Jennifer's Reviews > Jasper Jones

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
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's review
May 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: youngadult, mystery, historicalfiction, realistic, 2011reads, printzhonor
Read from June 30 to July 16, 2011

I admire the way this novel was crafted and how it has stuck with me since I finished reading it, but I can't really say I enjoyed it exactly - it's not an enjoyable sort of story. Thought provoking for sure and it covers some pretty big issues - racism (of a couple different types), classism, dysfunctional family relationships, coming of age, despair, identity - while being wrapped up in the trappings of a murder mystery. I think if I were a little more familiar with Australian history I might have gotten even more out of it - for example, I'm guessing that the true crime stuff that Charlie researches in the newspapers was taken from real life, but I'm not completely sure. Also, the cricket talk was completely out of my league; I'm not all that great at following American sports talk, Australian sports talk is pretty much beyond me. What impressed me was that Silvey set it up so I could still follow the emotional and plot implications of the cricket match even though I didn't understand exactly what was happening play-by-play. While I felt the book as a whole had a sort of melancholy feel to it, there were moments of laugh out loud humor, too - particularly in Charlie's rather profane conversations with his best friend Jeffrey. Jasper Jones is not for every reader, but I think it would make a great discussion title for older teen and adult reading groups.

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