Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

Second YA novel review

March 20, 2009


Wish You Were Here.

Barbara Shoup.

Woodbury, Minnesota: flux, 2008.

331 pp., paperback, CDN $11.50.


“I miss him, you know?  I can’t exactly stop missing him just because I decide to.  But what I’ve been thinking is maybe I’m missing somebody that never was” (Shoup 208-9).

Jackson Watt, at the beginning of the novel, is preparing for his senior year of high school, and moving into an apartment with his best friend, Brady.  But plans change when Brady runs away and abandons Jax.  Follow Jax as he goes through his senior year and deals with changing family dynamics, a first love, life lessons, and above all the abandonment of his best friend.

This book is modern day somewhere in typical America.  Although, I feel that maybe it isn’t taking place today, but maybe about five years ago with the popularity of tape decks in the story.

I would recommend this book to any teenager, or really grown ups even, especially teens and parents dealing with divorces and/or blended families.  The main character is male, but everything he feels I remember feeling at one time or another, and while I was certainly a teen, I was never a teen boy.  I still found myself feeling bad during the times he is coming to terms with his parent’s divorce, and that’s one experience I haven’t had.

I think most readers have dealt with loss, love, and abandonment just like Jax.  Maybe in different forms, but it’s still been there and so most teens can related.  It’s also apparently an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.  Even with that message I still think teens and adults will enjoy the novel.  I know some felt this novel was for ages 12 and up, but I feel that with the sexual encounters, no matter how safe, makes the novel more for 15 and older.

5Q, 4P  (Extremely well written, holds broad appeal)