Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
Published: April 5th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published March 31st 2009)
Format: Hardcover / Source: Borrowed
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Charlie Bucktin, a bookish thirteen year old, is startled one summer night by an urgent knock on his bedroom window. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in their small mining town, and he has come to ask for Charlie’s help. Terribly afraid but desperate to impress, Charlie follows him into the night.
Jasper takes him to his secret glade, where Charlie witnesses 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. He locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love, and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend. 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.
Jasper Jones is a coming of age novel about a young boy, Charlie, who gets pulled into another boy’s secret and has to learn how to carry the heavy weight of knowing something he can’t tell anyone else. Throughout the book, it deals with not only what’s just been stated, but many other things that plenty of us go through as we grow up which makes this book so easy to relate to.
The plot for this book didn’t do much for me, if I’m honest. I don’t know if it’s because I read it in so many different sittings so it was all broken up, but I usually don’t have a problem with that. Ever since reading The Raven Boys and The Secret History, I have such high standards for books like this and I really wish I wouldn’t because it ruins so much for me. I was expecting this to be much like a TSH-esque kind of novel, so I was let down in the end and it didn’t affect me as much as I’d thought it would. Speaking of the end, I think that’s what knocked off a star for me. It felt like too much information was given in the end and therefore, it impacted me less. I don’t know if it was meant to be as such, but there seemed to be like three plot twists one after the other so it kind of felt rushed, in my opinion.
Charlie: There are so many ways that I can relate to him, from his interests to what he goes through in the novel. I feel that, even if someone doesn’t relate to his character, they can probably relate to his situations at the least.
Jasper: Jasper Jones is the kind of character I’m typically all over, so you can imagine how much more of him I wish we got to see. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of his appearances throughout the novel, but you’re definitely left wondering who this person really is and where he is now, if he’s okay. Somehow, although you really don’t know much about him, Silvey did well on making the reader feel for him.
Jeffrey: Can we just take a minute to shower this boy with love?? He is such a great person. I love how positive and enthusiastic he is no matter what happens. AND PUNS — ’nuff said. I just really adore him ok. Also, does anybody else adore his dad as much as I do, as well? He’s just a cuddly bunny that I want to keep in my pocket!!
Eliza: I’m still a little confused on the actual ending, to be honest? I feel like I missed something or I’m not really getting the message, I don’t know. From the start, I’ll be honest, this girl was quite creepy. In some ways I liked her, but I feel like she was two different people at times? I guess I just don’t have a set opinion on her yet.
Murder mysteries are one of my favorites, especially when there are young adults and/or friends involved. Normally I can fly through them, despite the heavy feeling they usually leave you with, but this one took me over a week to get through; half because of NaNo and half because it is such a slow paced book, I felt. Despite the ending and slow pace, I really did enjoy this.