Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sparrow” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.79  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  240 reviews
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.

There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t
320 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Tor Teen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sparrow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sparrow

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  458 ratings  ·  240 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sparrow
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
Completely different than what I expected!

I thought this would be a romance with a lot of angst and a girl with a bad ex-boyfriend she is trying to get over but it was much deeper than that. It was about tragedy and how one tragedy can affect a person’s life if it isn’t dealt with. How one incident or a relationship with issues can lead to other relationships with very similar issues. It also is about how one bad relationship can affect so many people, not just the two people involved.

Savannah D
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I think there's a rule somewhere that says that if an author writes a book about ballet, you are legally required to read it. How else to explain my apparent compulsion in picking up books about ballet, even though I've never really had an interest in it before in my life? Something about the discipline required, the athleticism, and the intense emotions just appeals to me on a very base level.

SPARROW is a book about a high school baller
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
This book felt very disjointed to me. I felt like I was missing part of the story... it didn't flow at all. There was no real background to the characters (I didn't even realize that Sophie was her dad's sister until about 100 pages in), the small mentions of her mother were confusing without the context of what actually happened, and Tristan and Sparrow's relationship was hardly described at all. One minute they're on the first date, and then fast-forward and she's afraid of him. Skipping all s ...more
The synopsis alone brings me to the brink of tears. This one's gonna hurt.

Thank you, Tor/Forge, for my ARC. I am looking forward to getting to this one!
Giveaway win!

2.5 stars

Sparrow is a quick read but it didn't make me feel anything.

Sparrow is about a very talented ballet dancer Savannah "Sparrow" Rose who is very good at keeping secrets. She just wants to be normal and safe but in the aftermath of a violent assault by her "perfect" boyfriend she must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past.

I thought I would be upset while reading this but I wasn't. I didn't feel any emotions one way or the other. It was an okay read but it wasn
The Nerd Daily
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Louise Nice

Sparrow’s life is all about school, friends, and ballet. This is until she gets hit by Tristan King’s car and falls for him. Soon she finds herself in a controlling relationship.

Sparrow is a confronting, but very important tale of a young up-and-coming ballerina being abused and assaulted by her boyfriend. The tale is told in two perspectives, Sparrow herself and Lucas, her best friend who tries to stop her from getting hurt. This boo
Stay Fetters
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The truth of it all is that you can’t be brave until you’re frightened out of your wits and still do the thing that needs doing. You have to be scared to be brave."

Abuse is something that happens to more people than we would like to think. One in four women over eighteen years of age has experienced abuse by an intimate partner. Mental and physical abuse takes over your life and it veers you on the wrong track. When enough is enough, would you be brave enough to speak up?

Sparrow's entire world
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Tor teen, via Netgalley for an honest review.

“Affliction is enamored of thy parts, and thou art wedded to calamity”

-William Shakespeare, Romero and Juliet


“‘What is the haunted name, the secret name of your deepest self?’

And I answer, ‘Sorrow.’”

Sparrow lives and breathes ballet. Working with her ballet company and training for their rendition of Swan Lake for the Winter Gala has been a dream come true, and she couldn’t ask fo
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
*received an arc from netgalley*

This was a really poignant book but we just got off on the wrong foot & I just couldn’t get that mental block out of my mind.

At first it’s pretty cringy, typical YA stuff but then it completely changes! I liked having Lucas’ perspective but it did confuse me the first time when the story suddenly rewinded & I wasn’t sure what was going on with that but it actually worked really well for the rest of the book.

I also really liked the time frame on this because we see
Sarah  Loves Books and tea
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a beautiful but heart-breaking novel. Sparrow is a talented ballerina with a difficult past who becomes the victim of a violent assault at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. The story follows Sparrow both before and after the attack as she struggles to rebuild her life as well as following the perspective of her best friend and dance partner Lucas who secretly adores her.

Despite the difficult subject matter I found the book addictive and very readable due to the writing style and I fe
Caffeinated Fae
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
**Macmillan has removed the eBook embargo as of today 3/17/2020!**

TW: Domestic Violence, Abuse

Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson will stick with you. It's poignant, well written, and engaging. This book was nothing that I expected but something that may hit home. This book deals with some extremely serious events, so be warned and ready to have that discussion with your child if/when they pick this book up.

When I first started the book, I fell in love with the characters. Both Sparrow & Lucas'
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kitty Marie
This YA contemporary is very heavy and dark. I think the description/blurb does well enough to inform the reader of such, but it was still beyond what I'd imagined. The story has a few unexpected turns and covers two distinct perspectives.

The first perspective is that of the titular character, Savannah Rose aka Sparrow. She studies ballet at an academy and seems like a pretty average 17 year-old girl until more is revealed. She is haunted by memories and vivid nightmares about her mother who pa
Caitlin Theroux
Thank you to Edelweiss for allowing me to read a digital ARC. This review contains my opinion only and does not reflect the views of the publisher or the author.

All of my reviews contain spoilers.

I wanted to love this a lot more than I did, and I also wanted to be more angry with it than I was as well.

Sparrow follows two narrators--the titular character and her best friend Lucas--after a devastating assault on Sparrow by her abusive boyfriend, Tristan King. Both she and Lucas are students at the
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. It was riveting and I had an obsessive need to get to the end. I absolutely loved the dancing throughout and I thought so much of the raw emotion were great.

My issues lay in the writing. First and foremost, I think this book relied heavily on shock value. We follow a girl falling in love with a boy who turns out to be abusive and we see this very quickly, as in within 20 pages we start to see big red flags. I wish this book and the author had taken a little more t
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

The first line of the blurb for SPARROW compares Mary Cecelia Jackson’s debut to Laurie Halse Anderson’s groundbreaking SPEAK. When publishers set expectations so high, they ought to be prepared for a lot of disappointment if the story fails to meet the high standards.

Sparrow’s instalove relationship with Tristan goes from love to abuse nearly as instantly. There wasn’t enough time for me to see the positive side of Tristan even from the beginning when he strong-armed Sparrow into a first
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was heartbreaking and even horrifying at times. I think it's good for young people to see depictions of these types of abusive relationships. To see all the subtle ways the abuser takes control of the other person's life. They way they get in their head and take advantage of their emotions. I expected to read about all that, but what was even more devastating for me was uncovering part of the reason she bought into the lies and manipulation.

I appreciated Lucas' point of vi
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Domestic violence and children. Violence and boyfriends. A harrowing read! The story of Sparrow, a young woman, a gifted ballerina, and a victim of violence is a story of anguish, of darkness, and ultimately of hope and taking charge, after a long, long road to the start. More a goat track than a road really.
I must admit to not really liking the subject matter. I cannot deny though that I found Jackson's treatment of the topic empathetic, tight, tense and really well written.
Told in th
Thank you to Tor Teen for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This was one of the best young adult books that I have ever read. Before I go any farther, I want to mention a few trigger warnings: domestic violence, child abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, grieving, and loss of a parent. Needless to say, this was not an easy read, by any means. I have to give Jackson credit where it's due, however: I cannot remember the last time I read a book where I had such a strong,
Erin (erinevelynreads)
Sparrow is a dark, yet hopeful tale of a ballerina. Haunted by the death of her mother, and struggling to balance the demands of ballet with the needs of her controlling boyfriend Tristan, Savannah Rose – Sparrow – is struggling to keep up. Her dance partner and best friend Lucas is concerned for Sparrow and deeply distrustful of Tristan. When Sparrow is brutally assaulted by Tristan and refuses to speak for months that follow, she is forced to face her demons.

