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Saturday 27 June 2015

No More Confessions by Louise Rozett {Review + Giveaway}

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Welcome to my tour stop for 

No More Confessions by Louise Rozett

I've been running a weekly feature for The Confession Series by Louise Rozett, sort of a lead up to this tour, as this tour is for the last book of The Confession series. Check out the posts to get more up close and personal with the entire series and it's characters!  

In honour of this feature I am also giving away ONE copy of book 1 in the series, Confessions of an Angry Girl, and YA Bound is having a tour-wide giveaway for book 3; No More Confessions. 

And today I finally share my thoughts on the grand finale, No More Confessions! 

About The Book

No More Confessions

by Louise Rozett

Series: Confessions #3
Publication Date: January 25, 2015
Publisher: Stonesong
Buy It Now: AmazonBook Depository

For Rose Zarelli, freshman year was about controlling her rage. Sophomore year was about finding her voice. With all that behind her, junior year should be a breeze, right? Nope. When a horrific video surfaces, Rose needs the one person she wants to be done with, the person who has broken her heart twice—Jamie Forta. But as the intensity between them heats up, Rose realizes she isn’t the only one who needs help. The thing is, Jamie doesn’t see it that way—and that could cost them both everything.

ROSE ZARELLI is done confessing because ​confessions are for people who have done something wrong. ​And I haven't done anything wrong. Here, I'll prove it to you.

1) After my mother got that call, I “borrowed” her car. (Because you can’t steal your mother’s car, can you?) I don’t really remember driving downtown, but I do remember...

2) …getting past the bouncer at Dizzy’s (I mean, it’s his job to spot a fake ID, so that’s on him)…

​3) …and then later, telling my mother the truth about the bar but lying about how I got in. (A truth totally cancels out a lie, right?)

After all, what’s a little duplicity when finding Jamie Forta is the only thing that’s going to keep you from losing what’s left of your mind?

See? Junior year is off to a great start.

~ Review ~

No More Confessions was truly the best grand finale to this awesome, awesome series! I absolutely LOVED No More Confessions, it was truly the best book out of the entire series. Louise Rozett did great with Confessions of an Angry Girl, then it stepped up a notch for Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend, and No More Confessions is just an explosive ending that I loved! Yes, it's certainly not a happily ever after ending, but the ending is real. This series is a true representation of grief and life. 

Rose thought that she can finally start moving on with life, as the death of her Father gets longer she feels that she may actually get through this, but a video surfaces and now she's faced with the reality of possibly seeing her Father's last moments. 

No More Confessions...fantastic title by the way, as the synopsis states, Rose is finally over "Confessing" she feels that she hasn't done anything wrong so there is no more apologies for this teen, and it is amazing to really see Rose's growth. Tracy, Angelo, Stephanie and Peter were a few of the characters that had tremendous growth throughout the series as well. Louise truly writes characters brilliantly, they were so realistic and relatable as they were far from perfect, this is realism at its best! 

The characters of No More Confessions were so real that I felt that I was watching their lives play out in front of me rather than reading about it. Louise Rozett is a truly blessed writer with a way to make the reader love the characters, I was invested in what happened to them that I got a bit emotional at the end, and whilst the ending isn't what's "norm" in most books I absolutely loved the ending although it was sad. The main reason why I loved the series, not just the ending was because this is what happens in reality. Reality doesn't always get "happily ever after" and even though this is saddening it is the truth. This is truly what sets The Confession series apart from other YA Contemporary Romance books.

The toughest thing about all of this is accepting that love is not enough, which goes against everything I learned growing up, every fairytale. The reality is that two people can love each other to pieces but all sorts of other things have to be right for it to work out. And with us, all sorts of other things have been wrong all along.

The Confession Series by Louise Rozett is a very beautiful and some way empowering series that teaches love, life and grief. It shows us that life is raw and emotional and that it's not always perfect but we get there. We don't always like what we get, but we survive. It honestly touches on so many themes, but the most recurring factor for me for this series was the realistic and rawness of life. I don't think I can explain it anymore than that. 

I'm so looking forward to Louise Rozett's future projects as The Confession series really grabs you by the heart strings and doesn't let you go until you've shed a tear. Louise shows us life for what it truly is, an imperfect world but with goodness and bad, terrible and beautiful and love and grief. 

