I only started watching Bridgerton for Kate Sharma and so for me, Rosewood is the YA Bridgerton style book I needed! It’s got a core of sisterhood, Regency costumes, and tons of swooning! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Eila Das is used to following her head, rather than her heart. When she meets Rahul at Rosewood, a summer camp where campers are being scouted for the hit Bridgerton-like TV show, she experiences…feelings. Between the drama of the show and the drama of the camp, Eila will have to keep her wits about her to make it through the summer. But when she has to choose between her head and her heart, what will she do?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
From the very beginning, I fell in love with Rosewood. Not only is the representation at the forefront in the book, but also the attention to representation in the media, but Eila is charming. You might not agree with everything she does, but she gave me serious Kate Sharma vibes mixed with a Jane Austen heroine all in once. Loosely based on Sense and Sensibility, Rosewood is a story that plays with fiery Austen heroines, Shakespearen vibes, and tons of contemporary flair.
Eila and her sister’s relationship is one of my favorite elements of Rosewood. The ways in which she is fiercely protective of her, feels like a stand-in mother figure, but also sometimes the baby bird just needs to fly alone. We can be so focused on protecting the ones we love, we can fail to realize they need to flounder a bit, to be given a chance to figure out who they are. What they can do. If you love those kinds of older sister characters – who also feel the weight of being the eldest – then Rosewood is for you.
At the same time, it definitely has a “10 Things I Hate About You” vibe. Eila is passionate, determined in some ways to discount the Regency era and these romances, and a fan of Shakespeare. It takes her a little while to see the benefits and positives of Jane Austen and also in the power of the representation. She understands it, but this Regency camp will certainly introduce her to other ways of thinking. I loved how opinionated she was and for fans of YA rom-coms with mixups, misunderstandings, and comedy, Rosewood is a gem.
Full of historical tidbits, it also feels grounded in both research and critique. In pointing out the irony of performing in these predominantly historically white and British spaces, while also acknowledging the power of telling and seeing their stories. Rosewood is an entertaining contemporary which made for laughs, swoons, and joy. It features characters who have to figure out if we can believe in our dreams, if we can take those chances, and embrace the magic in our every day.
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About the Author
Sayantani DasGupta is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory-inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books, the first of which — The Serpent’s Secret — was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Best Middle-Grade Novel of the 21st Century, and an E. B. White Read Aloud Honor Book. She is also the author of Debating Darcy, a contemporary young adult reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Sayantani is a pediatrician by training, but now teaches at Columbia University. When she’s not writing or reading, Sayantani spends time watching cooking shows with her trilingual children and protecting her black Labrador retriever Khushi from the many things that scare him, including plastic bags. She is a team member of We Need Diverse Books, and can be found online at sayantanidasgupta.com and on Twitter at @sayantani16.