“Sway” by Kat Spears

The Plot In 5 Sentences Or Less:  Jesse Alderman is the hook up man at Wakefield High, the guy who can get you anything–for a price.  But when a big shot jock wants a shot at dating school hottie Bridget Smalley, Jesse’s real troubles begin.  He ingratiates himself into her life and becomes good friends with her brother Pete who suffers from cerebral palsy.  But as Jesse gets closer to Bridget and Pete, demons from his past begin to surface.  The walls begin to close in on him as he understands that simply being smooth and untouchable is not enough.

My Take:  Well, I just loved this book.  Jesse Alderman is such a jerk-ass and an intriguing character at the same time that I couldn’t put this book down.  More than anything, he is convincing.  Spears has a talent for writing humorous, caustic dialogue that simply rings true.

I also appreciated that she has written a frustrated love story that is palatable for boys.  Bereft of any hint of sentimental romance, this book features wounded characters that struggle for hints of humanity in the Darwinian jungle that is high school.  I can certainly understand why this book was starred by Kirkus and School Library Journal.  I would rank “Sway” as one of the best Young Adult books that I have ever read.

One Interesting Note About the Author:  According to her website, Kat Spears has worked as a “bartender, museum director, housekeeper, park ranger, business manager, and painter.” She has also worked as a gift shop attendant at St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry made his famous “Liberty or Death” speech in 1775.

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