Haunting and beautiful, Sparrow is
Bonnie Grover
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Nobody deserves to be hurt, Sparrow. Not little girls and not grown women. Not boys or men.” Friendship, love, loss and courage are the central themes of this beautifully written novel about a ballerina and her inner strength to move forward. I knew this book was about domestic violence, but it was layered with much more. Sparrow has to find courage to confront her past in order to face her future. Mary Cecilia Jackson tells a painful story from multiple perspectives. Each chapter begins with a ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
DNF @ 21%
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I have to say that I'm really sad and disappointed that this book didn't work out for me. I thought it would be moving and emotional, but the writing and dialogue made everything feel stilted and lacking. While this is a harrowing story of abuse - it lacks the impact you would expect from such a story.

Savannah "Sparrow" Rose falls head over heels (literally) for Mr. Popular Jock, Tristan and is quickly enamored by
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break."
--William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
Sparrow's story broke my heart, but did not leave me without hope. I was enthralled by this book. The cover image speaks volumes. The first part of the book is filled with the banter Sparrow shares with her dance friends -- especially Lucas and Delaney. We are given an intimate look behind the scenes of their preparation for dancing Swan Lake. We also see Sparrow's
Randi (randi_reads)
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was so much better than I thought it was going to be. I enjoyed all the characters in this book--Sparrow, Delaney, Lucas, and all the friends. They felt very real to me...their friendship, their banter, their emotions. I enjoyed both aspects of the book--getting Sparrow's POV and then Lucas' POV, too.

Sparrow is a teenage ballerina who literally runs into Tristan one day. He takes an interest in her and they start dating. She doesn't listen to one of her best friend's (Lucas) concerns about
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-arcs
4.5 stars

Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson reads like a cross between Broken Beautiful Hearts and Black Swan, which is wonderful because I loved both of them. It's a well written, heartbreaking and important story. There are triggers for dating violence, assault, and abuse, but it's a much-needed book for teenage girls and young women.

I loved the writing style, and even though it was difficult to read at times because of the subject matter, I still could not put the book down. I loved how the sym
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
i find that oftentimes, the most tragic books are also the most beautiful. while this rings almost true with sparrow, i feel like i am missing something. the book is disjointed; details feel left out at times. further, i feel the story almost didn’t come full circle. i feel unsatisfied with the end. overall, time well spent.
Brianna - Coffee Books and Bullet Journals
1.5 stars
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the first quarter and it was so disappointing. The back and forth of the timeline was so jarring and confusing. It seemed redundant. It just didn't' work. There was also such a quick jump from the hot new guy wanting to ask her out to her being so scared of him and fearing him. Unfortunately, this just wasn't the book for me.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. Such a tense read and have a huge heavy topic on abuse. I very drawn into the book and the characters. Sparrow was very hard to put down.
Kate Larkindale
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
There was a lot I liked about this book, but probably an equal amount I didn't like.

It's about a girl called Sparrow, a talented dancer in a small town who is haunted by her past to a degree that threatens her future. She gets into a relationship with a handsome player who treats her like crap and starts trying to alienate her from her friends.

In a second POV we get Lucas's story. Lucas is Sparrow's dance partner and all-around nice guy. He's also in love with her, so his jealousy and suspicion
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mary Cecilia Jackson's “Sparrow” explores a sensitive topic with a unique perceptive through various viewpoints. The novel is slow in pace. I found the plot to be slightly difficult to understand, due to the fact that parts seemed to be missing. The author may have done this on purpose, because it can reflect a trauma victim’s mental state... I also found the dialogue to be too robotic and not natural. Someone trying to be a teenager, but failing at it. Nonetheless, I would recommend this novel ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookish First Rea...: Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson 4 14 Nov 19, 2019 06:00PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Unbreakable Looks Like
  • Internment
  • Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
  • Emergency Skin
  • Summer Frost
  • The Last Conversation
  • Randomize
  • You Have Arrived at Your Destination
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf (Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf, #1)
  • The Warehouse
  • The Good Girls
  • Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time)
  • In the Tall Grass
  • Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum, #15)
  • A Breath Too Late
  • A Library of Lemons
See similar books…
Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia's PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers' League of Texas manuscript contest. S ...more

News & Interviews

When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
23 likes · 0 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »