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Friday, April 19, 2013

Compass by Jennifer Gibson


Having read Sway, a novel based on a true story by Jennifer Gibson, I was ready to dig right into the sequel, Compass, as soon as I received it.  The novel started where Sway left off telling the story of Jessie, a hearing impaired teenager, whose life if anything but ordinary.  Imagine all of the hardships many teenagers face amplified due to a handicap that some choose to use as a reason to poke fun and behave with malice and hate.  Jessie’s journey is made easier by a supportive boyfriend, loving parents, and two pet cats that seem to understand her better than anyone she knows.  She focuses her energy on sports, academics and helping children like her who have found themselves facing hardships.  The author’s descriptions of how one would experience the world as Jessie does pulls the reader right in and puts us in the middle of the story.  I found myself clenching my fists with anger one moment and crying the next as I read of the treatment Jessie received from students and staff in school.  Jessie is an amazing young woman who handles everything she is faced with maturity that rivals most adults and never lets her handicap bring her down.    I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this trilogy to see how Jessie continues to handle what she has been dealt with in life.

Platinum Book Reviews gives Jennifer Gibson and Compass: 

4 platinum rings!

Being a teenager is hard enough. To be hard of hearing on top of that is like being stuck in the middle of a never ending soap opera.

In Compass, the sequel to Sway, Jessie's life begins to change its course, sending her toward a new reality. When her world is suddenly ripped apart by an angry rival, the one person she trusted to stand by her side simply walks away. With her composure shattered, Jessie questions everything she believed about herself, and as her life takes her on a new path, it turns into a perilous journey full of surprising twists and turns.

Random thoughts swirled around in my mind and our shoes squealed and squeaked loudly on the gymnasium floor as we started our light jog, warming up for practice.  I kept thinking about how it seemed as if I was stuck between two worlds.  I wasn't considered to be a fully-hearing person nor completely deaf.  I didn't really fit in either group.  I felt as if I was twisting in the wind as I pondered about where I belonged in school and life in general.  It seemed as if I was stuck in the middle of a never-ending soap opera......


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