Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

You know how come books can just grab a hold of you and won’t let you go until you’ve read every last word?  THIS is one of those books!  I started reading at about 10pm, thinking I would read a few chapters and get a feel for this book…  No dice!  If you want to read this book, make sure you have a few hours to just sit, read, and cry…

Ellie has only ever wanted to be loved.  And she thought she had found a way to get that love.  The boys always talked about how much they wanted her — how much they needed her.  But, once she had given them what they wanted and needed, they went away and left her feeling more lonely than ever.  Ellie’s best friend, Corinne, has tried to tell her that they boys were only using her, but she didn’t want to believe it.  Until one party, when a “nice” guy named Josh took her out to his dad’s van.  It was his first time, and it wasn’t even as good as he had expected.  In fact, he felt so awkward afterward that he just walked away, leaving her in the van, and told her “thanks.”  Ellie finally realized that she could not continue to live this way, but it was already too late.  Because the condom had fallen off, Ellie ended up getting pregnant.

This story is told from the perspectives of four characters — Ellie, Corinne, Josh, and Caleb (Josh’s friend who has had a crush on Ellie since the first grade).  This constantly changing perspective really works well, providing many angles of the story and the reactions of the people around Ellie.  And while this story has a less-than-happy ending, I think it provides a much needed view of how teens who engage in sexual activities [especially when it results in a teen pregnancy] can impact both themselves and many of the people around them.  Think Juno with a more realistic, depressing ending…

Happy Reading!

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2 responses to “Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

  1. Pingback: Living With Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles | Librarina

  2. Pingback: Living With Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles | Staff Picks

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