professornana (professornana) wrote,

the doctor will see you...eventually...

Held hostage by my doctor today. He wanted to see me before he would authorize refills for my prescriptions. Waited 45 minutes before being called back to the other waiting room. Gave blood and other samples, then waited another 30 minutes for my 10 minute "check up." Blood pressure was fine, though, because I had a great read with me.

JUMPING OFF SWINGS (Candlewick Press) is the story of some rather ordinary teens: Ellie, Corrine, Josh, and Caleb. In alternating voices we come to know a great deal about all four of them. As the story opens, Ellie and Josh have just finished having sex in the back of his father's van. Josh rushes off leaving Ellie feeling used and hurt. However, this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg in this quiet and spare novel about how the lives of all four teens are changed by this one encounter and its consequences. Family, friends, peers, teachers: all weigh in when Ellie becomes pregnant after her one night with Josh. Because of the multiple narrators and, thus, multiple perspectives, no one emerges as heroic or larger than life. No, these are everyday teens who struggle daily with fears and rushes of emotions and longings. The shifting narration keeps readers off balance in much the same way that Ellie, Caleb, Josh, and Corrine are forced to wobble precariously through nine short months. Conversations ring true; there are no quick fixes. Bravo to Jo Knowles for allowing readers to explore, along with her characters, the decisions and choices teens face and the obstacles placed in their way.
Tags: pregnancy, ya novels

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