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by Jane C. Brady
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Despite the years of bullying in school, Jewel Hart has remained sweet and kind. She has it all—a great life, a great family, and beauty—but she has never been able to obtain the one thing she wants—to belong.
When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, a good-looking, charming new student at York Mills High, things start to look up. On the surface, he is perfect, but Jewel can’t shake the feeling that everything is not as it seems.
When the devastation of the rising suicides in her school hits too close to home and drives Jewel into a deep despair, she clings to Kaiden’s strength to find her way back. Through the pain and fear surrounding her, she finds hope and the will to go on. But just as she picks herself up, tragedy strikes again, threatening to steal her last glimmer of hope. How will she go on? Can she ever find her place in the world?
I have mixed feelings about this book.
I love the subject manner. I think it’s something that needs to be discussed until our ears bleed. I love how Brady showed two sides of every story. It didn’t excuse the bullies for their behavior in any way, but it did show the whys.
Jewel and Kaiden were amazing characters who you couldn’t help falling in love with. Jewel had amazing parents, something the bullies were lacking, which gave her the love and acceptances to a mature into a young woman who knew who she was and wasn’t afraid to show it. Kaiden, meanwhile, once had amazing parents, but after the death of his father, his mother kept to herself. However, because of how he had been raised, he pushed himself past the despair and overcame his losses. Amazing, strong characters.
There is a loss in the book that came as a surprise, showing that people who seem okay, aren’t. It made some characters angry, some characters fell apart, and some characters grew from it.
When the subject manner of bullying was brought to someone’s attention, I felt like I was sitting in on a lecture. It felt too practiced and not in the moment. To me, it took away from the book, and I thought those few scenes could have been written more like dialogue and less like a pamphlet on teenage suicide and bullying.
There were also some consistency problems that threw the book off. For one, Jewel once being friends with her bully, though that isn’t mentioned until later in the book. Before that, you never knew they were once friends.
Overall, I recommend the book to young readers, especially ones who are known bullies.
Jane lives life to the full because she doesn’t want to wake up twenty years from now regretting all the things she didn’t do. She’s an avid traveler who also loves throwing elaborate dinner parties where she wows her guests with gourmet meals. Jane has a passion for writing, interior design, history, movies, board games, and fitness. In her quest for an exciting life, however, she now draws the line at zip-lining, which she experienced in Costa Rica. Never again!
Jane comes from a family of six sisters and lived in a Tennessee plantation house for several years while growing up. She now lives in Western Canada but dreams of owning a vacation home in South Carolina. She lives with her husband (her high school sweetheart), two teenagers, and two dogs. When she grows up, she’d like to be her brilliant sixteen-year-old daughter (minus the mood swings).
We are a group of authors,