ADELE GERAS was born in Jerusalem and travelled widely as a child. She started writing over twenty-five years ago and is the author of many titles for young and older readers, including the award-winning Troy. She is married with two daughters and lives in Manchester.
Gr 7-10-- A self-conscious restyling of ``Sleeping Beauty,'' brought up-to-date with a boarding school setting and rape--a somewhat uneasy mixture. Three school friends have been eager for Alice's fabulous 18th birthday party to be held at her family's rose-encircled castlelike estate. But it seems the young woman's wicked Aunt Violette's ill wish for her has come true after she is raped at the party and becomes totally withdrawn. Her journal entries during this time chronicle her return to mental health and build suspense as her story unfolds. This sequel to The Tower Room (HBJ, 1992) is only partly successful, due mainly to weak characterization. No one cares if the ``wicked stepmother'' or the ``handsome prince'' lacks credible motivation in a fairy tale. But in modern fiction, it's another matter. Geras is forced to rely on such plot contrivances as sending the heroine off alone with a hot-and-bothered boy who, it turns out, she does not recognize until too late to be her childhood tormentor. This is not to say that the book is completely without interest or charm. There are plenty of quirky characters, a wonderful setting, rose lore, and intriguing echoes of fairy tales throughout. The British references are sometimes incomprehensible (what are winkle-pickers?), but romance fans will anxiously await the handsome prince whose kiss awakens the princess.-- Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR