Author: Deb Caletti
Genre: Realisitc Fiction (YA)
Publication: 2007 by Simon and Schuster
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.
Master storyteller Deb Caletti has once again created characters so real, you will be breathless with anticipation as their riveting story unfolds.
General: This book is going to get a rave review. I know for sure this book will receive a great review from me. I actually picked this book off the shelf because of the color. The greenish color of the cover caught my eye because it’s my favorite color. When I started reading it, I realized that it was moving pretty slowly. The beginning was uneventful in the area of the plot, but it kept me totally pulled in because the characters were so real. They were practically living and breathing. Things definitely picked up pretty fast, though. One of the things I absolutely loved was that although the plot became exciting and eventful, the characters never lost an ounce of their real-ness. If anything, they became even more tangible.
The Nature of Jade is a DEEP book. It’s really, really deep. The whole book is kind of your typical YA romance novel. The main character, a girl named Jade, meets a cute guy, named Sebastian. Said characters fall in love. But this book… It’s so much more than that. It’s a traditional YA romance with a twist. A lot of twists, actually. Jade has a panic disorder, which immediately adds a lot of depth to the story. Sebastian has a son and a troubled past. And…the rest I can’t say without spoilers ;) The whole thing is an adorable, touching romance that blossoms between two spectacular characters with a sprinkling of tasteful humor and a dash of educational information. But the whole book is extremely deep and thought-provoking. I’m amazed at Deb Caletti for what she’s done with this novel. Her utter creativity is phenomenal.
I’m almost sad to say that I finished this book. I wish it never had to end. The interaction between Jade and Sebastian touched me in a special way and it gave me happy goosebumps and those girly little giggles, the giddy kind you get when you witness a young romance. I cried hard whenever Jade’s heart is torn or broken, and when Sebastian felt lost and hopeless. I cried, too, when the two couldn’t contain their joy with each other, and when their love withstood all. At times, I cracked up because Deb Caletti is just…hysterical. This book just left me awestruck and wishing it didn’t have to end so soon.
Plot: The plot is pretty general, but SO not cliché. It’s not completely out of the blue, and out of the ordinary, but it has a uniqueness that’s astounding. The whole plot moved really well. It went at precisely the perfect speed, with precisely the right words, feelings, and descriptions.
The blossoming love relationship between Jade and Sebastian was simply beautiful. The breaking and healing of family relationships within the book was raw and painful. And Deb Caletti let you feel that to the max.
Like I mentioned, the beginning was uneventful, but not boring. It was the setting up of the main characters, particularly Jade. The author let us into her brain in a deep way from the very beginning. Honestly, close to the ending of the book, I was afraid it was all going to end horribly and it was going to be one of THOSE books. But I can’t describe to you my happiness when that proved to be untrue. Without giving away anything, don’t give up hope on the book in the last 20 pages. I was scared…but my fears were soothed (with tears running down my cheeks) by the last page.
Characters: Like I already mentioned, the characters were utterly and honestly true and real. While reading it, I actually began to feel like I was getting to know them. I learned to love and sympathize with each of them in one way or another. One of the things I loved was Jade’s name and how she comes to fit it through the book. Jade is one of the strongest materials in nature, and this is mentioned in the book. As the story progresses, Jade slowly begins to “fit into” her name in the most unlikely ways (considering the difficult disorder she lives with).
Watching the relationship between Jade and Sebastian blossom was one of the best elements of the book. It was very realistic; the relationship didn’t seem to move too fast. Both had reasons to be cautious about getting into new relationships and that was well-portrayed. First you got to watch Jade slowly fall for Sebastian, even without knowing him well. Then we watched her work in reverse to get to know him after she has already begun to like him. We slowly unraveled the mystery of Sebastian’s past and of Jade’s complicated parents and her panic disorder.
I could easily picture each of the characters and all of the settings in the novel. That’s a big deal for me; I can sometimes tend to be a little picky about that. I like detailed descriptions, but not repetitive ones. I like them to be placed just so throughout the text, not obnoxiously found in the middle of a sentence. And for me, Deb Caletti hit the nail on the head. Right smack on the head. She placed the descriptions expertly throughout the text, and displayed them skillfully. I like making a movie in my head of what I’m reading, and this was probably one of the best books for this.
So I feel a little silly writing this review because I’m just rambling on and on about how spectacular this book was…but it’s true!! The plot was fabulous, the characters were practically breathing in your face through the pages of the book, I felt every single feeling described. I cried. I laughed. I gasped. And I got mad when my favorite character did something stupid, or when someone did something I didn’t like. I thought. I thought about everything this book said. About fear, about love, about right and wrong, about good and bad, about faith in yourself, others, and a greater power. I was just…oh my gosh. This book has me hooked! Thank you, Deb Caletti!