Friday, 29 June 2012

"The Nature of Jade" by Deb Caletti

Description from Goodreads:
"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."
Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can't quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she's trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That's why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that's where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby.

His name is Sebastian, and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian's cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she's in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past.

Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn't felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. Her boy who is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right.

After seeing this book in America a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to read it, but I had to wait to get my Kindle in order to do so. Jade was a character I knew I could connect with, not just because she had anxiety, but because she felt like a real teenage girl. In so many books, real girls don't exist. Their lives revolve around parties and boys and gossip, and they don't think about wider issues. Jade was one of those people who thinks about more than her life. She thought about others.

Jade and Sebastian were a great couple together, and Bo was the cutest! I knew I wanted their story to have a happy ending, and so I was a bit surprised by it being rather abrupt. Also, the "terrible secret" that Sebastian was hiding didn't come across as being that terrible, to be honest. In a way, I kind of expected it, even though it sort of came out of nowhere.
The other characters were great and well developed, like Damian, Oliver, Jade's father, and her friends at school. But, I really could not stand Jade's mother! She didn't think about her daughter at all, really, and she seemed quite self-centred and annoying. I think this added to the story though, and made it more realistic.
Overall, a really great story about a girl growing up and figuring out life for herself.

Rating: A