic, self-centered bully. And he’s getting worse: He no longer sleeps, and he grows increasingly paranoid. Before Cassie was angry. Now she is afraid.
Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino’s first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian, she knows she’s doomed. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain, but this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.
In the end, only one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred. . . .

Publishers Weekly

"Cassie's first-person narrative will sweep up readers," said PW in a starred review, "and her exploration of the fine line between madness and genius alternates between humor and painful truth." Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

About the Author, Deb Caletti

Deb Caletti s first novel for teens was The Queen of Everything, about which Kirkus Reviews raved "Caletti expertly succeeds in capturing the way a smart teen can grasp and skewer her world" and Publishers Weekly announced "[This] marks Caletti as a writer to watch." In addition, it made the cover of the esteemed review journal the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, was nominated for YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults, and was chosen for PSLA's Top Forty of 2003 and the International Reading Association's Young Adult Choices for 2004.

Reviews of Wild Roses

There are no reviews yet. Perhaps you can add one!

Editorials

Publishers Weekly

"Cassie's first-person narrative will sweep up readers," said PW in a starred review, "and her exploration of the fine line between madness and genius alternates between humor and painful truth." Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

KLIATT - Claire Rosser

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2005: The author of The Queen of Everything and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart keeps up her funny, smart banter in this story of an impossible stepfather. The narrator is a 17-year-old named Cassie, who has watched her mother break up her family because of her devotion to a neurotic but genius violinist/composer. For several years, Cassie has been going back and forth between her father's home and her mother's. She loves her mother dearly and can't understand how she can put up with the nearly constant hysterics, paranoia, and verbal abuse emanating from her new husband, Cassie's stepfather. This is all relayed in a tragic-comic voice, with wonderful metaphors tumbling out of Cassie's mind. Cassie's mother rationalizes all by seeing her new husband as a tortured genius who is mentally ill but capable of producing incredible beauty. Enter Ian, a gifted music student who must succeed in an audition to be admitted to a top music school. Cassie's stepfather takes Ian on as a student and that's how the two young people meet; however, the attraction they immediately feel for one another has to be beaten down and ignored because of Ian's upcoming competition and because the stepfather absolutely forbids their romance as a distraction Ian can't afford. Nothing like forbidden love to make a good story line! Entertaining without being shallow, this will have strong appeal as an outrageous family story. There is some swearing here and there, totally appropriate to the occasions described.

KLIATT

The author of The Queen of Everything and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart keeps up her funny, smart banter in this story of an impossible stepfather. The narrator is a 17-year-old named Cassie, who has watched her mother break up her family because of her devotion to a neurotic but genius violinist/composer. For several years, Cassie has been going back and forth between her father's home and her mother's. She loves her mother dearly and can't understand how she can put up with the nearly constant hysterics, paranoia, and verbal abuse emanating from her new husband, Cassie's stepfather. This is all relayed in a tragic-comic voice, with wonderful metaphors tumbling out of Cassie's mind. Cassie's mother rationalizes all by seeing her new husband as a tortured genius, who is mentally ill but capable of producing incredible beauty. Enter Ian, a gifted music student who must succeed in an audition to be admitted to a top music school. Cassie's stepfather takes Ian on as a student and that's how the two young people meet; however, the attraction they immediately feel for one another has to be beaten down and ignored because of Ian's upcoming competition and because the stepfather absolutely forbids their romance as a distraction Ian can't afford. Nothing like forbidden love to make a good story line! Entertaining without being shallow, this will have strong appeal as an outrageous family story. There is some swearing here and there, totally appropriate to the occasions described. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Simon & Schuster, 298p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old amateur astronomer Cassie Morgan wants a "normal" life, but that possibility flew out the window three years earlier when her musician mother, divorced five days, married famous violinist Dino Cavalli. Living with arrogant Dino is like walking on eggshells, and the usually competent, clearheaded teen believes he has the unique ability to make her feel "incapable to the point of needing to be institutionalized." Any little thing sets him off, and the problem only gets worse when he stops taking his depression medication while he prepares for his huge comeback concert. When Ian Waters, a promising-and poverty-stricken-young violinist, shows up for lessons with the maestro, Cassie falls in love at first sight despite her belief that passion only brings about pain. Dino demands that the two stay away from one another to avoid compromising the young man's focus, but that is impossible. And as Dino's concert and Ian's scholarship audition draw closer, even Cassie's loving mother can't protect her from Cavalli's escalating bizarre and paranoid behavior. With its profound observations and vivid, if occasionally profane, language, this multifaceted and emotionally devastating novel will stick with readers.-Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

Caletti probes the links between madness and artistic genius, passion and stability. Cassie's famous violinist/composer stepfather Dino is "both crazy and a genius," a person the politically correct might call "joy-impaired," "excessively imaginative," "abundantly security conscious" or "emotionally challenged," but who Cassie sees as "hugely depressed," "delusional" and "paranoid." Now, with the looming pressure of an impending concert, he's getting more out of control every day. The situation is exacerbated when against Dino's wishes, Cassie begins seeing his student, an impoverished but incredibly talented violin prodigy who, though ambivalent about a music career, is working furiously to prepare for an audition. At times, the narrative seems to lose focus or drag, and the madness-genius connection fails to convince. Still, Caletti's perceptions on divorce are crystalline, the story is populated with delightfully oddball yet solidly real characters and shot full of genuine wit, and readers will support her likable protagonist's quest to find the balance she needs. (Fiction. 12+)

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Cassie, 17, lives with her musician mother and her stepfather, Dino Cavali, a violinist who is considered to be a musical genius in Deb Caletti's novel (Simon & Schuster, 2005). But Dino is mentally ill and relies on his medication. Cassie tries very hard not to get involved in Dino's work, until he starts to tutor Ian, a talented violinist to whom Cassie is intensely drawn. As Dino prepares for his concert and Ian's scholarship audition, he stops taking his meds and become increasingly paranoid. Angela Dawe's narration is spot-on, and she fully voices all the characters. The story is told in the first-person through flashbacks, and Dawe becomes Cassie. The intensity with which the tension mounts is so real that listeners will feel as if they are living the story right alongside Cassie and her long-in-denial mother as her life comes crashing down around both of them. This stellar production will please Caletti's fans.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY

Available to Buy