Oct 23, 2009

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

Jumping Off Swings CoverAll Ellie wanted was what most other girls seemed to get: someone to love her. With oblivious parents and a stoner for a brother, Ellie hangs out with her best friend Corinne. The girls may not be the uber-popular, cheerleader type, but they do manage to go to a few parties. Corinne is dying to hook-up with someone and finds herself jealous of all the attention that Ellie garners.

At the last party, Corinne comes out to find Josh leaving Ellie in the backseat of his dad's van and then Ellie getting sick. What felt meaningful and special to Ellie was just a "no big deal" event to Josh. Unfortunately for both of them it becomes a big deal when Ellie realizes she is pregnant.

Gathering her strength to make up her mind about what to do, Ellie tries to make it through the rest of the school year with the help of Corinne, Corinne's new confidante Caleb, and Caleb's mom. What happens when the unthinkable happens?

Jo Knowles knows her stuff. This poignant tale looks at teen pregnancy in a real and believable light. It's not just about what happens to the mother and the baby; there is a whole community involved when a teen gets pregnant. In this book we get to see it from the best friend's perspective, the father's perspective, and the reactions of those indirectly involved. I could definitely sympathize with the main character and with the father throughout the entire story and I really liked how the characters overlapped just enough that when you transitioned from one narrator to the next you could still keep up with the storyline. While not a necessarily cheerful story, this cautionary tale might give the reader a sense of what else goes on around a situation like this. A job well done.

1 comment:

KatieDoll said...

This is the first review I've read on this, and I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR list. I haven't read the synopsis on it, so this is the first I'm hearing about it focusing on teen pregnancy, but it sounds amazing. Awesome review! :)

BTW- click here. :)