WILD ROSES

Author(s): 

With her third book for young adults, Caletti hits the "wow" factor. Never one to shy from heavy subjects--and always aware that her young adult readers can handle them--Caletti tackles mental illness.

Cassie lives with her mother and stepfather, the great violinist and composer Dino Cavalli. Dino is a pretentious jerk, but when he goes off his medication to complete a new composition, he starts to slide off the deep end. Meanwhile, Cassie's dad, unable to move on since the divorce four years ago, has revealing information on Dino. Cassie, closed off from love after watching her parents' marriage fail, meets Ian, who is applying to the illustrious Curtis Institute of Music halfway across the country. Should she fall in love if he's going to leave? When Cassie lets herself go, something horrible happens that makes her think she was right in not wanting to get involved.

Caletti does a wonderful job building up Dino's destructive behavior and showing how his paranoia rubs off on his family. She writes about the beauty and power of music, and she does it without pretension. It's always refreshing to read a book that one can enjoy--and learn from--as a teenager or as an adult. Kudos to Caletti for constantly challenging the genre. (Oct., 304 pp., $15.95)

Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris