Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Publisher/Year: Tor, 2020
Format: ARC – paperback
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.
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…
What I thought
Thank you to Tor Teen for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This was one of the best young adult books that I have ever read. Before I go any farther, I want to mention a few trigger warnings: domestic violence, child abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, grieving, and loss of a parent. Needless to say, this was not an easy read, by any means. I have to give Jackson credit where it’s due, however: I cannot remember the last time I read a book where I had such a strong, visceral emotional reaction to the story. Every time I’d put this book down, I felt like you do after a good long cry–hollowed out and raw and like I just got sucker punched. I just LOVED this book, even though I can’t quite place my finger on why. I think mostly it was because these characters came to life for me–every single one (and I think my favorite was Granny Dei rdre). I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I hugged this book when I finished it. It made me cry, but it also made me laugh and even swoon, and it warmed my heart as much as it angered me at times. When it comes to a good book, can you really ask anything more?