The Shadow and the Rose

Young Adult

Joy Sumner’s world is turned upside down when she finds out her father has cancer and has to stay at a hospital in another state. Her mother died many years ago so Joy must live in a boarding school and is basically on her own. She knows she isn’t as pretty or as talented as the other girls in her performing arts high school but she has to make the best of her situation and make her dad proud of her. Then she meets Tanner.

Tanner is only a teenager but he has become a successful model. He lives under the guardianship of Melisande, the famous fashion model, who never seems to age. Tanner and Joy love being together but it is always on the sly, for Melisande has an unusual hold on Tanner. He is both her lover and her protégée. Joy does everything in her power to break the spell Melisande has on this young man she realizes she is quickly falling in love with.

This story ingeniously supplies all the required characters: the best friend, the mean classmate and the gorgeous boyfriend. Then the author adds the antihero Melisande, the beautiful model that readers will love to hate!  However, her character comes across as very one dimensional and those surrounding her sometime seem more like caricatures, making it hard to believe.. DeWees does make the eerie and immoral relationship between Tanner and Melisande believable and the readers will find themselves cheering for the budding relationship between Joy and Tanner!

Rose Mary Espinoza