Reviews

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero

lost_in_stereo's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

bethd2828's review

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adventurous dark reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

jnishi's review

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5.0

Absolutely beautiful.

baeyle's review

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slow-paced

3.5

folkofthebook's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

This is what it’s like to be Jewish
in Europe.
Every beautiful thing
has horror buried under it.

I’m always walking on bones.

rating: 4.5

a melancholic but moving story about a young latina jewish girl who spends her summer in a ghost story. i was impressed by how even through verse prose, r.m. romero was able to cover a variety of themes, from the frustrations of adolescence, the fears and tribulations of immigrant families, the despair of post-wwii europe for european jews, and horrors of legends.

This is a cemetery,
I realize.
And I don’t think anyone remembers
it’s here.

Anyone
except
for
me.

romero moves seamlessly between moments of discovery, sorrow, isolation, and even joy. her writing paints a vivid scene and imbues much personality into our protagonist, ilana.

Having a ghost
is like having a cat.

They wander where they like
and won’t come
when you call.

Prague believes in magic.
Prague believes in itself.
(I wish
I could be more like Prague.)

this was my first book from romero and i was quite impressed. there is a whimsical is eerie feel to her stories that i enjoyed and look forward to reading more of.

Because that’s the other part
of being a Jew in Europe—
each step I take
is in defiance of everyone
who didn’t want me here.

The final girl survives
because she can be
just as ruthless
as the monster
who wants
to destroy her.

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bubblegumcreams's review

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4.0

I really didn't know what to expect going into this book because I didn't look at reviews before reading. My expectations weren't high just because I didn't have experience reviewing ARCs on netgalley, and I picked this book from the section that is available immediately to everyone. I ended up being so pleasantly surprised by this reading experience! I learned that I like ghost/paranormal stories, and even
Spoilerparanormal romances
.

My favorite part of this story was how the author used fantastical elements to address and talk about real-life trauma and experiences. The main character Ilana Lopez, a biracial Jewish girl, relates the magical realism elements of the story to her community's specific experiences. The story heavily addresses the trauma and experiences of the Jewish community in Prague. I thought this was so beautifully done. There are many beautiful quotes in this book. I felt so drawn to the story, and by like 60% I didn't want to put it down.

For a lot of the story, the written in verse style of the story is used beautifully and there are some incredibly beautiful quotes. However, there are many times in the story for me where the written in verse style wasn't working for me, or maybe the style wasn't being totally used to its advantage.

For a lot of the story, I kept thinking that it felt like I was reading a middle grade novel. But I kept questioning that because the main character is preparing for college admissions exams. I realized near that end that I think I was feeling this way because the character development felt a little flat at times. I really loved the main character and enjoyed reading from her perspective so much. However, there were times in the beginning of the story where the character development wasn't strong, or maybe was just building too slowly for my tastes. By the end, I think this did improve so much, and the character felt strong and I felt connected to her and her story.

I would highly recommend this book for folks interested in magical realism, latinx/latine stories, Jewish stories, and stories set outside of the U.S.

I am not an own voices reviewer for latinx/latine and Jewish stories.

Reader-Provided Trigger/Content Warnings

Trigger/Content Warnings:
Spoilerantisemitism, death, child death, child abuse

bookzgirl's review

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emotional mysterious medium-paced

3.0

directorpurry's review

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dark emotional hopeful mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.25


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bibliobrandie's review

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3.0

A magical realist ghost story/romance told in verse about Ilana Lopez, a biracial Jewish Latina who is sent to Prague to stay with her aunt who lives near an abandoned Jewish cemetery. It is in this cemetery where Ilana meets a ghost named Benjamin who introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague. I enjoyed learning about Jewish cemeteries in Europe and the magical realism woven into this story, but the characters felt flat and the romance felt forced. I didn't love it.

readingfrankly's review

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3.0

This book had no right to hurt me as much as it did, especially because you know from the dang title the boy is a ghost. But it got me anyway. I cried twice. 
That said, I was bored for a little more than half of this book. I knew the plot before the plot really got going and it took so long to resolve and everything. Also, though this is no fault of the book's own, it is written on the very young side of YA, and so a lot of it didn't work well for me. The girlish crush and obsession with kissing, likening being a girl to a wolf, etc. It's fine when you're 13, but I'm too old for that kinda stuff. Again, not the book's fault it is written for an audience younger than me though. I tried not to let it affect my rating too much, but there's only so much you can do. The main character does that annoying thing where she trusts the villain who is quite obviously evil from the moment she meets him, and she didn't even figure it out on her own that he was evil, she had to have ghost boy tell her. Not a good look. 

Anyway, I annotated this and there are some good lines, as I'd hope from a book told in verse. I wouldn't reread it but it was okay. Mostly I would just recommend this for a young teen or middle school audience.