Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: When Rose Wakes

When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden

publisher: MTV Books (Simon & Schuster)

release date: September 28. 2010

paperback, 320 pages

intended audience: Young adult

source: From publisher for review


description from author's site:

Ever since sixteen-year-old Rose DuBois woke up from months in a coma with absolutely no memories, she's had to start from scratch. She knows she loves her two aunts who take care of her, and that they all used to live in France, but everything else from her life before is a blank.

Rose tries to push through the memory gaps and start her new life, attending high school and living in Boston with her aunts, who have seriously old world ideas. Especially when it comes to boys.

But then Rose starts to have eerie dreams, vivid nightmares that she comes to realize are strangely like the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The evil witch, the friendly fairies, a curse that puts an entire town to sleep - Rose relives the frightening story every night. And when a mysterious raven-haired woman starts following her, Rose begins to wonder if she is the dormant princess. And now that she's awake, she's in terrible, terrible danger. . . .

Review: I've said it a billion times. I love fairy tale retellings. Just love them. When I saw this announcement for this one, I just could not wait to read it. Especially after seeing this gorgeous cover and reading the most recent synopsis. I had built it up so much in mind that I'd started to worry about being disappointed, that it wouldn't live up to my high expectations. So gratefully, I was wrong to worry----SO wrong!! This book did not disappoint. It was such a perfect mix of adventure, in both the mundane and fantasy worlds!!

It opens with Rose, who has just woken up from a very persistent coma. All she remembers is her aunts, who tell her she has been in a coma for two years. They fill in little details of her life, how they lived in France and moved her to America in hopes of finding a specialist doctor who could help bring her out of the coma. From the very beginning, you can tell the aunts are hiding something big from her past. Rose begins having vivid dreams about a different time where she lives in a castle and her father is king, and she her closest friend is a fairy. The aunts tell her that she used to imagine this world in her playtime when she was small and that is where the dreams are coming from.

Rose was an amazing character. She basically has to find the strength to reinvent herself from scratch because any memory of who she used to be is gone. Soon after waking, she starts back to school, aside from what she has seen on TV while recovering, she has to figure out how to navigate the craziness of high school. She immediately finds an enemy in the popular cheerleading (which I thought a little cliche, but what are you gonna do? It's a plot dilemma that often works) but absolutely loved Rose's gut instinct to fend for herself and her no-backing-down attitude.

Her aunts are sweet and funny, but fiercely protective of Rose. They are insanely adamant that Rose stay away from boys. Rose tries to respect this although she doesn't understand why, but finds herself falling for a boy at her school. He was a great character, too, but I did have a tiny problem with him. I'm a big advocate for a "no means no" mentality, so when she tells him she can't kiss him and he does it anyway, he lost a few points in my book. Still, for the most part, he is a good guy and the development of their relationship is sweet. She makes some other good friends as well, but really I was just impressed with Rose's ability to stand on her own two feet.

The twist on the "spindle" aspect of the story is quite interesting!! You'll have to read it to find out what I mean! Definitely more of a risk in this day and age than finding a spinning wheel to prick her finger on! :)

The story gets really exciting (and sometimes surprisingly violent) toward the end! There is just a little gore, so be prepared! But When Rose Wakes was excellently written and had some really great twists and turns, a perfect update of the Sleeping Beauty story!

Visit Christopher Golden's site here!


  1. Thanks for the great review! I want to read this book even more now! :)

  2. I've seen this book during the WOW's and put it on my TBR list. I guess I didn't pay much attention to the release date :) I love the way you described the books and I got a good feel for what to expect. My problem is I'm itching to get onto Kindle and buy it to see if I'd like it but I already bought books :( I swear blogging is gonna keep me poor!

    I came by to pass on the Versatile Blogger award and if you're ok with it, click on my name below and it'll take you straight to the post with the info. Congrats and great review :)

    The Bookish Snob

  3. This sounds so intriguing! I think it was you who first alerted me to this one in a WoW post and I've been wanting to hear more about it even since. Brilliant review - I'm basically sold on this now. :)

  4. Awesome. Glad to hear that it's good. I want to read this one very bad now. Great review!

  5. This looks awesome! I love fairy tale retellings also. My favorite is Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. It is an extremely beautiful story intersecting the story of Briar Rose and the Holocaust.

    I also saw in your sidebar that you are reading Jane! I just picked that up from the bookstore today. Jane Eyre is one of my very favorite books so I am excited to see what this one holds. You will have to let me know what you think.

    I will definitely be picking up When Rose Wakes. Great review!

  6. I like the sound of this one. I must check it out. Great review! :)

  7. Sounds fantastic, I'm so grateful when they aren't a let down! I have to be honest alot of the fairy/vamp inspired tales I've read lately are so badly cliche it makes me wanna scream! Love your blog by the way - too cute :)

  8. Thanks for the review. This sounds like one that I would enjoy. I enjoy the retellings as well, and memories really intrigue me.

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog