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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  67 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
Pages: 320
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Teen

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
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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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
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 ...more
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
The synopsis alone brings me to the brink of tears.
This is gonna be good.

Thank you, Tor/Forge, for my ARC. I am looking forward to getting to this one!
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*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
Sarah  Loves Books and tea
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
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
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Petralia
This was a tough book to read and please be warned for triggers especially those who may have suffered abuse...

Sparrow is a dancer and she's a beautiful dancer. She's recovering though from an abusive childhood that was all inflicted by her late mother. Ironically or not really, her boyfriend is that same as her mother, abusive and Sparrow thinks she deserves the treatment that she received not only from her mother but also her boyfriend. It's a heartbreaking story and most of the time my heart
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Judy Beetem
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so lucky to receive an ARC of Sparrow. For a couple of days I was transported into Sparrow's world of dance and friends, then horror and pain. The dialog is amazing, the descriptions - dead on. Sparrow is a gifted ballet dancer attending the Conservatory. She literally runs into Tristan - the gorgeous, most popular guy at the Conservatory. The meet-cute blossoms into a full on romance and all should be well, but Sparrow's friends don't approve. Tristan has always been a bully and was nasty ...more
Kate Larkindale
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
Victoria Zieger
This book was excellent. The writing alone was stunning and poetic and the style was unique. Sparrow and Lucas were such complex characters with heartbreaking and important stories they need to be heard. The story really evaluates strong themes that are hard to explore especially for teens from abuse to loss and dealing with anger and pain. We are able to see the long term effects of abuse both physical and mental and how they shape children into adults in many aspects. This story follows two ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautifully written. Judging by the characters and the scenes I can tell the author really put a ton of time and research into domestic violence, narcissistic abuse and ballet. The violent scenes between Tristan and Sparrow were so convincing and real that sometimes I felt like I needed to find a corner to hide in. She really nailed the selfishness and the surliness of an individual with Narcissistic personality disorder. The blame that Tristan placed on Sparrow for the most ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Savannah Rose, better known as Sparrow, is a brilliant dancer. Her lifts and jumps are the envy of everyone in the company. She will definitely be the Swan Queen in the next major showcase.

But Sparrow keeps her private life out of her dance. She tries very hard to keep them separate. Her friends are from ballet. Her social life revolves around ballet. And she has no one else.

Until Tristan.

He's everything a girl could dream of. He's kind. He's generous. He's gorgeous. And he says he loves her...

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. I’ll post a review upon publication.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a lot of feelings about this book, and the rating is subject to change.

First, this book is told in what I’ll call an interesting format, and I’d be curious to look at a finished copy to see if chapters are shifted around later. At this point, the first 100 pages of the book are told from Sparrow’s perspective but frequently reference things which the reader doesn’t know anything about. For example, a funeral takes place after an illness which was never described but the characters all
Edd Tello
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read some heartbreaking novels about domestic abuse this year. From all those stories, Sparrow was my favorite.

Savannah Rose –Sparrow to her friends and family– is a seventeen-year-old talented ballerina. Sparrow starts dating Tristan, the popular guy at school. But soon she realizes he's not perfect as she thought. After suffering a brutal assault by him, Sparrow has two options. She can either admit what happened to her family and best friend Lucas or keep silence. Choosing the latter,
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
There is a lot of sadness in this novel. If you are at all triggered by domestic violence and/or child abuse then this is probably not the story for you.

Sparrow is a ballet dancer. Ballet and the friends she has made there are her life... until she runs in front of Tristan’s car and collides with it.

Tristan is dashing, popular, gorgeous and abusive. Very quickly... Sparrow finds herself in a relationship that is all-encompassing. Tristan is possessive and controlling. Soon his jealousy turns to
Sue's Romance Reviews
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson is an emotional and heartbreaking read that highlights the strength of the human psyche and soul to let go and move forward just as beautifully and gracefully despite tragedy.

In this bittersweet novel, we take a journey with Sparrow, a young and talented ballerina. We experience heart-pounding highs and earth-crashing lows as she falls in love and, after a brutal betrayal, must figure out who she is and what she is made of. This violent and tragic
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read-2020, arcs
Two major points in the book's favor, particularly in contrast to other YA books: portrayal of ballet as an artistic outlet that does not involve eating disorders/self harm/attacking other dancers, and discussion of abuse cycles and the way trauma can extend over years and manifest in different ways. I also appreciated the small clues toward the beginning which became more fully explained later.

I will say, however, that much of the book didn't strike a particular chord with me. The first half in
Jennifer Wilson
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Savannah Rose, or Sparrow. Sparrow is a seventeen year old girl. She’s a ballerina, a small town in Virginia. Sparrow had a troubled childhood, due to her mother. Leaving her good at hiding, and keeping things secret, and to herself.
She’s excited when the seemingly perfect guy, Tristen King, asks her out. He’s a track star, has money, is handsome. But that leads to abuse, and as she’s learned growing up, keeping it secret. A girl that never tells. So, the abuse gets near
Ruth Ellen
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

So, my primary takeaway, alas was, Not As Good as Speak, which I decided to reread immediately upon finishing Sparrow.

Sparrow is a ballerina in her late teens who still bears in her psyche wounds that her late mother inflicted on her. That was the most resonant part of the book for me, and there are scenes that do a lovely job of conveying the strange grammars of trauma.

Sparrow is also in the present day a victim of intimate
Linda Naquin
Jan 10, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The synopsis had me thinking I would love this book, but the execution of this story was just all sorts of wrong. First off, the book is told in alternating POVs, but not in a good way. Sparrow's POV starts us off, and as she goes through her story, she'll skip tons of key moments, a week here, a month there, where you're like, What are you people talking about and when did all this happen??? I frequently went back in the book to see if I somehow accidentally skipped a few pages. I had not. You ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, bookish-first
I won an ARC from Bookish First

This story shows that even teenagers can be in an abusive relationship while in high school.
Not only do you read in Sparrows point of view, but her friend Lucas as well.

Sparrow she's a great person and means well. Little did she know that she had kept what happened with her mom, tucked deep inside.
When Tristan all of a sudden notices her, she is surprised. Tristan he pulls out all the stops. He says the right things. Sparrows group of friends though, can see
Faith Rice-Mills
By farmills

I honestly feel conflicted after reading the first look of Sparrow. Sparrow is an insanely talented ballerina and is late for her ballet class when the book begins. She is making a mad dash through the parking lot when she is (kind of?) hit by a car. The driver is Tristan King, a guy Sparrow and her friend Delaney have had a crush on for years. Tristan rushes out of the car to help Sparrow. He has a first aid kit in his car and puts Band-Aids on both of her knees. Then, he kisses
Anne Barker
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t believe this took me a week to read. Unacceptable. This comes out March 2020 so be sure to add this to your TBR.

This book was so powerful, emotional and raw.

“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 escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.”

What happens in this book is very real It happens to
Louise Emerson
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favourite read so far this year!

Sparrow is a gifted ballerina! She loves it and dedicates many hours to ballet. But when she gets a boyfriend she begins to feel perhaps she has taken on too much.
Her boyfriend is controlling, getting jealous over Lucas - Sparrow's dance partner. So when Sparrow is attacked immediately all fingers point to him. But did he do it?

When I first started reading this book, it felt like a bog standard story - like a typical, predictable romance. But the more I read
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Bookish First Rea...: Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson 4 6 Nov 19, 2019 06:00PM  

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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. ...more
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