This was an interesting book. Sway features a teenager named Jessie who struggles with a hearing impairment in what is probably the least tolerant community ever written. She finds herself through a self defense class, and Ethan, her karate teacher’s son. Jessie goes on to have some really exciting adventures I won’t go into to much detail about. The book has something exciting happening every few pages, whether it’s a terrifying tornado, or a crushing birthday party, or the other stuff I won’t go into, Jessie is in a constant state of emotional flux.
The good: I cared about the characters, and this novel handles slice of life good. Gibson drops the reader smack dab into the middle of Jessie’s life and lets them navigate the confusion right along beside her. High school is hard enough without a hearing impairment, so the experience added another layer to what would otherwise be considered universal. I enjoyed the book and kept reading right to the very end.
The nit-picky: Gibson has perfected show don’t tell down to an art, but I think she got to good at it. There were times when I felt like I needed more information that didn’t come for chapters, or in some cases not at all. For example, what level of hearing loss does Jessie suffer? How does it work? But the information I wanted would have risked turning the book into a public service announcement or a thinly disguised educational/disability awareness opportunity that would have been condescending and skewed the whole plot.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and give it four stars. Buy your copy, or learn more about Jennifer Gibson here.
Here are some links where Sway is sold:
Amazon (USA) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008VMTOMY
Black Opal Books (Publisher) – http://bookstore.blackopalbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=38