I wish I could give this book a 4.5 instead of a 4 because it was a fabulous read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I believe that this is one of the few "...moreI wish I could give this book a 4.5 instead of a 4 because it was a fabulous read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I believe that this is one of the few "teen reads" that makes your time worthwhile. It is beautifully written and provides insights to the behavior of animals.
"The Nature of Jade" by Deb Caletti is about a high school senior named Jade who deals with a severe case of anxiety and volunteers at the zoo working with elephants. From this experience, she meets Sebastian and gets pulled into his "complicated" life. On the surface, this story comes across as a typical teenage read but it is not. It is about growing up, breaking away from family, finding true love and making yourself happy. Caletti allows Jade to learn these lessons through a realistic manner, in which any teenager can relate to.
What I enjoyed about the characters in this novel is that they are all flawed. They are not perfect and they all struggle with their insecurities. These flawed characters allow the reader to not relate to one character but to all. A personal connection to each character allows the reader to love every character and root for their decisions.
Finally, what I also enjoyed about this novel is the information provided about animals and their behavior and how it relates to humans. Caletti has taken quotes from "The Fundamentals of Animal Behavior" and incorporated them into the story. Not only are these quotes interesting but they allow us to realize that we are not alone in having these feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
Overall, this is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. The only flaw of the book is that it has an ambiguous ending. I love solid, fully defined endings but this book allows you to take what Jade has learned and apply to her life and beyond.
**spoiler alert** A great read with great characters who are all flawed in their own sense. The characters and story were beautifully written and Giff...more**spoiler alert** A great read with great characters who are all flawed in their own sense. The characters and story were beautifully written and Giffin wrote in such a manner that you can relate, understand and cheer for the main character, Claudia. However, if you do not understand Claudia's decision then you may think she is self-centered and whiny. To enjoy the novel you have to respect and understand Claudia's decision to not have children. If not, the book may be a struggle to get through.
What I didn't like about the story is that Claudia decides (although, we don't exactly know) to go against her decision to not have kids to get Ben, the love of her life, back. I didn't like that she had to lower her standards in order to be with someone and make him happy. Claudia should stick with her morals and shouldn't be encouraged to change them to get something she wants back. So for all those strong independent females, that may be a letdown. Furthermore, what I didn't like was that the story came to an end very fast and it felt rushed, like nothing was resolved.
Overall, it was a great read on the shallow end but it may take understanding in order to fully relate and enjoy the story. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, but since I cannot give that, I give it a 3.(less)