Synopses & Reviews
You would have never recognized the Dino I lived with in the books that had been written about him before the "incident." No one had a clue. No one seemed to see what was coming. andlt;BRandgt; Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan has a secret: She's living with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violinist and composer. To Cassie, he's an erratic, self-centered bully. andlt;BRandgt; Dino has always been difficult, but as he prepares for his comeback concert, something in him begins to shift. He seems more high-strung than ever, set off by any little thing. He stops sleeping, starts chain-smoking. And he grows increasingly paranoid, saying things that Cassie is desperate to make sense of, but can't. So she does what she thinks she must: She tries to hide his behavior from the outside world. Before, she was angry. Now, she is afraid. andlt;BRandgt; Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino's first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she's doomed. She tries everything to keep away from him, but is drawn to him in a way she's never felt before. It should be easy. It should be beautiful. It is not. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain. But this union will have consequences she could not have imagined. andlt;BRandgt; As the novel crashes through two irreparable events and speeds toward its powerful end, one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred.
"Caletti (The Queen of Everything) again plays with themes of passion and recklessness in this rich novel. Cassie never liked Dino Cavalli, a 'world-renowned composer and violinist, a combination of talent virtually unheard of,' the man her mother married five days after divorcing her father. When he goes off anti-depression medication to compose new works, he becomes paranoid. Meanwhile, Cassie, who 'had had enough of people of passion,' prefers astronomy to music. Yet she falls in love with Dino's student, Ian, a violin prodigy with his own family secrets. Cassie's first-person narrative will sweep up readers, and her exploration of the fine line between madness and genius alternates between humor and painful truth. (The book's title comes from Van Gogh's Wild Roses, one of the paintings he completed just before his suicide.) The author builds the tension well: as Dino's concert approaches, Cassie's father finds holes in Dino's Italian childhood (memorialized in a biography); Dino thinks his former agent is stalking him; and Ian looks worn as his music school audition nears. Some characters may seem less credible (e.g., Ian's stepbrother and Cassie's eccentric grandmother) but only by contrast with a cast of otherwise full-blooded characters, including Cassie's mother, who grows thin trying to control Dino's insanity, but closes her eyes and smiles when he performs ('gone to wherever music and passion can take her'). In the end, readers will empathize with each trapped character, even Dino himself. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Multifaceted and emotionally devastating."
-- School Library Journal, starred review
"Cassie's first-person narrative will sweep up readers, and her exploration of the fine line between madness and genius alternates between humor and painful truth."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Populated with delightfully oddball yet solidly real characters and shot full of genuine wit."
-- Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Deb Caletti is the award-winning author of The Queen of Everything; Honey, Baby, Sweetheart; Wild Roses; The Nature of Jade; The Fortunes of Indigo Skye; The Secret Life of Prince Charming; The Six Rules of Maybe; Stay; and The Story of Us, among others. In addition to being a National Book Award finalist, Deb’s work has gained other distinguished recognition, including the PNBA Best Book Award, the Washington State Book Award, and School Library Journal’s Best Book award, as well as finalist citations for the California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Literary Award. She lives with her family in Seattle. You can visit her at DebCaletti.com and become a fan on Facebook.