Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Pub. Date: August 11, 2009
Age Level: 15+/YA
One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change in this poignant, sensitively written YA novel.
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.
Jumping Off Swings is a poignant and genuine novel that goes inside the minds of 4 teenagers and how they are each affected by one pregnancy. This book sent me through a roller coaster of emotions. I've never cried as much reading a book as I did this one.
Ellie thought Josh cared for her. She thought he wanted more than just her body. So why did he just leave her like that. Now Ellie's discovered she’s pregnant with his child. Josh is haunted by the look he left on Ellie’s face when he walked away from her. He is ashamed of what he did and since finding out she is pregnant, he wants to help but is afraid of hurting her again. Poor Caleb and Corinne are caught in the middle of a dreadful situation. Caleb, Josh’s best friend, has had a crush on Ellie for years. He's hurt by the way the guys talk about her and even more so when he discovers Josh has gotten her pregnant. Corinne, Ellie’s best friend, has never understood why Ellie does what she does. Now she has to help her through one of the roughest parts of her life.
I really loved the characters. They were very well developed, their emotions and thoughts authentic. I found myself forming a special bond with each and every one of them. Their family lives do, in a way, play a role in how they turned out the way they did. I only wish I had heard a little more about Corinne’s family. You do hear some about her parents and even more about her sister but not as much as you do about the other character’s relations. In Corinne’s case, you only here her reference them, they don’t ever actually come into the dialogue themselves.
I thought Jo Knowles did a wonderful job of writing this story. It just felt so real and believable, I really connected with it. Though I felt the book was well developed, considering its short length, I definitely would have liked to have had about 100 or so more pages.
The ending was far from what I hoped for, but sadly, was the most realistic ending this book could have been given. For that, I would like to give kudos to Jo Knowles for sticking with what would have probably happened if this story were true and not trying to give it a fairy tale ending.
This was a beautiful, touching book and I absolutely loved it. It took me no time to read, which will just make it easier for me to have time to read it again in the future. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a great book to tug at their heart strings and make them cry.
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Monday, August 24, 2009
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/24/2009 12:00:00 PM