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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  157 reviews
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Andersons 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 cant
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  218 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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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 persons life if it isnt 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.

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
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
The Nerd Daily
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Louise Nice

Sparrows life is all about school, friends, and ballet. This is until she gets hit by Tristan Kings 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 book
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 couldnt ask for a better
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 couldnt get that mental block out of my mind.

At first its 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 wasnt 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
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
Caffeinated Fae
**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 &
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.
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
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 his
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

The first line of the blurb for SPARROW compares Mary Cecelia Jacksons debut to Laurie Halse Andersons 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.

Sparrows instalove relationship with Tristan goes from love to abuse nearly as instantly. There wasnt enough time for me to see the positive side of Tristan even from the beginning when he strong-armed Sparrow into a first date
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
Megan Clemons
To be honest I am not a young adult genre fan so I could of been a harder critic on this. Ballet has always been a dark subject because of body image that is associated with it. In sparrow the lead has an unforgettable and unfortunate event happen to her and she has to learn how to heal and try to figure out how to move on. She has a lot of pressure on her and keeping secrets is eating her up alive. Her talent is beautiful and she has to be able to put the secrets behind her or deal with them ...more
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
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  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 victims 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 for ...more
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
I dnfed this book 60 pages in. Even though I did not finish it, it is handy for me to know why I did not finish it so here I go.

I'm sad to say that I am giving up on this book. I think this book will be loved by others, and can already see rave reviews, but it just didn't work for me and I am trying to recognize that early on in a book.

The dialogue style just didn't hit with me. The book feels dialogue-heavy but the dialogue just did not feel relatable. The book jumps around, starting in March,
Paige Green
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received an arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Sparrow

Author: Mary Cecilia Jackson

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: March 17, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 16+ (bullying, homophobic comments, psychological/mental illness, abuse)

Publisher: TorTeen

Pages: 320

Amazon Link

Synopsis: 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
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
Arianna  Mclaughlin (arianna.reads)
I love books about ballet and will always read them. But ballet isn't the main focus of Sparrow, instead tackling the important subject of abusive teen relationships. This is something that needs more exposure and socialization and I am glad there are books like Sparrow that are getting this message out.

From a readers' perspective, I found the book a bit disjointed. The first half and second half did not flow well together for me and timelines were confusing at points. I definitely enjoyed the
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 a
Thank you to Tor Books and BookishFirst for an advanced copy of this novel. I simply cannot express how much I loved this book. I got up early so I could read it without interruption. Thank you Mary Cecilia Jackson for writing a relevant young adult novel without gratuitous sex and obscenities. Good writers don't have to rely on those elements to make a story important to teens. I fell in love with your characters and it was hard to let them go. I predict that my library users will eat this one ...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
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, just, wow. This book, about a young high school girl, a ballerina, who falls in love with the wrong guy, is just too poignant for words. The ballerina premise made me hesitant at first, but I promise it isn't overdone, and I loved the background. Sparrow has a close circle of friends who are all dancers or some sort of artists, and help her through the worst experiences you can imagine. Told from the perspective of Sparrow and then her closest dance partner, Lucas, it is incredibly ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-won
I was a bit conflicted with this book. I was really looking forward to reading this after I learned I'd won an ARC from Bookish First. I have to admit that it left me a bit disappointed. Early on, I found the book trite and the characters very flat. There was no build up of tension or drama - it was choppy and stilted and jumped around all over the place, leaving me to catch up constantly. The dialogue drove me insane - I kept thinking "what teenagers speak this way?!" So early on I was
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Bookish First Rea...: Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson 4 9 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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