Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review: Jumping Off Swings

TITLE: Jumping Off Swings
AUTHOR: Jo Knowles
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press
OVERALL RATING: star rating - 5 stars Pictures, Images and Photos


Ellie just wanted someone to love her. To protect her from the cruel and complicated world around her. As well as the scars and painful memories that engulf her from the carefree past she used to share with her best friend Corinne. But nothing is that simple anymore. The trips to the swings in the neighborhood park no longer mean the silly competitions to swinging the highest, or jumping the farthest.

Nothing has been the same ever since that night when Josh deserted Ellie in the backseat of the van, to tell his friends how far they had gone. Nothing has been the same ever since Ellie had started this new trend.
Not only had Ellie been effected by the unexpected pregnancy. But so has Caleb. Ever since grade school, Caleb has always had feelings for Ellie. Not the feelings every other guy in school said they had for Ellie. But the true, caring feelings. The feelings where he would hurt just as much as Ellie if anything happened to her. And now? He is devastated. Even though he is friends with Josh, he doesn't understand what Josh and the other guys are thinking. Even if they don't know about the pregnancy. Maybe it's because he has a mother he can go to for help and advice, unlike Josh, who's mother lives at the soup kitchen, and a father who is either rocking out with his so called band, or snoozing off a 6 pack.
Eventually, Ellies stomachs grows more noticeable. As well as everyones attitude toward her being pregnant. The word SLUT is forever engraved on her locker, her parents seem to want to be away from her, and Josh stays his distance. Remembering the desperate and sad look her eyes gave off as he abandoned her in the backseat of the van. What will Ellie do when it comes to giving birth to the baby filling the empty space inside of her?

Jumping Off Swings tells it like it is. The novel allows you to view the hardships, sadness, and the tough decisions that had to be made, through the eyes of friends, family, and enemies as well.
Everything expressed throughout the book, was raw, real, and without any doubt, painful. Having to see someone who was once full of life and happiness, now crushed by several guys, and a pregnancy that she is left to deal with, must have been the hardest part to read about. Everything was put together so well, there isn't one thing I would change about this book. Though. If I could. I would help Ellie, but the truth within each page is what brought me even closer to understanding the message. Feeling awful and hopeless for Caleb, knowing he is watching the one person he once cared so much for, crumble to pieces, is what really bothered me as well. I could hardly stand it at first, though, things did turn out for the best.
I cannot describe the feelings and emotions I felt while reading this book. It will effect each reader differently, and that is why I urge you to read it. It is worth your time.


Brianne said...

I'm definately - without a doubt - going to read this book. Wow. It looks really good. I love books like this that make you feel exactly what the characters feel. Great review. :)