20 March 2020

Blog Tour: Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson REVIEW

Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Release Date: March 17, 2020 
Publisher: Tor Teen
Synopsis: In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.

There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.

Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….

Meet Mary:
Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia's PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers' League of Texas manuscript contest. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii, where they have a farm and five ridiculously adorable goats.

Books give readers emotions. Good books give readers more than ONE emotion. The best books make a reader feel like they are living life along with the characters. Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson does every single one of these things. For starters, there are so many books out there with multiple names, that it can be hard to find character names that stick out to readers. Sparrow is both a beautiful name and represents an unforgettable character.

Novels that contain any kind of abuse can be hard to get through. A reader may have PTSD from dealing with it at some point in their lives. Others might just not enjoy reading that kind of thing at all. But writers who take their time to write through subjects such as this rather than around, to me are brave and have so much talent. In the past, I have read books with topics such as relationship abuse and ended up putting them down and never going back. But I had a whole different experience here, I sat down and read this in one sitting. 

I did find myself a tad annoyed by parts in this book, not because they weren’t well written but because I felt too much attention was given to parts that didn’t need as much attention. I think a huge portion of the book was dedicated to the abuse and pain, but only a small portion went to the healing. As a reader who felt for the characters, I watched them be beat up and hurt in more ways than one so naturally the only thing that would bring closure is the characters healing. 

Jackson did a really good job bringing two hard situations together and not making it feel weird or awkward. Sparrow, our main character, lost her mother at a young age and had multiple nightmares throughout the book all the while being abused by her boyfriend. It is easy to read through these different situations and see how both affect Sparrow without getting them confused and having a hard time understanding what she is going through. Sparrow as a character was an open book, I felt everything she felt which is one of the huge reasons why I wanted so badly to see her heal and feel better about both of her situations. She did get her closure, but it felt very rushed.

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