Grade: 3 stars out of 5
P.K. and Critter are both escaping; one from a trip to boarding school and the other from the psychiatric ward. They meet by fate at a climbing gym and set off the next day for an adventure.Something about Jump screamed out to me: 'Pick me up! If you don't, this decision will haunt you for the rest of the year'! With that kind of argument, I knew if an opportunity arise for me to pick up Jump, I had to take it. And I did. And I did not regret it...for the first half of the book.
When I picked up Jump, I wanted an escape, something to take the heat out of my mind. The first several chapters provided a chortling good read with one of the most oddness, but entertaining, character I have ever come across. Critter's narration was the key highlight of the novel. He has a call-it-as-he-sees-it attitude (in his mind at least) with a touch of innocent naivety that produced, on more than one occasion, laugh-out-loud statements. Yet it is P.K.'s narration that balanced it out. She had a much somber, regular teen narration that worked well to balance the bubbly cheerfulness of Critter's (because the chapters do alternate). (There are also third-person point of views mixed in as well.)
However, Jump started to falter towards the middle and shot right out of the line at the end. For me, though some opinions will differ, Jump had too much rock climbing. 'This is a rock climbing book'--I understand, but somewhere down the line I got tired of reading about cracks, belays, 5. 9's, 5.lla's, and gah! Every once or so I can deal with, but it was a continuous process that gave me a strong urge to flip through the pages. Many will say that there were dialogues and short scenes in-between the rock climbing, but my mind did not register that as much as the rock climbing.
There is also the argument that the rock climbing frees the mind and helped shaped P.K. and Critter develop in the story as well as being a philosophical stepping stone (because Jump is big on the philosophy of what makes up life: the here and now, the past, or the future). But I looked at Jump as a wholesome, fun, joy-ride read as a means of escape that I did not find.
There is also a big level of unbelieveability in Jump. Do teens nowadays run away from boarding school with a complete stranger to go rock climbing? Substitue rock climbing for anotehr obsession and I still find it hard to beleive. The running away part?--Sure. Teh complete stranger part?--W.T.F. is wrong with you? Is the sensisible reasoning why thsi is okay is because he is hot? And the fact taht he brings deordant, a toothbrush, and a change of shirts convinces you that he is not a criminal escaped from somewhere? And let's not bring a cell phone because if you did, it would only make you feel really guilty.
The ending was a mess in my opinion. There is some closure, but plenty more of what's, how's, and why's.
If you are looking for something different, enjoy adventures (rock climbing), and a different philosophical take than Jump is for you. For everyone else test the water before Jumping in.
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