Cherylann's Reviews > Jumped

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
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Nov 05, 2009

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Read in November, 2009

This is a 3.5 star book, which could go up or down depending on how the book sits with me over the next few days.

Jumped takes place during the course of one day. Williams-Garcia weaves her story through the perspectives of Dominique, Trina, and Leticia. At first, I thought Dominique was the only one with a "problem". She is an angry, angry young woman. Her anger is clearly illustrated in her first chapter. She's waiting in the faculty parking lot for her science teacher. She needs to "talk" to him about changing her grade. Talking sounds a lot like threatening to me. Ironically if her teacher had reported the incident or (since the reader doesn't know if he did or not) had administration done something about Dominique there would have been no story. Of course there are a number of places that adults could have intervened and changed the outcome of the story.

As I read, I realized that Leticia and Trina are just as flawed as Dominique. In fact, I was more disturbed by Leticia at the end of the novel than I was Dominique. Letitica is a classic bystander. She was the one character the reader knows for sure had the power to change the events and outcome of the novel, and yet, she didn't. In fact, Leticia even blames Trina for what happened to her.

This definitely deserves to be a National Book Award Finalist. Williams-Garcia is commenting on society - as she's done in her other novels - and it's not a commentary that makes me happy to be part of our society or a teacher of adolescents and someone who has a hand in shaping the next generation.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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bjneary I agree with your assessment and I really hoped that Leticia would listen to her friend Bea's texting and warn Trina but so many teens will not be a "Snitch" but I also thought that Leticia in this case, without her friend Bea physically there to keep her on the straight and narrow, she just took the easiest way out---and did nothing. I agree that Trina was flawed too but I also think that sometimes the teen brutality can be aimed at anyone---and I don't know why Trina had to be punished for cutting in front of Dominique...but Dominique was very angry and a thug who used to her anger to blame everyone else but herself.

Cherylann Dominique definitely had anger issues; I was frustrated with her coach for not picking up on that or doing anything to help her. W/r/t Leticia, I was surprised when I found out she was in Honors English - because she didn't seem to stay on the straight and narrow without Bea as well as her cavalier attitude towards reading especially in contrast with Bea. Leticia seemed just as stunted as Dominique, she just hid it more easily.

bjneary Definitely---all you have mentioned I agree with and I think that is why I only gave it 3 stars...I guess I wanted RGW to weave in a little redemption didn't come so the book was just an hour by hour until the beatdown...and I really wanted to see more depth from any of the characters, all of the characters, but then again, RGW might have just been showing all of us, this is the way it is---no rhyme or reason, just nasty high school girls.

Cherylann I agree with you, BJ. I think the only redemptive character was Trina's art partner. I expected Leticia to show some remorse in the final chapter, but nope, sadly like so many people, she never bothered to see her role in what happened.

 Susan bj wrote: "Definitely---all you have mentioned I agree with and I think that is why I only gave it 3 stars...I guess I wanted RGW to weave in a little redemption didn't come so the book was jus..."

Adding redemption would have served only one purpose and I think Williams aim was to reflect just how ugly and senseless this reality is.

I gave this book a 5 because I believe it accomplishes what the writer intended. It's nice when the writer gives me what I want, but I'm far more engaged and impressed when a writer shakes me up. This book struck me so hard that I didn't read anything new for several days and in writing this I feel the same intense anguish and sadness I felt when I read the book.

What is so disturbing is that if you ask teens about their real experiences or the reaction even to this book, they are depressingly oblivious.

Cherylann Susan, this book is a "stick to your ribs" book. The further away from it I am, the more I think about it. I probably should go back and change my star rating because my digestion of the book has changed my overall rating of it. I agree with you that teens would be oblivious - I'm always saddened by the lack of criticality in my students.

bjneary Susan and Cherylann, I just felt that RGW didn't let me ther reader know her characters, I felt she just told the story with no depth of feeling, character, etc. and I am the kind that loves almost every book I read, they all get 4 or 5 stars--but this book just didn't do it for me--I read it last spring--maybe I should try again....

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