Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I truly enjoyed this novel about a really sweet girl, Rose, who has had a tough time because she chose to continue her dance and ballet in high school. Her "best friend" Daisy dumps her (because she chose to go to another school and pursue dance). She has no friends, and Rose lives across from a real Russian dancer, who she has never met. Life is looking really bleak for Rose until one night, Vrena, the Russian dancer, breaks into her room and they begin a friendship. The great part of this story is how Cecil Castellucci can paint the beauty of New York City for their one night out together. Castellucci does an awesome job with the characters who become Rose's friends as they create meaning, acceptance, and support with Rose and Vrena. Since Rose was seeing and feeling "black, black, black," her night out with Vrena helps her to see "red" as in Vrena's Russian life (political and cultural differences), new friends: triplets Caleb, Caitlin and Callisto, boyfriends (Free and Caleb). New York City here they come:jamming, dancing, singing, American restaurant, Russian restaurant, sleepover and participating in a peace march. Even though Rose loves to dance, this time spent with her new friends and Vrena, helps her to see how much dancing is the part of her life that she loves. With all the action piled into one night, all these young teens witnessed a real moment together, bridging any cultural gap, with love, laughs, and abandon. I highly recommend this sincere look at feeling like a stranger, overcoming international barriers, to fitting in and feeling free.
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