Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
Rating: 4.5 / 5
IQ "Sometimes what you don't say means more than what you do." Back cover
Not a particularly quotable book but it packs a punch without needing deep quotes, the actions speak volumes and teach valuable lessons.
Leticia overhears Dominique threatening to beat up Trina and Trina doesn't seem to have heard the threat. Leticia doesn't want any part of it, she failed geometry first semester and has to take early morning math classes during the second semester so she doesn 't have any time to be worried about other people's problems. Also, Trina is self-absorbed and thinks she's "so cute" so Leticia thinks Trina was bound to get beat up soon anyway.
Jumped is told in alternating points of view between Leticia, Trina and Dominique. Throughout the whole book, Leticia struggles over whether she should or should not warn Trina. Her best friend Bea thinks she should warn Trina, but Leticia isn't so sure. Leticia was a frustrating character. Sure you want to see obnoxious people get what it's due to them, the whole karma thing. But does anyone deserve to get beat up by someone they don't even stand a chance against? In Trina's case, big and tall Dominique will pound petite, slim Trina to a crisp. Leticia acts selfish throughout the novel, but quite frankly none of these characters were endearing. Trina is cheerful but obnoxious. She does indeed think she's all that and she is but her behavior is irritating . She's also a great artist. Dominique is angry. Shes angry at the world, but especially angry at one of her teachers who failed her and now she can't play basketball because her GPA is below the required level set by her coach. Trina just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, an easy target for Dominique's anger.
This novel is amazing. Rita Williams-Garcia doesn't sugar coat anything, but the novel isn't graphic either. Nor is it preachy or judgemental. The girls and the lack of involved adults (both in school and out of school) are all realistic. Their actions have consequences. The novel is short and slowly develops, but it's suspenseful. The ending was a bit frustrating, simply because of the thought-process of the characters. Kudos to Ms. Williams Garcia for writing about a topic that gets ignored so often, girl on girl violence. I think this issue is on the rise and it offers a glimpse into the thoughts of mean girls from a lower class perspective whereas books like Gossip Girl, the Clique and movies like Mean Girls are about upper class girls picking on girls of a lower class. In Jumped everyone is on equal economic footing. High school life is accurately portrayed between the cliques, the teachers who don't care about their students and the lives of the students.
I highly recommend this book to all teens, but especially those who don't see much girl on girl violence or fully realize the devastating consequences it can have. There are few light-hearted moments so you definitely need to be in a certain mood to read this. 7th grade and up.