Number of Pages: 397
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu. And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.
This book first caught my attention because the story is set in Australia in 1965. Not many stores have this setting, so it really sparked my interest. I have never read anything by Craig Silvey before, so I was also looking forward to experiencing a new author’s (well, new to me) writing style. Lately I have been reading a lot of books by the same authors, and I felt that it was time to branch out a bit.
Jasper Jones was a really great book. It started out right in the middle of action, and from there on the plot set out at a pretty fast pace. There was a lot of emotion in the story, given the topic of death, however it never seemed to drag the pace down or take away from the plot. I absolutely loved the setting- I found myself wanting to visit the small town of Corrigan, to watch the big game and visit the bookstore on my way home. I love reading books set in older decades because they have so much character and often simplicity that contemporary YA novels lack. This was definitely true with this novel, especially since it was set in Australia as well. There was so much personality in the writing and it really made the story come to life.
The plot had a lot of twists and turns, and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen at the end. There were many fine details and different layers that added a lot of depth to the story. The ending was good, although I do wish that there had been a bit more explanation of things.
Overall, Jasper Jones was a great novel with a story that keeps you on your toes and makes you think. However, I did feel like it was missing something, that extra something that makes me really love a story. Still, it was a very enjoyable read!
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes.