BOOK REVIEW: Jumping Off Swings

By Tuesday, November 05, 2013 , , , , ,

Jumping of Swings by Jo Knowles

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 242
Format: Kindle
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick
Purchase: 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 a while 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 have a love-hate relationship with Jo Knowles' books. But this one, I just hate it...or maybe I'm disappointed because I really did expect a lot. From the blurb itself, it has potential.

The book is about four teenagers who struggles with how their life spins and what their heart sings. Ellie, the girl who needs some loving, is pregnant. Josh, a character I can't understand, struggles with relationships. Caleb, Josh's best friend, likes Ellie but after talking with Corinne, finds himself falling for her. [I just want to say that Caleb is a stupid character and really stupid. Ugh! He could have been better, if he wasn't too focused with his damn feels for Corinne and redeeming Josh as a "good person" and a "he would never do that kind of thing to Ellie" guy. But he did do it Caleb! So stop justifying him as a good person. Even though, he isn't bad, doesn't mean he is good.] And Corinne, Ellie's virgin best friend, the person who envies her and the only one who's beside her...always.

The mood of the book is depressing. And it is very realistic, from how the character reacted to the situation. I don't like Corinne and Caleb's relationship. It doesn't really tell you anything...their relationship. What confuses me is how Caleb suddenly wakes up and likes Corinne instead of Ellie. It was clear that he likes Ellie, but it suddenly fades away. I had no problem with him not liking Ellie anymore. But I do have a problem with him moving on from Ellie to Corinne that quickly.

Also, the book presents two kinds of relationship. Josh and Ellie's relationship, which isn't a relationship but hey they had sex. And Caleb and Corinne's blooming relationship, which clearly is the right relationship(?) and also the boring kind. It seems to me that the author is trying to tell a lesson here. The lessons I get is...
1. Thou shalt not have sex.
2. If you do number 1, you will suffer. MWAHAHAHA
3.If you don't do number 1, you will have a perfect relationship...NOT

In the end, this book is a fast read and not even close to my liking. I don't know if I'm going to recommend it to anyone. But if you want a book you can read within 5 hours, here's one.

Just stay away from this book if you don't want to be lectured.


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