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!


Keri Mikulski said...

Wow.. Sounds good. Thanks for the review!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This does sound intense.
POV is an underrated tool. I believe that deftly used, it can make an average book glitter with life.

Ellen Booraem said...

This does sound like a gut-wrencher, Stacy. I love books with such distinct points of view, varying perspectives on the same event. Tricky to do, fascinating to read.

Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

It's almost impossible for me not to write in multiple POVs - lol! I did read a book with 8 POVs and that was a bit much even for me.

This one sounds interesting!

Anonymous said...

Stacy, I read and loved Jumped and wanted to say you've caught its essence beautifully. That thudding echoes in my head. Thanks! Zu

Joy said...

Sounds really good. I'll check it out.

Are you going to SCBWI spring? Hope to see ya out there :)

Barrie said...

Stacy, what age would you say this is for? Maybe a little too intense for my child #4? Anyway....I love POV changes. LOVE them. One of my favorite Middle Grade books is THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY. And it's got, you guessed, different POVs. Thanks for the review. I particularly enjoyed the heart metaphor. ;) See you in a couple of weeks!!!!

Sarah Laurence said...

Fabulous review – I feel like you are slipping into the POV in this post too. You make me want to check this book out. I'm also curious about the author's background.

Shifting POV in a teen book can be a tough sell because kids tend to favor one character over another. I’d be curious to see how she made it work. I do like adult books that tackle ethical issues from multiple POVs.

Stacy Nyikos said...

Barrie, I'd say, 14 and up. There's a lot to deal with in there.

POV is such an underrated tool. Check out Grace Lin's Newbury Honor book. She has multiple POVs and it's "just" a middle grade.

Sarah, I don't know tons about Rita's background other than that she now lives in NYC.

Joy, I am going to the conference on March 27. Will you be there?

Joy said...

I'll be there :)