Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review of the Day #1: Jars of Glass

I have a whole bunch of reviews to finish up for March (and even some from February, yikes), so today I'm going to attempt to get a lot of those completed. Be warned for those that follow this blog...lots of me in your inbox today! :)

My first review of the day is a young adult book that I just adored. Written by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler, Jars of Glass is one of those emotional novels that just "gets" to you. Digging its claws in and not wanting to let go for anything. The characters are beautiful, the plot charming, and the love just seeps out. Go get this one!

Chloe and Shana are teenage sisters, though at first glance they couldn't be more different from each other. Shana, the older sister, spends all of her free time dressing up in Goth clothing and make-up and spending time with her other equally Goth friends, walking around town and doing a whole lot of nothing.

Chloe spends her time taking care of her younger, adopted brother, Micah, making sure he eats things other than sugar from a box and trying to get him to learn more English. All the while, the kids' father is falling apart at the seams and almost taking his family with him.

What the girls do have in common is the fact that their mother is insane. Suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, she moved to a mental rehab center soon after Micah arrived at their home. Neither Chloe nor Shana really know how to deal with their mom being gone, or being crazy for that matter, and they really don't know how to take care of their dad and Micah while just trying to get through life as teens...making the girls much more similar than they initially realized.

I have a favorite passage from the book, which I would like to share, but please take into consideration that this is from an Advanced Reader Copy and may have been changed with the final publication.

"I sometimes wish I could become a single cell again, just divide and undivide all these versions of myself until I'm left with something so simple. But it's a stupid wish, I know. Be a single cell, then divide once and your problems are doubled. That's how it is." Shana pg 40.

The characters in Jars of Glass are incredibly rich and warm. Each is so different from the last, but all are memorable, from each of the girls, to adorable Micah, Vernon who works with the girls father, to Raven the barista at Starbucks. I loved them all and I'll remember them all, the making of a truly wonderful book.

A lot of the subjects dealt with in this novel are not easy ones, but they are written about in such a calm, caring manner that teens will be able to really connect with the story, rather than feel like it's about an "issue." I really enjoyed this one. It was published after the 14th of October last year, so it could still be a Cybils contender this upcoming year!!

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Jars of Glass
Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
256 pages
Young Adult
October 2009

1 comment:

Debi said...

Thank you, Amanda! I'd not heard of this book before, and frankly, it sounds absolutely wonderful!