Thursday, July 16, 2009

ROSEY IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Louise Hawes

Rosey in the Present Tense Rosey in the Present Tense
by Louise Hawes

March 2001 (first published 1999)by Walker Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 144 pages
0802776035 (isbn13: 9780802776037)

4 of 5 stars

Rosey spreads her arms out like an airplane, then dive-bombs off the rock.


Franklin Sanders - lacrosse player, poet, teenage boy - loves Rosey Mishimi. When Rosey dies in a car accident, Franklin can't stop thinking of her in the present tense. When Rosey's spirit appears to Franklin six months later to help him move on, Franklin refuses to acknowledge any truth except that she is there with him. Is it better to be depressed or insane?

Let's be honest. I bought this book because Louise Hawes is Queen of Awesomeness. I knew I was predisposed to like it (especially since my nickname is Rosey). I probably would have reviewed it in a positive light no matter what.

Fortunately, this novel totally merits a positive review all on its own.

A quick little read (only 128 pages), Rosey in the Present Tense appealed to me in a variety of ways. Mostly, however, I loved the characterization of Franklin. It would be easy, I think, to show this adolescent boy and reduce him to a stereotype. Hawes, of course, doesn't take the easy route. Franklin is an honest human character, ageless in his experience of loss. Only a touch of teen angst infuses his actions. He's one of the best teen male characters I've read since Harry got his very first letter from Hogwarts.
I'd recommend this book for ages 12 and up (really up - all the way to adult), but probably not as a gift.  On one hand, this may be a book you want to get from the library. I'm not sure I'd read this book a second time: I know I will cry every time I read it, and I don't really need to cry that much. On the other hand, you might want a copy of your own. I find myself pulling it off the shelf to read snippets here and there, beautiful bits of Rosey's life and Franklin's devotion to her. 

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like a very charming book. It is not easy to do characters, so I'm glad to hear that this book manages to do Franklin justice.

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  2. This sounds like a good read, even with the tears. Thanks for the intro!

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  3. While I'm not sure I would want to buy a book that makes me cry every time I read it, it says a lot about a book when it's able to do that. If it's powerful enough to make the reader cry (for the characters/situation), then it has to be good

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