Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

From Amazon:
Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For awhile anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.

I had heard some good reviews for this teen book, so I picked it up. Ellie is a teenage girl who thinks that having sex is the best way to get a guy to like her; Corinne is her less-experienced best friend; Caleb has had a crush on Ellie since they were kids but is starting to have feelings for Corinne; Josh is Caleb’s best friend and one of the guys that Ellie has slept with. When Ellie realizes she’s pregnant, all four of the characters (plus their parents) are changed in different ways. The story is told in alternating voices (between the four teens), and skips over much of the plot; it’s very dialogue heavy and might actually work as a play, as many of the scenes are set either in a park, in a car, or at Caleb’s house. As with most books with multiple points of view, there are some characters that I wanted to hear more from and it was hard to deal with switching over to a character that I didn't like as much, but a great example of how to sketch out different characters.

Read it with:
I Know It's Over - C.K. Kelly Martin
Namoi & Ely's No-Kiss List - David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
The Lit Report - Sarah N. Harvey

1 comment:

  1. Looks really fascinating...I think it could be really good. I'll check it out soon!