One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change in this poignant, sensitively written YA novel.
Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.
Jumping Off Swings was this sort of quiet and powerful story full of emotion and a life changing year. I thought a real strength of the book was the alternating perspective. I found it fascinating to see Ellie's pregnancy through her eyes but also the eyes of the father of her child, Josh and their close friends, Corinne and Caleb. Seeing the events play out from all 4 of their perspectives really made the story well rounded.
I feel like I've been reading and watching shows dealing with pregnancy a lot lately and teen pregnancy in specific. But Jumping Off Swings definitely stands out for me as the most interesting story. I really like the way in which the author uses her words. It could have been very easy to be really frustrated with some of these characters or just flat out thought a few of the secondary characters were giant idiots but no, the author makes them all rather sympathetic. I liked the way in which we got to know or hear about their parents or their siblings, their own separate life that comes into play when interacting with the other 3 main characters. Rich backgrounds for characters really help enhance a story for me, they make everything much more meaningful.
Jumping Off Swings was released August 11th
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided by publisher for blog tour