I owned this set on my Nook, but when I switched to a Kindle I HAD to have my Rose Gardner on it, so I bought it again! I have posted separate reviews for each of the books listed in this volume. Those are copied below.
Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes:
The whole reason I'm addicted to this series, and Denise's work as a whole, is because of THIS book. I got the book free from Apple around the new year, and devoured the series over the duration of a rare vacation. I didn't bother entering contests or trying to find out how I could get the rest of the series free. I dished the dough and I'm ever so happy that I did!
I immediately identified with Rose. I was over the moon when she stood up for herself, actually fist-pumping the air in response! I have an overbearing mother and we've had similar bouts on more than a few occasions. I've had a list of my own since I was a teen, and sadly very few of those items have been marked off. The whole story was a whirlwind roller coaster, a fun one at that. Rose is a right bad-a and while she tends to make questionable decisions about her safety, she's totally lovable. We could be friends! I'd have some stories to share about "visions" and such (watch out, world!)
I had Joe "McAlister" and Daniel Crocker pegged from their first introduction, and it could not have been clearer as the story progressed. However, I'm fine with that because Denise's ability to tell a story is fabulous. And I'm a critical thinker. So there.
This book may serve as a stand-alone if you don't want to get involved with a series, but you'd be doing yourself a major disservice if you do not continue reading the Rose Gardner Mysteries. I LOVE this series and I hope you do too!
My MVP of this book (and the series) is Muffy. That little lady is a fierce animal. I admire her instant connection with Rose and her 100% dedication.
P.S. Mildred: mind your own business!
Twenty Nine and a half Reasons:
I understand Rose's need to seek out the truth of matters, but she DOES get herself in quite a lot of trouble. This installment is no different!
I want to love Joe, but he's simultaneously clingy and inaccessible. I prefer him as McAllister instead of Simmons. He's so reluctant to open up about his past, but is pushing Rose to make a major life decision. That's not fair... specially when they've known each other for such a short amount of time.
The trial mystery kept me guessing. I attempted to keep a running tally in my head, but gave up somewhere around the half way point. I've learned to let Denise tell her story her way instead of going all "Law & Order" on my own (I was poli-sci pre-law at one point in my collegiate failure... also creative writing... and in a conservatory program for violin... also early childhood education... that's a story for somewhere else at sometime else.) Moving on.
A few notes: MASON - Well hello there! I don't trust him fully, because he really was a jerk to start of with. You just can't treat people like crap and get away with it. VIOLET - May I slap her? Will SOMEONE please slap her?! MILDRED - Woman, I thought I told you to mind your own business?! NEELY KATE - I want to be best friends with her. Rose, Neely, and myself. Seriously, watch out world!
This book was a joy to read. I loved seeing Rose and Joe figure out their relationship. I loved that there's a character named Bruce Wayne. I loved that there were so many new characters introduced. I just love this series. Read it, you shouldn't be disappointed!
Thirty and a Half Excuses:
** spoiler alert ** Here we go again! I'm glad this installment of the Rose Gardner Mysteries was not what I thought it would be. There was A LOT covered in this third chapter of the series.
Lets start with a short list:
- I cannot tolerate televangelists, but I'm not a religious person anyway.
- I HATE Hilary.
- I HATE Joe's family equally so.
- I HATE Violet's manipulation of Rose. Rose deserves better from her sister. I would never treat my younger sisters the way she treats Rose.
- I HATE Joe's stupidity. Seriously. WAKE UP and smell the ROSE in front of you. Dummy.
- Will someone please tell Joe and Mason that the kind of jealousy they exhibit is completely unhealthy?
- The history between Joe and Mason should have been fleshed out in the previous book. I feel like something so horrible shouldn't have been hidden at for so long. Clear the air, dudes, you'll feel better.
- I LOVE this book, in spite of where you thought I was going based on all of my hatred!
Some other notes: I love the nursery, not so much Violet's involvement... if you can call it that. She seems intent on letting Rose do all the work. JONAH PRUITT - You're a good guy, and surprisingly so. My tolerance of religious types, based on my own experiences, is extremely low. BRUCE WAYNE - I want to hug you! Joe's family, Hilary *die*, Violet, and Pruitt's mother infuriated me to no end... as was intended. And it worked. I was ready to go all metal baseball bat on them. And I have a mean swing.
Finally, the ending. That darn ending. It broke my heart. And it left me wanting to break Joe into millions of pieces. Joe. You. Moron. FIGHT for what you want and love. You don't walk away. Idiot.
I really did enjoy this book and I'm glad that I didn't have to wait around for almost six months to find out what happens next...
Falling to Pieces:
** spoiler alert ** After reading the end of 30 1/2 I was in need of this novella in a BIG way. At the end of 30 1/2 I felt surprised and saddened that Joe didn't fight for Rose. He walked away. I get that he was upset, confused, and cornered by his family. He's a grown man though. He has to cut the cord from his family before it destroys him. I DO feel sorry for him, truly, but his cowardice leaves me itching to whip out Mr. Metal Baseball Bat to knock some sense into his pretty little skull.
If you love someone, you fight to keep them. You take the good with the bad. You make it work. Otherwise it just isn't worth it. Joe is a coward. A big fat rich mamma's boy coward who took the easy way out. Some may argue that he was attempting to protect Rose by caving into his father's demands, but I just don't see it that way. Then again I've never been in love. What do I know?
I'm not bitter. Not at all...
Finally, Mason: You're kind of a creepy stalker, are you aware of that?!
You must read this novella as a bridge between 30 1/2 and 31 1/2. It's all relevant, all kinds of painful, and all kinds of wonderful. You'll be treated to Joe's perspective for the ONLY time the series is ever seen outside of Rose's eyes up to this point. I hated to love this one, but it was necessary. I'm gonna go find a pint of chocolate ice cream now...