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March 2023

Quinn and Sprout live with their mother, aunt and grandma.  They see their father every other weekend.  Quinn tries to make it all work and makes numerous excuses for her fun-loving yet distant father, until she discovers something about him.  His house is filled with “trophies” that he has stolen from the many women he has married and divorced.  In an impulsive act, Quinn reaches out to her stepsister, Frances Lee, and the 3 sisters together embark on a journey to return the trophies to their rightful owners.  On their journey, the girls discover much about what true love really is and isn’t.

High school girls (and their moms) should read this book.  It’s one of the best books about dating (even though it’s a novel) that I’ve ever read.  Without being preachy or condescending, the characters, both old and young, share what they’ve learned about true love and men who are worth loving.  Some examples:

  • “This is who he is, who he will always be, and no amount of your love is going to change that.” p. 69
  • “When it comes to relationships, second thoughts should be promoted.”  p. 139
  • “Love is never unsafe.” p. 176
  • “A relationship–it shouldn’t be too small or too tight or even a little scratchy.  It shouldn’t be embarrassing or uncomfortable or downright ugly.  It shouldn’t take up space in your closet out of a guilty conscience or convenience or a moment of desire.  Do you hear me?  It should be perfect for you.  it should be lasting.  Wait.  Wait for 100 percent.” p. 312

Honey, Baby, SweetheartDuring one long summer, Ruby and her mother together learn that true love is more than being someone’s “Honey, Baby, Sweetheart.”  Caletti once again breaks the mold of the typical teen romance to address issues that really matter–family, faithfulness, speaking your mind, and doing the right thing.


Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

16th June 2008

Wild RosesA pretty good young adult novel about a teenage girl trying to find her way in the midst of her step-father’s growing mental illness.  Caletti definitely has some unique characters in her books, and her plots are not the standard boy meets girl found in so many young adult novels.

The Nature of Jade A truly enjoyable novel about a high school senior named Jade. She suffers from panic attacks, she’s starting to question why she’s still friends with her high school gang, she needs to pick a college, her parents’ marriage is falling apart, and the boy she thinks she loves is a mystery to her. The only time Jade feels calmness and order in her world is when she’s working with the elephants at the nearby zoo. Any high schooler about to venture out in the world will sympathize with Jade, and will be inspired by her decision to be brave in the midst of the chaos in her life. I enjoyed Jade’s tender yet realistic relationship with her younger brother, and the unique life lessons that she learned while working with the elephants and their keepers. In the midst of a crowd of books full of superficial high school characters, Jade is to be admired for her substance.