Title/Author: The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing on February 27th 2007
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Other Books by Author: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart; Wild Roses; The Story of Us; and many more!
How I got this Book: I think I bought this book from a thrift shop a few years back and I decided I would finally give it a go!
Summary From Goodreads: I am not my illness. “Girl with Anxiety,” “Trauma of the Week” — no. I hate stuff like that. Everyone, everyone has their issue. But the one thing my illness did make me realize is how necessary it is to ignore the dangers of living in order to live. And how much trouble you can get into if you can’t. Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can’t quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she’s trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That’s why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that’s where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby.
His name is Sebastian, and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian’s cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she’s in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past.
Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn’t felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. Her boy who is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right.
I went into The Nature of Jade with no expectations whatsoever. I had never read a Deb Caletti book before, and no I know had or had told me about any of her books. This was just a spur of the moment “what random book do I have on my shelf” kind of read. And I can tell you, I’m glad I picked it up! It’s not the best book I’ve read by a long shot, but it was a book that I could relate to on a lot of levels.
Jade is a girl who is just one year younger than myself and is finishing up her last year of high school. She’s worrying about keeping up with all of her AP classes and assignments, trying to figure out which university to attend, and of course, there’s a boy who has piqued her interest!!! Last year, I was going through all of those things myself, luckily though, I do not suffer from anxiety like Jade. Even so, I was totally able to relate to how she was feeling about having so many important decisions to make at what we both believe is such a young age! Jade’s relationship with her mother was something I could also draw parallels with. Some of the conversations she was having with her mom were the exact same one’s I’ve had with mine. I swear to you, DEB CALETTI RECORDED MY CONVERSATIONS AND USED THEM IN THIS BOOK. Just kidding, obviously, but it totally seemed like that!!!
Oh right, the boy. Jade first sees “red jacket boy” on her computer screen while watching a live feed of the elephants at the zoo near her house. He simply shows up with a baby on his back, and watches the elephants. He caught Jade’s attention though, and she wasn’t planning on never meeting him in real life!! When we finally meet the boy, we learn his name is Sebastian, and that the baby is in fact his. I don’t want to give away anything too important here, so I’ll just say this: he has a secret, and a bad one at that. Also, he works in a bookstore!! How awesome?! I wish the boy that I started to date last year worked at a bookstore, and a quaint and cozy one like Sebastian!
Although slow to start, The Nature of Jade began to pick up about 70 pages in, and I am so glad I stuck with it. I loved how Jade spent a lot of her time volunteering at the zoo with the elephants, because any time the elephants and their actions her written of I just absolutely loved it! I was never a huge elephant fan before this book, but now they seem so sweet, and it’s cool to see how much they can act like humans in their emotions. This is a great book to read if you’re a teenager just starting to make their way in the world at college or university, if you’re in high school like Jade, if you too suffer from a panic disorder, or even if you just plain like contemporary YA books!
“Are you getting your period?” She narrows her eyes.
Have you read The Nature of Jade, or any other books by Deb Caletti? Have you had to make big decisions about university/college/post-secondary education and not been sure if you were making the right one? Think you might give this book a shot if you haven’t read it? Let me know :)