Don't forget to enter my Reading Road Trip giveaway for DROWNING INSTINCT. Ends July 31, 2012. Find it HERE.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

Publication Date: 8-11-2009
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:
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.


Talk about psychological issues that this poor girl needs to deal with.  Ellie has a problem with boys.  She gives everything up to them in hopes that they will love her.  She feels loved at first, but in the end the love doesn't last.  She ends up feeling bad about herself and what she's done.  

Corinne is Ellie's confidante, but it is easy to see that Ellie's choices are taking a toll on their friendship.  Corinne doesn't feel bad anymore because it is the same situation over and over again.

Josh is the final boy that ends up getting Ellie pregnant, and it was his first time.  He is ashamed of what he did and heartbroken, but doesn't know what to do either.  He isn't sure how to handle it and his parents aren't much help.  His home situation is one that could use some attention.

Caleb is Josh's confidant and has had a longtime crush on Ellie.  He always wonders about the guys she chooses and if what the boys say in the locker room is true about her.  He tries to protect her reputation and stick up for her, but doesn't always know how or if it's the right things to do.  Caleb and Corinne also end up developing a relationship through their common fears and worries about Ellie and Josh.

This is a book about four teenagers who all are going through a teen pregnancy.  They are all feeling the fears that Ellie feels and are trying to help her along the way.  Each teen has their own problems, but they work through them in a very adult type manner.  The teens are all forced to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions.  They are all forced to see what life is really like and how cruel some people can be.  They all make choices that will affect the rest of their lives.  

Jumping Off Swings is an amazing novel that takes us through one girls' struggle with being a pregnant teen and her friends' struggle in dealing with the situation.  We hear from each point of view and learn more about these teens and their own lives.  We begin to get a deeper understanding of why each teen acts like they do and how this situation is helping each of them find their way.  An awesome book that I'm glad I came across at the library.  It's a must-read.

No comments: