Friday, August 08, 2008

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

This novel is about a young girl dealing with Panic Disorder. For unknown reasons, and her own paranoia, Jade DeLuna suffers from panic attacks. One way she has learned to stay calm is by watching the elephants at the nearby Seattle Zoo. Luckily the elephant area has it's own webcam, allowing her to watch the elephants at home. One day she sees a boy in a red jacket appear on the screen with a little baby on his back. Instantly Jade is drawn to him. When she receives a job working with the elephants, she has her first real encounter with the boy - a young man named Sebastian and his son Bo. The two start to date but secrets surround Jade, from the truth about Bo's mother, to the fact that she hasn't told her parents about what she's doing with her time and the realization that things between Jade's parents aren't what they used to be. Will the truth shatter the safety that she's found with Sebastian, or will things work out in the end?

This novel failed to impress me. I won't say it's the worst book ever, because it wasn't. It just wasn't the best book ever. At times it was slow but overall it held its pace without too much up and down. I liked the use of the elephants and how symbolic they were in the story. Each chapter started with a quote about animal behaviors that sort-of tied into the story. That was interested. The rest...average and maybe a little too average. But maybe that's a good thing in a world where everything is overly dramatized, but yet people come to expect that, so when things are "normal" it ends up being a disappointment. I can't really pinpoint why I'm not impressed with the novel; that's just the way it is.

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