Blurb: Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make
1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?
2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.
3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)
Klick on "Read More" for the Happily Ever Ending Summary. Careful: SPOILERS! Don't read if you haven't read the book yet!!
Rose's dad, Alfonso Zarelli, just got blown up in Iraq, and her family hasn't been exactly intact since then. Now she has to start high school without her supportive father, her brother Peter, with whom she's close, is off to college and seems to become a totally different person as well. Her best friend Tracy morphs into a cheerleader-tag-along who is only thinking about where, when and how to lose her viginity, and Rose feels like she is stuck in an old self that only has one thing left for the world: anger, and a lot of that.
In her freshmen year, she makes exactly two "mistakes".
One, she calls 911 to a homecoming after party and, of course, that's not sitting well with anyone, especially cheerleading captain Regina Deladdo. Now Rose is stamped "911 Bitch", but that's only Regina's excuse because her boyfriend Jamie Forta -- who used to play hockey with Peter and whom Rose has had a crush on forever -- shows interest in the little wallflower (as Rose sees herself). But does Jamie only show interest because Peter asked him the favor of having an eye on his baby sister?
Two, she actually wants Jamie, bad raputation and all, and after he kissed her once, she takes her chance at the next opportunity. Scraping the bottom of the barrel already after he approaches her first, how much worse can it get if you try to get the cheer captains supposedly boyfriend from right under her nose for real?
A lot worse.
Peter leaves Rose alone with her mom for Thanksgiving, although it is the first without their father. Rose is furious, and blames most of it on Peter's new girlfriend Amanda. And when he comes home for Christmas, things fall apart even more.
Throughout the story, Rose holds on the her best friend Tracy, although she makes all the wrong choices. Rose things 14/15 is too young for sex, and that Tracy's boyfriend Matt, once a friend to them both, has become a typical jock jerk right before high school. But Tracy turns a blind eye, clinging to her new shadow popularity. And because Rose loves Tracy, she doesn't turn Regina in to the principal because she threatens to throw Tracy off the team if Rose were to talk. But there's only so much you can take.
When Tracy tells Regina about Jamie's and Rose's kiss, Regina goes so far as making a daddy girl comment the moment Rose has found some of her old strength and gone for the track team tryouts. Rose falls full blast on the track, blood on arms and knees, but now there's no holding back her rage. She pins Regina down, but just short of slamming her fist into the cheer face, Jamie hauls her away. Not that that helps any, safe from not having her suspended from school. But Rose is not done snapping yet: Tracy follows her into the bathroom, confessing she blabbed and conviced it was the right thing to do, that Rose was in the wrong. Rose throws all the stuff she's been piling up inside her in Tracy's face, and they have a fall out.
But things seem to be looking up when Rose's mom acts like her mom again for her birthday, and when Jamie asks Rose to prom right in front of Regina, giving her the pass once and for all. However, the enraged cheer queen has one more evil ace up her sleeve: She orders Jamie to get beer for the after prom party with his fake ID, then calls the cops on him. Jamie's best friend Angelo shows up in his place to takes Rose, but of course she passes. The rather crypic note that Angelo is delivering doesn't help her state of mind, either, because it sounds alot like Jamie doesn't even want to try.
But with that off the plate, and Tracy being back in her right mind after maing the mistake of sleeping with Matt just to be dumped, Rose steps up to the principal and has Regina pay for everything. And, just not to leave it out, Rose's friend Robert who had a crush on her about as long as she had a crush on Jamie, finally realizes he's not getting anywhere with her, so he moves on.