Monday, June 28, 2010

The Nature of Jade

The Nature of Jade
by Deb Caletti
304 pages

“That day, I learned that an elephant feels tough and soft at the same time. Wrinkled, warm. And I learned that you can be brave, if you must.”

Summary: Jade DeLuna suffers from panic attacks because she’s afraid of dying. One of the things that helps calm her is watching the elephants in the zoo near her house. She even keeps an elephant webcam on in her bedroom so she can watch them from home. It’s through the webcam that she first sees the boy in the red jacket, a boy who also seems to love the elephants, a boy who is carrying a baby. She learns his name is Sebastian and he is raising his baby alone. While completely complicated and terrifying, Jade finds herself falling for Sebastian. By being in his world with his adorable baby and his crazy activist grandmother, Jade learns valuable lessons about strength and courage and the importance of living life and being free.

Review: The Nature of Jade is rich and compelling. While some may be turned off by the slower paced plot, the value of Caletti’s books is found in the richness of the characters and writing. I’m not sure how to describe it, but to me, reading Caletti’s books feels like those late summer afternoons sitting on a dock – a mixture of the refreshing air combined with the rich warm sun of a late afternoon. The story is beautifully written, and is unflinching in its examination of the complication of life and relationships. The side story of the elephants and the fasincating excerpts about animal behaviour provide a unique and entrancing element to the narrative. I am so in love with this story, and the character of Jade in her brokenness and the frankness at which she looks at life. Captivating. Definitely recommended.

“I am not my illness. “Girl with Anxiety.” “Trauma of the Week” – no. I hate stuff like that. Everyone, everyone has their issue. But the one thing my illness did make me realize is how necessary it is to ignore the dangers of living in order to live. And how much trouble you can get into if you can’t.”

You might enjoy The Nature of Jade if you like books with: real life issues, slower moving plots with more of a focus on character development, introspective characters, rich and sophisticated writing

If you liked The Nature of Jade, you might also enjoy: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott, This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Additional Info: Watch the Elephants via the San Diego Zoo webcam here.
If you read a lot of Deb Caletti’s books you might find this part of her website interesting – shows how all the places and people are connected throughout her book

Author website:
Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P4/4 O4/4 P3/4 CR2/4
Grade: S


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