Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (March 17, 2020)
Praise for SPARROW
“Mary Cecilia Jackson leaves no perspective unexplored in this beautifully woven story of love, loss, self-acceptance, and strength. Sparrow and Lucas are heroes in every sense of the word, as they navigate a new, unfamiliar dance―the pain of knowing when to stay grounded and when to fly.” ―Jennifer Brown, bestselling author of Hate List
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.
Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….
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I received a copy of Sparrow for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Oh man. That’s really all I can say. Oh. Man. Oh man, the writing is well done. Oh man, the dual point of view is great. Oh man, what a heavy subject.
And, it is. Sparrow is a Young Adult contemporary that hits home for abuse victims as well as educates the readers who haven’t experienced violence in their dating or family life. With the dual point of view, you get both the victim and the outside friend trying to keep the victim safe. You learn what it feels like to be on one end and what you can do or what signs to recognize if you are the friend.
It is an easy read, pulling you into the story through the narrative, but not a book you can read in one sitting. At least, I couldn’t. It kind of reminded me of some of my personal experiences (though I never experienced physical), but that didn’t push away from the story. If anything, it made me value what Jackson was doing as well as gave me more value. Seeing abuse as an outsider kind of forces you to recognize that you aren’t the one at fault or in trouble. You are the one trying to survive.
And that’s a HUGE message to give to readers. Your value isn’t what others make it out to be. It’s what you put into your life.
Jackson weaves a beautiful story, giving the reader just enough to know what is happening, but switches the narrative to give you outside insight. Through that shift, you notice what the previous viewpoint didn’t. You see what signs to look out for if you suspect your loved ones are in a bad relationship. This is definitely a book to read, but a heavy subject for just one sitting.
Seriously, you need to read this book.
Photo Content Mary Cecilia Jackson
Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii, where they have a farm and five ridiculously adorable goats.
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