I received this book at no cost from the publisherSparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Published by Tor Teen on March 17, 2020
Source: Tor Teen
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (March 17, 2020)
Praise for SPARROW
“Mary Cecilia Jackson leaves no perspective unexplored in this beautifully woven story of love, loss, self-acceptance, and strength. Sparrow and Lucas are heroes in every sense of the word, as they navigate a new, unfamiliar dance―the pain of knowing when to stay grounded and when to fly.” ―Jennifer Brown, bestselling author of Hate List
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.
Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….
Well, this book broke me.
Savannah Rose, nicknamed Sparrow, is getting ready to dance Swan Lake in rural Virginia and the dark theme of the dance is reflected in her life. She thinks she has a loving boyfriend in Tristan and while he is handsome and rich, there is something dark about him that all comes to life when he starts to abuse her just like her mother. Her dance partner, Lucas, and her friend Delaney realize that there is something wrong with the relationship. The story told in alternating voices of Lucas and Sparrow help to show how people care but sometimes don’t know how to act to help.
I found the story entirely believable and can easily see this happening in your own neighborhood. Sparrow has to confront what her life has become after her boyfriend hurts her enough to end up in the hospital. Her recovery is heartbreaking as well since she has to confront all the hidden issues in her childhood.
Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii, where they have a farm and five ridiculously adorable goats.