Monday, March 11, 2013





By Cecily Paterson

Summary: Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now.
When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she quickly finds herself involved in more than she can handle. Sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: help drama teacher Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a four week suspension.
It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play.
For a while it’s all good. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela quits the play and with only a week to go, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.
But then Shalini returns from her suspension. She’s out for payback, and she has just the ammunition she needs to force Jazmine to quit the play and go back to her old ways.
Will Jazmine be confident enough to stand up for herself against Shalini? Will Liam still like her if he finds out who she really is? And does she have the strength to face the truth about her father’s suicide?
Genre: Juvenile/YA, Realistic Fiction
Published: January 17, 2013
Similar: In Between by Jenny B. Jones
My Rating: 4 stars
I really liked this book. It was a nice story that helped me get out of my Ebook slump.

The story deals with bullying, making new friends, and parent death in a way that many will be able to connect with. While these are serious topics, it doesn't come across as a depressing, wow is this bleak, kind of book. I thought it was rather heartwarming how Jazmine comes out of her shell and stands up for herself.

Jazmine was an interesting main character. She claims she's "had no feelings" since her father died, but it's obvious that she is in a lot of pain. She is so lonely that she becomes friends with Shalini, the school bully who honestly treats Jazmine like crap and calls her 'deaf girl'.

Shalini was completely despicable. I wanted to try and knock some sense into her. There was not a drop of goodness in this character, which kind of disappointed me. I like antagonists who aren't completely evil, but who are human. Shalini was more of a devil. However, it's explained what caused her to become so malevolent, and that kind of satisfied me. Kind of.

And Mrs. Fraser was the most awesome teacher ever! Gosh, I adored her. I loved how she took Jazmine under her wing and helped her spread her wings.

I also loved the Secret Garden references. Jazmine seems like she is based off of Mary Lennox, and it's hinted in the book. I LOVED Secret Garden as a kid, so it was a nice element.

Now, the book did have a couple editing mistakes, but I've come to expect that with indie. My rule is that if it doesn't interefere with the story, I won't 'mark down' for it. Thankfully, the few mistakes in here did not.

So, all together, it was a great story that I really enjoyed. Oh, and it's free. Just a little added perk.

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