Cover image for Rosey in the present tense
Rosey in the present tense
Hawes, Louise.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Walker, [1999]

Physical Description:
128 pages ; 22 cm
Unable to accept the sudden death of his Japanese American girlfriend Rosey, seventeen-year-old Franklin finds that she has come back to him as a spirit and eventually realizes that he must let her go.
Reading Level:
700 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.7 5.0 35194.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.3 7 Quiz: 19533 Guided reading level: NR.
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Six months have passed since Rosey Mishimi's fatal accident. But Franklin still can't adjust to being without her. Every day he feels as though he's moving underwater, just going through the motions. Remembering Rosey is the only thing that brings him any relief.

He is used to having conversations with her in his head, but when Rosey starts to talk back to him one night, Franklin can't believe his ears. Is she really there with him, or just a figment of his imagination? At first Franklin doesn't care as long as it means having his Rosey back. But as the days pass it becomes clear that Franklin's sorrow is bidding Rosey to a life she can no longer have. He knows he must find it in his heart to free the girl he loves so she can find her own destiny. But it is so hard to let go of someone he needs so desperately.

For anyone who has ever been in love or experienced loss, Louise Hawes has crafted a haunting tale of devotion and sacrifice that readers will take to their hearts.

Author Notes

Louise Hawes has published over a dozen books for middle grade readers and young adults, including a 1999 nomination for "YA Book of the Year", Rosey in the Present Tense . Winner of the New Jersey Author's Award and two Writing Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, she is currently a faculty member of the nation's first MFA in Writing for Children Program at Vermont College. Her adult fiction has appeared in anthologies and literary journals in the U.S. and Canada.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 8^-12. Six months after the death of his girlfriend, Rosey, 17-year-old Franklin can't--and won't--stop living in the past. Only memories, where Rosey is still with him, offer respite from his grief and pain. When Rosey returns as a ghost, it's a mixed blessing; Franklin's initial joy is tempered by a growing awareness that his sorrow is preventing them both from moving on. But with the support of Rosey, friends, and family, Franklin realizes that embracing the present doesn't diminish the importance of memories, and that hearts have unlimited capacity for love. Part love story, part ghost story, the novel offers a compassionate, realistic portrayal of the grieving and healing process from, notably, a young man's perspective. Franklin is a well-defined and appealing character; descriptive, lyrical prose and alternating first-person and third-person narratives provide depth and encourage reader engagement. Although emotional in content, the novel avoids sentimentality for a multifaceted, insightful exploration of heartbreak and loss. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's been six months since his girlfriend died in an automobile accident, but Franklin can't consign Rosey to the past tense, as his mother, his best friend and his psychiatrist all urge him to do. He doesn't want to forget Rosey, not for one momentÄher love for oldies rock-and-roll, the one-liners she attributes to her Japanese ancestors, the way she nestles in his arms, her legs intertwined with his. So deep is his need for her that his anguish draws her back from the deadÄnot as a living human, but as a ghost. Alternating between third-person narration in the present and Lin's first-person journal, which recounts his memories of Rosey, Hawes (Tales from the Cafeteria) generally skirts the maudlin and the melodrama inherent in her plot. But here the conceit of a ghost interacting with living characters has none of the subtlety of, for example, Adele Griffin's The Other Shepards; the characters are not fully fleshed out, so the psychiatrist and all the other adults, including Rosey's grandmother (the only person besides Lin who can see Rosey), come off as stereotypical. While Lin and Rosey are better realized, Rosey as a ghost strangely reverts into a somewhat childish state, lacking the sophistication that made her so attractive in life. The perspective here seems more adult than adolescent, making some of the dialogue strained. While there are some nice moments between Lin and Rosey, the novel misses its mark. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-9-Last summer, 17-year-old Franklin lost "his girl" Rosey in a fatal car accident and he is inconsolable. Six months of time, counseling, and medication have left him no better. As the miracle of true love would have it, Rosey returns as an apparition, visible only to Lin (as she calls him). She is caught between two worlds. She has returned to console her grief-stricken boyfriend, yet she yearns for her natural place in some peaceful unknown. Franklin tries to ignore her inexplicable longing for something out of his world. He masks his disappointment that she's reduced to shattered light particles when he tries to touch her. Although he is able to see Rosey, he remains blind to the obvious-she is weaning him of his dependency on their past, awakening him to the life that surrounds him, and introducing him to the possibilities in his future. Readers learn about the couple's past relationship from journal entries that Franklin keeps for his psychiatrist. There's a light-handedness to this story that's reminiscent of a tepid teen version of the movie Ghost. This book is not about mourning; it's a sweet (if artificial) tonic to temper the loneliness of loss. Marion Dane Bauer's On My Honor (Clarion, 1986) and Peter Pohl's I Miss You, I Miss You! (Farrar, 1999) are more realistic novels about the gaping hole that sudden death exacts.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.