Book Review

Book Review

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book ReviewMy Jasper June by Laurel Snyder
Published by Walden Pond Press on September 3, 2019
Pages: 304
Goodreads

“This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the everyday, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.”—R. J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder

Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be.

The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.

Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.

Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.

But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

thought

After reading and loving Orphan Island, I found myself instantly drawn to My Jasper June. When I started to read it, it drew me in – the story of a lonely girl named Leah looking for someone to connect with and running from the grief that has overtaken her household and changed her relationship with everyone she knows. Meeting Jasper is life-changing and I spent the book wondering if there was something truly magical about her character. She’s able to transform Leah into a person with purpose and give her something to focus on that is new instead of dwelling on the past and the unfortunate accident. I’ve always struggled with the genre of magical realism but this book truly embodies that feeling – that there is something more to the story but at the same time not.

I like the way Leah thinks and vocalizes the changes in her family. I think it’s an important book for those struggling with loss, to realize it affects everyone differently. I loved the way the story was written and felt compelled to read it in one sitting.

My only struggle was not knowing all the facts of what happened at the end of the book. There’s no nitty gritty details and I shouldn’t have expected it, but I felt like I had many questions about the change in situation and how everything came to be on the adult side of things. I know as a child I may not have had as many questions, but I wonder if a young reader would want to know what exactly happened to make this ending possible.

Verdict:

A beautiful story about friendship and family.

 

About the Author

Laurel Snyder is the author of picture books and novels for children, including National Book Award nominee Orphan Island and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Charlie & Mouse. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.

Blog Tour

September 4 Open Book Reviews

September 5 Teachers Who Read

September 6 Nerdy Book Club

September 9 Read Wonder

September 10 About to Mock

September 11 Novel Novice

September 12 Create Explore Read

September 13 Book Monsters

September 16 Maria’s Melange

September 17 Writer’s Rumpus

September 18 Bluestocking Thinking

September 19 Storymamas

September 20 Amber Kuehler

Many thanks to Walden Pond Press for the chance to offer this giveaway to one lucky US resident!

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Kristen

Kristen is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. Kristen is an Elementary School Library Media Specialist in the Chicago suburbs who loves reading. Why else would she be a librarian?

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