Summary (as seen on Goodreads):
Sam has the rules of slackerhood down: Don’t be late to class. Don’t ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest—Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option—Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam’s raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.
- The characters are very realistic. They really do seem like teenage boys, without seeming like the author is trying overly hard to make them sound that way. It makes it so easy to forget that it's a fictional book because it feels so real.
- Luis and Sam. They're such great characters because they have their flaws, they have their problems, but they're still likable despite that.
- The minor characters. All the minor characters are quite well developed, and end up playing some kind of important role in the story.
- The support system that Sam gets out of Luis.
- Plot twist! The reasons for Luis' disappearance are completely unexpected, not to mention his scar.
- Inclusion of Mexican-American characters. I know I tend to get excited about diversity in books, but I can't help it. It makes my heart smile.
- Luis' poetry. There is something so raw and realistic about it that is hard to explain, but was so great to read.
- Inclusion of slam poetry. Never seen it in other novels I've read before, but while reading the poetry I could almost hear Luis' voice in my head.
- How Luis' POV was only expressed through his poetry. It really emphasizes that he is a poet.
- Sometimes the paragraphs were a bit too short and detracted from the story, made it a little too easy to skim too fast and miss some of the meaning and the good parts. But at the same time it added to the emotion of the story, so I'm on the fence about how I feel about this.
- Cancer seemed like an unrealistic explanation considering there were no hints that Luis had cancer, other than the scar, which could've come from anything. Fatigue or dizziness might have been a good sign to include in order for readers to buy this explanation.
This book went by way too fast, but I really did enjoy it a lot. I loved learning about new types of poetry and want to try them out myself. I love that I learned a lot from this, as well as have important things to think about such as first impressions and how we as humans have such a strong tendency to judge.
So, this book has the honor of being the first to receive 5 jellyfish on my blog!
I definitely recommend this novel! Even if you're not a big poetry person, I recommend giving it a shot. I really look forward to what this author releases next.