Having a stepfather is hard. Having a famous and crazy stepfather is harder. Having Dino Cavalli, world-renown violinist and composer, as your stepfather is nearly impossible. This is the challenge that seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan faces.
Cassie describes Dino as "both crazy and a genius." More specifically, he is "joy-impaired (hugely depressed), excessively imaginative (delusional), abundantly security conscious (paranoid as hell) or emotionally challenged (wacko)."
A good deal of Dino's paranoia is surrounded by his enemy and former agent, William Tiero. Dino hates Tiero so much that he bought the ugliest dog he could find and named it William. He liked to yell at and control the dog ("Get your nose out of the garbage, William!"). Things are starting to get far worse than naming a pet after his enemy. Now Dino thinks that William Tiero (the real one, not the dog) is out to get him. He swears that Tiero is stalking and spying on him. The paranoia only increases as Dino prepares for an important concert that will reveal new songs for the first time in years.
As Dino's behavior gets more erratic, Cassie becomes more frightened. It doesn't help that her mother is oblivious to Dino's behavior. Not to mention, her father is obviously still in love with her mother and has revealed that he is investigating Dino's background because he believes that something is not quite right.
In the midst of all the craziness of Cassie's home life, she finds herself falling in love at the impossibly worst time. Ian Walters is Dino's young student who is working towards winning a scholarship to a fancy music school. Even though Cassie knows that Ian has to focus on his music, she finds that her heart has a mind of its own.
WILD ROSES is a moving novel that is beautifully crafted. Deb Caletti has a way with words like her characters have with music. She reaches deep into the souls of her characters and stirs up emotions that readers will revel in. Caletti has already proven herself as a wonderful wordsmith with her past novels, and WILD ROSES doesn't let us down.