Friday, October 2, 2009
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles is a YA novel that I won on LibraryThing's Early Reviewers' program. It took me about two hours to finish the book and I have to say for such a short novel, it certainly was a good read. The book centers on a group of kids in high school: Ellie, Corrine, Caleb, and Josh. Ellie is sixteen and finds herself pregnant as the result of a one night stand. Corrine, Ellie's best friend, struggles to understand why Ellie is always "hooking up" with boys who don't like her. Caleb has always been in love with Ellie since grade school, but cannot fathom the notion that she has slept with nearly all of his friends. And Josh, is the father of Ellie's baby, the boy who took her in the back of the van and then left her there afterwards to tell his friends he was no longer a virgn. All in all, quite an ensemble of kids, all coming to grips with the realities of sex and its consequences, first love, friendships, family and loneliness. We have kids who feel abandoned by their parents, who long to feel wanted by their peers, who use alcohol as a means to bond/escape and kids who wind up talking to a doctor about abortion - showing us readers the everyday battles that teenagers face. Knowles has written a simple, yet engrossing story that makes you realize just how complicated teenagers' lives can really be. I really did enjoy this book and even though its not my usual cup of tea, I'm glad I read it. There were some things that I'm not sure I was completely in agreement with, but in the end it is fiction. So, I guess another book off of my Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge! YAY! I'm on a role!! Okay, I'm off to read! Happy reading!!! Oh, and of course, Thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program!!! Cheers!!