Hey everyone! Today, I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Jump When Ready by David Pandolfe! I've been super excited about this book for a while and I'm so glad I got to be a part of the tour! Thanks Book Nerd Tours for organizing this awesome tour.
Since he drowned, Henry has remained with the same group of teenagers and he keeps wondering why. After all, what could he possibly have in common with a Mohawk-sporting punker from the 80s, a roller skater from the 70s with a thing for kimonos, and an English "rocker" from the 60s? Add to that, Henry can hear the other groups but he never sees them. Soon, Henry learns that his new friends all possess unique skills for making themselves noticed by the living. Is Henry’s group kept isolated because of their abilities? If so, are they considered gifted or seen only as a potential bad influence? Before Henry can reach any conclusions, he witnesses his sister being kidnapped. He knows who did it, where she’s being held and what will happen if the kidnappers don’t get what they want. As the police chase false leads, Henry comes to realize that he’s his sister’s only hope. But for Henry to even have a chance, he has to convince a group of teenagers that dead doesn’t mean helpless.
As soon as I started this book, I knew it was going to be good. I absolutely loved the style and voice of the writing. It charmed me right away and I was pulled in to this really cool world. Jump When Ready is a book that you would think would be kind of sad and depressing, as it's about a boy who dies and tries to help his family from the "in between" but the author does an excellent job of incorporating humour into it and keeps the story with a lightness to it. Here's a quote from the beginning that I liked:
"I’d drowned, met a bunch of kids in a tree, slept in a hammockthat had turned into a house which had disappeared again, then goneto my own funeral. Now I basically had an apartment in a house thesize of Texas with an arcade, food court and inside pool."
I thought the writing was really well done and I was never bored with the story. The characters were all very distinct, which is one thing that always sticks out to me in a book, and they were very well developed as well. Another plus to this book was the pacing. It was fast-paced and exciting, because even though it was an 'after-life story,' it was still suspenseful and the story was always moving. My heart ached for Henry as he watched his sister's kidnapping take place and the fact that he couldn't do anything about it... I was constantly guessing how it would turn out and I couldn't stop reading until I found out.
Overall, Jump When Ready was an impressive debut that I would recommend to anyone, really. I loved this book and am looking forward to seeing what the author will come up with next!
David Pandolfe has been a bartender in Seattle, the front man for an alternative rock band in Los Angeles and a college writing teacher in Richmond (among other things). One day, it occurred to him that sometimes these experiences felt like completely different lives altogether. Which got him to writing Jump When Ready, a novel about of bunch of teenagers trying to get over their past lives while getting ready to jump into their next.While he’s still writing about himself in third person, David Pandolfe should probably mention that at one point he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has had short stories published in Millennium and the Georgetown Review. Jump When Ready is his first YA novel but he’s currently working on another, to be released in the fall of 2013.
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