Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The Book Review Club - Jumped
by Rita Williams-Garcia
If you are looking for a book with alternating POV, look no further (says the person ensconced in graduate school). Seriously, POV is a big thing. Another tool to manipulate in the dark labs of mad writers everywhere.
Cut to mad scientist laugh. Bauhahahahaha!
All joking aside, this is a gut-wrenching book, much like "Precious." You've gotta read it, even though it's like watching a train wreck unfold in slow motion that rips your heart out and puts it back, still beating, but its rhythm changed forever.
In short, artistically, slightly full of herself but living in her own world of happiness Trina cuts in front of thuggish Dominique just before school starts. Leticia sees it happen. She also sees that Dominique is going to jump Trina for cutting her. The events unfold from there. Dominique explaining why she has to jump Trina, to set things straight. Trina, blissfully unaware Dominique is going to pummel her into the concrete, revealing how happy she is at the new school because it's got art classes. And Leticia trying to convince herself why she doesn't need to step in to stop the fight.
Each girl is so real, so pulsing with life, I expected any one of them to appear around the corner at any minute. The book is that well written. It's also gritty. Abdicating responsibility. Territorial defense. Artistic cluelessness. They all come together and leave the reader wondering, Can we all get along? Is it even possible? What kind of world are we really living in today?
Heavy stuff. Food for thought. For ponder.
Williams-Garcia doesn't let her reader off the hook. She holds you fast until the last word is spent. The last mistake made. The last ambivalence uttered. That question still thudding: What would I have done? What?
For more fascinating, fun, and full court reads, hop over to Barrie Summy's website!