Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jumpstart the World (YA)

Jumpstart the World. Catherine Ryan Hyde. 2010. October 2010. Random House. 192 pages.

"This is a beautiful cat," my mother said. She was staring into a cage at about eye level. I sidled over just enough to get a peek at the cat in question. A long-haired silvery Persian mix. He was beautiful all right, in an aloof sort of way. I'm not a big fan of aloof. Besides, I already had a cat in mind. I just hadn't found the nerve to announce it yet.

Looking to read about another troubled teen? Meet Elle. She's fifteen-almost-sixteen. And when the novel opens, she's moving into her own apartment. Why? Well, her mother thought it would make her life easier, her relationship with her boyfriend easier, if her daughter left the house. What kind of mother would allow her daughter--at that age--to live on her own in New York City? Well, I'll let you decide for yourself...

Elle is a bit angry, a bit defiant, especially when it comes to her tense relationship with her mom. But Elle needs someone in her life. She needs someone to love her, to look after her, to listen to her, to understand her. And Elle might just have found the perfect someone in her neighbor, Frank. (Yes, she has a bit of a crush.)

Frank and Molly see how much Elle needs a friend, and they welcome her into their lives. Elle enjoys playing Scrabble with Frank and learning about photography from Molly. But what Elle doesn't know about Frank, well, it's a little surprising, a little unexpected. He's transgender.

Jumpstart the World is a story of a young woman learning what it means to be a friend, learning what it means to belong. It's a complex novel starring broken people living life the best they can. I do like the fact that the characters are so human.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


A Books Blog 9:22 AM  

15 eh? I was in my 20's before I could get my parents to let me move to NYC and I still had to put up a fight! Elle sounds like a great character, can't wait to read this one!

Shooting Stars Mag 1:37 PM  

I'm so ready to read this one. I love Catherine and the idea behind this story sounds fantastic. You should check out my latest post about LGBT lit. I mention this one!


Clover 4:27 AM  

Ooh. This one's been added to my wishlist, thanks.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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