Read Chapter 1 

~ Chapter 2 ~

“Stolen Car,” 1000 Kisses, Patty Griffin 

“Rose, you cannot just take my car without asking.” 

My mother is trying to hide from me the fact that she’s been crying. She’s still in her earth-toned shrink clothes though I know she saw her last adolescent head-case over two hours ago. We’re side by side in the kitchen, standing at the sink in front of the picture window framed in tiny white lights, where she and my father used to drink coffee and look out at the backyard together in the mornings. 

My mother leans forward and snaps on the outside lights, and I see that our big, beautiful maples are beginning to turn. In another week or two, our back lawn will be covered in leaves the color of fire. She will have to ask me twice before I rake them—I love the way they look. 

“My car is not yours to do with as you please,” she says. 

We stare straight ahead, not able to look at each other. We both know we’re not really arguing about the car. It’s just easier than arguing about the video. 

Has she watched it? I try to wrap my brain around the idea of my mother seeing my father—the man she fell in love with and married and had two kids with—die in a video taken on some jackass’s smartphone. A smartphone. 

When I finally look at her, I see my face in hers, in the curve of her chin and cheekbone, in her red-rimmed eyes. I made this whole thing worse for her by disappearing for a few hours. I wonder if she feels like people keep abandoning her: Dad, my brother Peter, her boyfriend Dirk, and now me. 

When I touch her arm, she’s surprised, although whether she’s surprised that I touched her or that I’m still standing here, I’m not sure. “I’m sorry I left like that. I don’t know what happened.” 

“Where did you go, Rose?” 

This is the question I’m trying not to answer. I could lie, because lying comes easily to me these days, even when I’m trying to be sincere and genuine—definitely something to be proud of. But my guess is, she already knows the answer. 

My mother made it clear that Jamie was off limits for a while after the parking lot incident. Part of me was fine with that—Jamie didn’t give me the chance to explain my role in that whole thing, so he didn’t deserve my explanation. I didn’t call him and he didn’t call me, which was basically a repeat of what happened last summer. Except last summer I knew I’d be seeing him when school started again. Not the case this time. So one day I caved and asked Angelo—Jamie’s best friend and my bandmate—how Jamie was doing. That’s how I found out he was working at Dizzy’s. 

I’m not sure how my mother found out, but I think she keeps pretty close tabs on Jamie, as much for his sake as for mine. He was my mom’s patient after his mom died, and she likes him. I’d go so far as to say that she has a soft spot for him. She knows he’s a heart-of-gold guy who has had a lot of rough things to deal with. But as far as she’s concerned, he now has too many strikes against him, not the least of which is that he’s a dropout with a “history of violence” who works in a bar. 

It doesn’t matter that he’s only violent when he’s defending someone he cares about. It also doesn’t matter that I’ve had my own issues with violence—she prefers to overlook that. I can’t blame her. What mother wants to acknowledge that her daughter has an ugly streak? 

When I don’t answer her question, my mother goes over to our rickety chrome and Formica table, which still has our dinner dishes on it, and drops into one of the vintage red vinyl chairs. She slides her glasses up onto her head and pushes the heels of her hands into her eyes. She always forgets what this does to her eye makeup, and I usually remind her not to do it, but not this time. “Just tell me where you went in my car without permission.” 

I sit down across from her, the vinyl chair squeaking in protest—or warning—that I shouldn’t do what I’m about to do. I do it anyway. “I went to see Jamie.” 

She pulls her hands from her eyes to look at me. “At his house?” she asks. 

I shake my head. 

“You went to Dizzy’s? And they let you in?” 

“I told the guy at the door that I just had to talk to Jamie for a minute. It wasn’t like they were going to let me drink anything.” I am able to rationalize my decision to keep the part about my fake ID to myself because I no longer have it. Why worry her even more? 

She shakes her head, dumbfounded. “You’re sixteen, Rose. There are no circumstances—none—under which you should be in a bar. No car for two weeks. And if I find out that you set foot in that place again, or that you’re seeing Jamie, you will be grounded until you’re done with high school.” I’m getting off easy, but I stare at the table and keep quiet because I don’t want her to know I know. “I thought we decided you were going to keep your distance from Jamie.” 

