Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Nature of Jade

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Jade Deluna is sick, she’s been having panic and anxiety attacks since she was a young girl. She’s always felt on the fringe, missing out, different, but not really caring that 'typical' is at her fingertips. Why would she, when her mother takes her place as high school sweetheart?

She finds solace, and a place she belongs, working with the elephants at her local zoo; she finds a home in the arms of Sebastian, a boy running from a sad past, holding onto the one thing he loves, his son, Bo, in the present.

When life catches up to them, where will Jade find relief from her own fears and insecurities?

My review:

Another Deb Caletti and I loved it. I began reading it a year ago, but turned it back into the library because I was moving. Then, I got a copy, it remained on the shelf for a while and then I FINALLY read it, oh finally and it was lovely.

I loved Sebastian and Bo, I loved Sebastian and Jade, I wanted a bit more Jade and Bo, a bit more like she was becoming his mom. But it didn’t take away from the cool story and the wonderful conclusion.

Some people might not love the conclusion, but I did, as it laid to rest the tension between Jade and her mother, who was one of my favorite characters.

The elephants were so sweet, I want to say sweet about the whole book, because it was, it was sweet, though it deals with being a teenage parent, true love, anxiety attacks and other dramatic issues, the book wasn’t bogged down by problems, secrets and muddied, over dramatic dialogue. This was a huge relief, a break from trying to deeply feel for every contemporary novel I read. It was nice just to fall in love, and find a place to fit, letting the fearful things go softly. That was really, really nice. And sweet!

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart is still my favorite Caletti thus-far, but this is a close second.

Notes on the names: Jade DeLuna, as Sebastian says, “{Gosh}, that’s pretty!” Sebastian really fit him, as did Bo and I loved them all together. Tess and Damian also fit perfectly! The elephants names are some of the best- Chai, Jumo, Onyx, Hansa, Bamboo, Tombi and Flora, oh, I hope I get to name as many children as she got to name elephants so effortlessly! All the names fit together, but they each define a new creature, you can see their personality in their name, just like you could a human, this element was so important, because the humanity of the elephants presented itself symbolically in the novel.

Thoughts on the cover: I love the old cover, it’s the one I own, and I really don’t like the new one at all. It seems really juvenile, and I felt Sebastian and Jade were more soul mates, than just a kiss with a crush. If they are going to change the cover, I think they should include Bo, like a family portrait, or something with elephants, something to make it unique, like the first cover was. Also, Sebastian is first called “the boy in the red jacket” so I thought it was weird to put red on Jade instead. I didn’t like that. The green color scape works best anyway, IMO.

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