- Portland Book Review
"The combination of coming-of-age, philosophical and thriller story comes together to make a fascinating and engaging book."
- The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
Since he drowned, Henry has remained with the same group of teenagers and he keeps wondering why. After all, what could he possibly have in common with a mohawk-sporting punker from the 80s, a roller skater from the 70s with a thing for kimonos, and an English "rocker" from the 60s? Add to that, Henry can hear the other groups but he never sees them. Soon, Henry learns that his new friends all possess unique skills for making themselves noticed by the living. Is Henry's group kept isolated because of their abilities? If so, are they considered gifted or seen only as a potential bad influence?
Before Henry can reach any conclusions, he witnesses his sister being kidnapped. He knows who did it, where she's being held and what will happen if the kidnappers don't get what they want. As the police chase false leads, Henry comes to realize that he's his sister's only hope. But for Henry to even have a chance, he has to convince a group of teenagers that dead doesn't mean helpless.
"I loved this book and am looking forward to seeing what the author will come up with next!"
- A Little Shelf of Heaven
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)|
About the Author
One day, it occurred to him that sometimes these experiences felt like completely different lives altogether. Which got him to writing Jump When Ready, a novel about a bunch of teenagers trying to get over their past lives while getting ready to jump into their next.
While he's still writing about himself in third person, David Pandolfe should probably mention that at one point he received an MFA degree in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University (yet another life).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Henry didn’t mean to die. The afterlife is not how he imagined. He can still see the real world, but he can’t interact with anyone alive. Placed with a group of afterlifers, Henry must let go of life in order to move on. Henry might have been able to let go of his past life if he didn’t witness his sister getting kidnapped! This book was a bit boring in the beginning until Henry’s sister is kidnapped. The action involved in the kidnapping sparks Henry’s story line as he was floundering in the beginning. The afterlife Henry is part of is a Between Lives state and therefore between any real action and it’s not until his goal is revealed (save his sister!) that his own story becomes exciting. I enjoyed how Pandolfe described death. Given many names: afterlife, between, death, etc, this state of being and place was interesting and well-described. This semi-fantasy aspect of world building was intricate and with a set of rules that were fascinating to read about. If this book had started closer to the kidnapping, it would have been a much more exciting, engaging, and higher-rated novel but as it is (if you don’t mind the slow and lengthy buildup), it was a fun and easy read.
I absolutely loved this book, and read it in two sittings, I didn't want to stop! I wished the main characters were my friends (around whom I could wrap my arms and with whom I could spend my free afternoons), and the story is so beautifully written so real that I actually felt their struggle. It's a fresh and exciting one: a "who am I" story, inside a really cool spiritual ("bigger-than-us") perspective, and tied together by an exciting thriller. Jump When Ready stuck with me - what vivid vulnerability and strength, the core of coming of age. Young adults will relate to (and adults will remember) the feeling of 'in-between,' and any reader will be fully entertained by the have-you-on-edge, nail-biter of a plot.
I don't read a lot of "afterlife" books, generally, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. But I'm so glad I made the jump (Har har. See what I did there?) because JUMP WHEN READY was an engaging, poignant book that stayed with me long after I read the last word. Henry is a great character with a consistent, realistic teenage voice. At first I had a little trouble keeping his new friends straight, but soon enough their personalities emerged and I loved the interaction between them. The idea of a group of friends from different decades, with different experiences and frames of reference, is really cool, and worked well within the world David created. The story of Henry's sister's abduction is intense and heart-wrenching. David kept me guessing as to how it would all play out, and I felt Henry's desperation and fear for Bethany right along with him. All of the characters in this book were really well developed, and that included the "bad guys" who kidnapped Bethany as well. There are difficult topics addressed in this book - suicide, abduction, and the obvious - death - and I think all are handled with sensitivity and respect. Despite the serious themes, the story stays surprisingly upbeat, with an incredibly poignant ending that had me in tears (the good kind!). Seriously. The ending made this book for me. All the pieces were engaging and kept me reading, but the way David tied everything up made me want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again, just to appreciate how it all comes together. When I came to the end, I was happy to have had the experience of following Henry's story and touched by the time I spent in David's world. I highly recommend this book, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This book was absolutely amazing! I loved how despite it's somewhat depressing storyline about death/suicide and kidnapping, the book itself was very light and really a joy to read. I hated having to put it down to do other stuff! I got so engrossed and was cheering on Henry as he tried to navigate his situation and help his sister at the same time. The ending had me tearing up. I'm so glad I read this book.