I don’t remember much about the time that passed between when my mother told me about the video and when I was standing in line at Dizzy’s. But I do know that talking to Jamie was suddenly a matter of life or death. “I felt like he’d know what to do. About watching it.” <

“And did he?” 

“It turns out he wasn’t interested in talking to me.” 

When she speaks again, her voice is hesitant. “So you haven’t seen it yet?” 

“No. Have you?” The question slips out before I can think better of it. 

She looks at her hands clasped on the table as if she doesn’t recognize them. 

She watched it. My mother watched it. By herself. 

Maybe if I ask her about it, I won’t be tempted to go online and undo all the progress I’ve made in the last two years managing the rage, the panic and my out-of-control imagination. But when her hands slowly rise from the table to cover her mouth as if she’s afraid that what’s happening inside her might come out, I know I’m not going to ask her a thing. 

I gently wrap my fingers around her wrists and hold on. “Breathe, Mom,” I whisper. 

Her blue eyes meet mine, and I can see that she feels terrible that I’m comforting her and not the other way around. But she’s the one who saw the jackass’s video, not me, and unfortunately for her, there are no rules for this situation, there is no self-help book. My brain inappropriately churns out a title—What to Do When Someone Films Your Husband’s Death With a Smartphone: A Handbook—before it settles. 

I think this is what our shrink, Caron, meant when she said grief isn’t linear—it just keeps looping back around. Caron also said that sometimes all you can do is breathe and exist, and that’s enough. So that’s what my mom and I do. We sit there, inhaling and exhaling. 

When the front door opens, my mom looks up at the clock. We listen together as Holly drops her keys in the tray, steps out of her noisy clogs and makes her way toward the kitchen, her silver bangles clinking against each other on her arms. It’s a sound we’ve both gotten used to in the last few months, and it’s a comfort. 

Last year, the alarmingly lovely Holly Taylor and her dad, Dirk, moved to Union from Los Angeles so he could teach for a year in the drama school at Yale. Holly is that rare breed of girl who is as nice as she is beautiful. She and I became friends and then Dirk and my mother started dating. I was not a Dirk fan. Despite—or because of—his being a famous movie actor, he was a total cheese-ball. Plus, there was the small matter of him not being my father. But he made my mom happy. I hadn’t seen her happy in a long time, so I got over myself and tried to be supportive. When his year at Yale ended, he went back to LA to do a TV show, but Holly didn’t want to leave Union. Mom told Dirk she could live with us, and while he didn’t love the idea, he said yes. 

Holly goes through life believing that good things lie just around the corner for everybody. While I don’t believe that, I like being in proximity to someone who does. Kind of like my not believing in God but taking comfort in knowing that Vicky is praying for me weekly down there in Texas. Well, she says she does it weekly, but I think she does it daily—she just doesn’t want to freak me out by telling me. 

I love having Holly here, especially since Tracy spent so much of the summer in the city and my brother Peter went back to Tufts early. My mother likes having her here too, although it’s complicated for her. Holly is dating a college guy, which my mother sure as hell would never let me do. I don’t think Dirk would have let Holly do it either, except that Cal was in one of Dirk’s classes last year and Dirk liked him. I don’t know anything about being a parent but I’m guessing Dirk realizes the futility of keeping guys away from his beautiful daughter. So if she wants to go out with a guy he knows and trusts, it’s probably in his best interests to let her. 

Holly stops in the doorway and leans against the frame. “Sorry I’m late,” she says, her gaze shifting nervously between my mom and me. 

“How was the play?” My mom’s voice rises a little—she’s trying to sound normal. She pulls a chair out for Holly, patting the seat. <

“Dad would have been happy with their performances but not ecstatic.” Holly makes her way to the table and tucks a leg under her as she sits, her bangles jingling. “Are you both...?” She stops short of asking us if we’re okay. “How are you?” 

In the silence, the clock over the stove ticks. And ticks. 

“I think we’re in shock,” my mother finally answers. “Like it just happened again. 

Which is impossible.” She sounds like she’s trying to convince herself, her voice cracking. She clears her throat, picks up the plates that I neglected to clear after dinner in my burning desire to get the hell out of the house and carries them to the sink. “Girls, I’m sure you’re curious, but once you see it, you can never unsee it.” 

