Saturday, April 9, 2011 | By: kaependragon


Reviewer: Kaependragon

The truth is like a rose: beautiful but watch out for the thorns.

Jane Freeman opens her eyes on the morning after Jocelyn Gunter’s epic Memorial Day party and finds herself tangled in a rosebush, pierced by hundreds of tiny thorns, paralyzed, and unable to remember a single detail from the night before.

Her mother and the doctors say the hit and run was an accident, but Jane knows the truth. Someone tried to kill her. Someone from the party. The clues add up—the drink, the slammed door, the kiss, the car, the ring—but with no memory, it’s impossible for Jane to tell the difference between what really happened and what everyone wants her to believe.

Unable to leave the hospital until she’s fully recovered, Jane lets long-buried memories resurface, making her question everything she thought she knew about love, friendship, and loyalty. Her friends come and go, each with a different version of what happened that night. And Jane has to figure out who’d really on her side—before the killer strikes again.

(Inside Cover)

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe was a heart pounding thriller! I’m a huge fan of murder mystery novels and Jaffe did not disappoint in the ‘mystery’ department.

Jane wakes up in the hospital paralyzed and unable to speak and this sets the environment for the rest of the novel—with her feeling helpless and fearing herself because she can’t remember anything or in turn fearing what she will remember. Certain events take place in Jane’s hospital room that she swears are real but no one believes her because the doctors say it’s just the effects of the drugs they are giving her.

I wanted to bang my head off of my wall and give Jane’s mother a good smack upside the head at these points because I could feel the character getting another load of ‘helplessness’ shoved on her. When old memories and hidden secrets start to rise up in Jane’s memory she doesn't realize that some secrets cannot be hidden.

“I had yet to learn that there are scars that no miracle cure can heal. Scars buried so deep that you can’t see or reach them or stop them from aching. Scars that can kill you.” (Jaffe, 100)

She starts to piece things together as her friends and her boyfriend, Daniel come to visit her in the hospital. Normally I don’t dislike characters right off the bat, but I couldn’t stand Daniel. One word: control freak.

No one believes that the occurrences of mysterious phone calls and messages are real and not a figment of Jane’s imagination. However one person does, a volunteer worker named Pete. He was instantly a character I came to like and looked forward to reading about! He lightens the foreboding mood in the novel with some good old comic relief. He strikes up a friendship with Jane while she’s in the hospital and the banter between the two characters made me laugh.

“He stood by the side of my bed, looked at his watch, and said, “Oh well, it’s all over for you. Call the code at 2:03 p.m”

My eyes widened in shock. “That’s what they say when someone dies.”

“Exactly.” He nodded. “Women have fallen in love with me after staring like that for only thirty seconds and I think you just took a full minute. You’re doomed.” (Laffe, 163)

I really enjoyed how the chapter sections were designated by days of the week. It created an easy way for readers to follow the timeline of the events as Jane’s narration goes back to before the hit and run and then returning to the present. I also really enjoyed the photography aspect of the novel and the way Jane saw everything through an artist’s eyes! The imagery that Jaffe was able to convey through words was flawless and created pictures in my head.

Michele Jaffe created a story that led you to believe that multiple people were responsible for Jane’s hit and run accident. I found myself switching between two characters who I thought were the attempted killer. In my opinion that is what a truly good mystery novel is about—having a difficult time figure out who did it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the ending was perfect!

To find out what really happened to Jane and who tried to kill her you better go pick up this book! Go on! Go get it!

4/5 Monsters!

Heres a short fan made book trailer:


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