Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review: Jumped by Rita Williams Garcia

Title: Jumped
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
Publisher Book: Amistad
Publisher Audio: Recorded Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780060760915
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9781449809201
Source: Checked out from public library.


Jumped Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Trina knows she’s special, she really has it going on, from her looks to her art she is top notch. Dominique just wants to play ball, basketball that is, but she has been benched because of her grades. Leticia, just wants the scoop and the juiciest gossip, and boy has she found it this time. You see Dominique is going to teach Trina a lesson. Dominique is going to make sure that Trina knows she is there and make sure that Trina will respect her space. At 2:45 Trina is going to be jumped.

In 2009 this book was nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. After that nomination I read the book for the first time, and truly didn’t appreciate it. Not only is this type of realistic fiction, not my favorite genre, I just felt a total dislike for all of the characters. After my second time through this book though, I now realize that is what I was supposed to feel.

William-Garcia’s characters are superbly developed. In fact this entire book could be a study in character development. She does an excellent job showing us and not telling. We know these characters by their own thoughts, actions, and flashbacks. I honestly can’t say that you will like any of these girls, but you will know them. The only character I really questioned was Trina, I have never met a teen with the kind of self confidence and self esteem Trina exhibits. She had no doubts, or insecurities, her world was one big happy place where she is the enviable center of attention. Letisha, too, is self centered, more worried about her manicure and the latest gossip than the fact that her classmate is going to be attacked. Dominique has anger issues, and is clearly a threat, but she believes that all her actions are justified.

The audio version of this book is outstanding. It is produced by Recorded Books and narrated by four different narrators, each taking on the voice of our three main characters. (Yes I did say four narrators.) The fourth narrator is Mark Turetsky who narrates a single chapter at the end of the book from the point of view of Ivan, an artist who knows Trina. The three girls are narrated by Shari Peele, Cherise Boothe, and Blanca Vasquez. These narrators give the characters flavor and texture, making them sound like genuine teens and making the narration all that much more believable. It is an outstanding audiobook and at only 3 discs, not much of a time commitment.

Carefully crafted and well developed this novel is fantastic. Sometimes a book needs a second reading and this one definitely did for me.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence and foul language are both present in this novel and may disturb the sensitive reader. Sex is mentioned, but not in any detail.

View all my reviews >>

8 comments:

  1. It was. It was one of those stories, where you don't really like any of the narrators, but that doesn't stop you from liking the book. I can honestly say the narrators angered me. But the audio was great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll echo Jen's comment about this sounding intense!

    I think this could make an interesting book club choice, I'll have to think about that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love audio's with a full cast, they are the best and this story sounds like a fantastic read.

    Ii also wanted to make sure you got my email. You won the autographed copy of My Name is Memory and I need to make sure I have your correct address. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laura,

    I would definitely make a wonderful book club choice! There is a lot to talk about in this book despite its small size. It really packs a punch--no pun intended. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Jan! I will get you that right away! Yippy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Mel,
    Thanks for this Blog. Glad you love books and feel free to express your personal opinions.

    My name is Blanca Vasquez. I am one of the narrators from the book, Jumped. I played the role of Trina. I had a really, really great time, I honestly didn't want it to end. I also shared my experience and some of the text with a class of high school students in the Lower East Side, where I'm from, and they loved it!

    Just wanted to know what angered you about the narrators, one of the comments on here, and what you meant. I'd love to hear feedback and I'm sure the recording company would love to get your thoughts as well.

    Thanks.
    Blanca Vasquez
    CartoonGirl

    ReplyDelete
  7. Blanca,

    I apologize, I realize I misspoke in the comments. I wasn't angered by the narrators of the audiobook. I should have made that clearer when I responded to the comment above. In fact, the audio rendition of Jumped is probably one of the best audios out there right now--and I listen to a lot. It was the self centered nature of the characters that angered me, and I realize that was the point of the novel, but still it was somewhat irritating that none of the three characters had any redeeming characteristics. Why didn't Latisha go forward with what she knew, why did Dominique fly off the handle, and how could Trina be so oblivious? So my problem wasn't with your audio narration--I am sorry it came across that way, my issue was with the characters themselves. I probably should have said characters rather than narrators. I am sorry I misspoke, and like I said in the review the audiobook was outstanding. Thank you for commenting and pointing that out to me. I really appreciate the feedback, and the point did need clarified. So sorry.

    ReplyDelete

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