“I’ll load, Mom. It’s my turn.” <

She doesn’t seem to hear me. “I can’t keep you from watching it,” she continues as she opens the dishwasher and puts the plates in without rinsing them, which I’ve never seen her do in my whole life. “All I can do is tell you that I wish you wouldn’t.” She closes the dishwasher and turns out the lights, forgetting about the glasses and serving bowls still on the table, forgetting that Holly and I are still sitting there. “Rose, I left Peter a message—I just said I needed to speak with him. If you hear from him, let me know. Don’t stay up much longer—school tomorrow.” As she leaves us sitting in near darkness, she adds, “No car privileges for a week, Rose.” 

I almost point out that earlier she’d said two weeks, but I don’t have the heart. Or maybe I’m just being opportunistic. Holly and I listen as she goes upstairs to her room and closes her bedroom door. 

“She called and told me what happened—I think she thought you were coming to find me,” Holly whispers, as if my mother can still hear us. “Did you get my text?” I nod. “So where’d you go?” 


“Rose! What happened to your plan to stay away? Wait, how did you get in?” 

“I used the ID Tracy gave me.” 

Holly gasps delightedly. “And it worked?” 

“Ish. It got me in, but the guy knew it was fake and he took it when I left.” 

“Ooh. Tracy’s not going to like that,” she says, spinning the bracelets on her arm. <

“Well, obviously it wasn’t a very good fake ID.” 

“Obviously. So, what happened to staying away from Jamie?” 

I sigh, wishing I’d handled everything so differently tonight. “I didn’t go down there to get him back. I just needed to tell him. I wanted him to say he’d watch it with me, but none of that matters because he was too busy bartending.” 

“How is that possible?” she asks. 

“I guess his fake ID is way better than mine,” I say, knowing that Jamie doesn’t need a fake ID for anything, ever. “He’s making a lot in tips and he’s very popular.” I think of Ms. Cargo Pants, with her chestnut hair and green eyes, and her special smile just for Jamie. I snatch a serving bowl off the table, sending a big spoon clattering to the floor. “There was a girl. A Yalie,” I add scornfully, before remembering that Holly is dating a Yalie. “Sorry.” 

She waves away my words, scooping up the spoon and taking the bowl from my hands. “Is he with her?” she asks as she rinses and loads it. 

“I don’t know. They were definitely flirting. Whatever—I don’t care.” 

“Oh stop it, Rose, of course you do.” She takes out the plates my mother loaded and rinses those, too. 

“I don’t. He is not boyfriend material, and boyfriends are just a distraction anyway—” 

Holly has heard my Killing Cinderella diatribe about the Romance Industrial Complex before. She cuts me off. “None of that stuff changes the fact that you love Jamie.” 

I close the dishwasher a little too hard, making the glasses clank against each other inside, and change the subject. 

“I love that you went to a play tonight and I used a fake ID to get into a dive bar. ‘Which one of these girls is more likely to have a meaningful future?’” 

“The bar was more exciting than the play, trust me.” Holly loops her arm through mine and leads me out of the kitchen. We turn off the rest of the lights on the first floor and double-check the front door. When the only light left is the glow of the streetlamps through the window, Holly says, “I’ll watch it with you if you want.” 

I love Holly for offering, but I shake my head. “Mom is right. You’ll never be able to unsee it.” 

“That’s okay.” 

“Whatever it is, you don’t need it in your head.” 

“If you’re going to watch it, you have to watch it with someone, whether it’s me or Jamie or your mother or Peter. Promise me?” Holly asks. 

Can I imagine watching the video with my mother or my brother? It’ll be brutal enough dealing with my own feelings—I’m not sure I can handle theirs, too. Which is probably why I went to see Jamie. But Jamie has his hands full with the Yalies. In fact, he might literally have his hands full of Yalie at this very moment. 

As if she can read my mind, Holly says, “He’ll come around. He always does when it comes to you.”

Come back tomorrow for Chapter 3 and an Author Interview with Louise Rozett! 

About the Author

Louise Rozett

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, followed by Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, both published by HarlequinTEEN. The next book in the series, No More Confessions, is due out January 2015. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from THE WIRE, of course) in sunny Los Angeles, and pines for New York City.

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