[Review] Saving Jazz: 4 out of 5 stars

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I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher Fremantle Press in exchange for an honest review

Quick fire review:

An incredibly poignant look at cyberbullying. I’ve read some great YA books over the years but none have been as confronting and realistic as this. McCaffrey has crafted well rounded characters and a shocking story that makes you think about the way you use social media in your own life.

 

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Jasmine Lovely has it all – the looks, the grades, the friends. But when a house party spins out of control, Jazz discovers what can happen when your mistakes go viral …

We know our kids are at risk of becoming victims of cyberbullying. But do we know how at risk they are of becoming perpetrators? This controversial new novel tackles cyberbullying from a whole new perspective.

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So I sat down to read one chapter the other day…cut to 2 hours later when I had devoured the whole thing.

“We have changed, shaped by a single night, into people we didn’t see ourselves becoming.”

McCaffrey has such a captivating writing style and I was hooked from start to end. Told through a series of blog posts written by Jazz (cool idea), we are instantly drawn into this small town high school setting where one too many drinks at a party leads to a heinous crime and four lives changed forever.

The night in question has varied degrees of emotional and physical pain for the four main characters; Jazz, Jack, Tommy and Annie. I personally found it really interesting to witness the actions of these characters before, during and after the incident and I thought the author did a great job of putting you in the mind of our narrator, Jazz.

I’ve read books told through letters before and I found the blog format to have a similarly refreshing tone. Jazz takes you on a journey from her early years explaining how she became friends with Jack, Tommy and Annie and how social media had slowly become a ‘slut-shaming’ tool in her Perth high school; all of which become important as the story progresses.

I’m so thankful that when I was in high school, there was no Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat because even though we didn’t do anything near as stupid or incriminating as the events in this book, we were young, dumb and thought we were invincible; similar to the characters in these books.

It’s sad to say that these kids that populate this town – the ones who share the naked photos that are circulating, the ones who call these girls sluts on Facebook and the ones who are ready to jump on any online take down are not new characters; they exist in schools world wide.

This is a confronting tale about the power of social media in today’s culture and I thought the whole issue was tackled beautifully. If you enjoy contemporaries and don’t mind some heavy topics being addressed then you should definitely pick this up. I know that after reading this I will be looking into McCaffrey’s other books.

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LINKS_RESIZEFind more reviews on Goodreads and be sure to check out author Kate McCaffrey’s blog.

Buy this book:

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meet the author_resize

Destroying Avalon In Ecstasy Beautiful Monster Crashing Down

Kate McCaffreyKate grew up in Perth’s northern suburbs. She has a degree in English and Art and a diploma in Education.

She lives in Western Australia with her two daughters, a gender fluid cat and a Maltese Shih Tzu. Kate also teaches English to high school kids and writes novels.

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15 thoughts on “[Review] Saving Jazz: 4 out of 5 stars

  1. Michael J. Miller says:

    It sounds like a powerful read; thank you for the review. As a teacher this is something that often troubles me – thinking of how best to handle bullying when so much of it happens away from what I see day to day. Of course there are all sorts of measures to be employed, and we use them, but it still keeps me up some nights worrying about the world my students live in with social media :/.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrenee says:

      I mean as if peer pressure and underage drinking wasn’t enough before, now there is social media and this desire to become viral that is really impacting teens. That is part of what I liked about this book – it didn’t seem far fetching.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael J. Miller says:

        I like how you put that – “the desire to become viral.” There’s this incessant need growing to share and document EVERYTHING and, often, validation seems to be derived from likes, favorites, and retweets. It’s unnerving. I will absolutely check this book out!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. kimmie.gg says:

    A book written in the format of blog posts? That’s awesome… I really want to read this book as it deals with a major issue of today’s day and age. Did you find this book to be relevant and factual? Or more exaggerated to make the story interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrenee says:

      It was cool because it felt like Jazz was telling her story directly to you. I mean there is some exaggeration because it is a story but I personally felt that there was a lot of truth in what she put to page and as I mentioned to Michael, with this desire to go viral and the slut shaming and being insta-famous, there was a lot of relevance to Jazz and her story.

      Liked by 1 person

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