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August 09, 2016
What if you got a second chance?

Struggling to come to terms with the suicide of her teenage son, Ellie lives in the shadows of the Forth Road Bridge, lingering on its footpaths and swimming in the waters below. One day she talks down another suicidal teenager, Sam, and sees for herself a shot at redemption, the chance to atone for her son's death. But even with the best intentions, she can't foresee the situation she's falling headlong into — a troubled family, with some very dark secrets of their own. 

The Jump is a hugely moving contemporary thriller, and a stunning portrait of an unlikely heroine. 

The thing about books who touch up on very sensitive topics is that they can either do it very well, or they can go awfully wrong. Thankfully, The Jump falls into the former category, letting us catch a glimpse of the unimaginable-- how a parent deals with the loss of a child gone too soon--, in a way that is tactful, yet still heartbreaking. Doug Johnstone takes it a step further by adding a good dose of mystery to the mix without losing focus of the emotional side of the story.

Part family drama, part crime mystery, The Jump will have your head spinning as events unfold and the plot unravels into a climax that you probably won’t be expecting. The mystery isn’t particularly mysterious and it won’t have you turning pages trying to figure out what happened, but more it’ll have you wondering why it happened and desperate to see what else these people (especially Ellie) are willing to do to protect those they have come to care about. Y’all know how particular I am about endings, but this one stuck and I closed the book feeling some sort of vindication and satisfaction at the way things wrapped up.

I do think this novel requires a bit of suspension of disbelief, especially if you're like me and like your real drama to be... realistic (for lack of a better word) because there were some situations some of the characters (Ellie… again) got into that, to me, seemed a little farfetched and that probably wouldn't have gone over so well in the real world. I can't go too much into detail without spoiling something, but if you read/have read the book, let's talk!

If I have any gripes about this book, it’s the writing. It’s not bad and it makes the book very easy and quick to read, but I personally don’t like when there are paragraphs upon paragraphs built with short sentences because all the starts and stops make it feel very fragmented. It was particularly jarring whenever the author would go on about the scenery, trying to set the scene, because it made it sound very clinical and dull at times.

I cannot finish this review without going a little bit more into depth about Ellie. Like I mentioned before, losing a child has to be the worst pain a person can go through, the magnitude of which I can’t even begin to comprehend, so while I understood on a very logical level the grief Ellie was dealing with, I really could not sympathize with her and had a hard time understanding the reasoning behind her actions and choices. Because of my lack of understanding, I will refrain from talking about she irked me and instead will bring up the one thing that really broke my heart for her.

Throughout this whole ordeal of losing a child and feeling like life had given her a second chance by putting her in Sam’s path, Ellie had no support system. At no point was there mention of concerned friends or family trying to help her with her grief. The only person there for her was her husband and while I loved their relationship and the fact that they were trying to work through the pain together, he was dealing with his own grief and was in no position to be the one to get her to the other side. It was this loneliness, this feeling of dealing with something so big with no one around to lift you up when you feel like you can’t go on anymore, that struck me the most and made me very emotional.

For that alone I would recommend this book. It’s a great character study that addresses very serious and delicate subjects in a very tactful way, while also being a gripping read that you can
get through in just one sitting! 

And now, for some blog tour fun! 

1) I had the pleasure to have The Jump's author Doug Johnstone write a special guest post for this blog! Head on over to read his thoughts about what it feels like to be an author on publication day!  Giving Birth or Splitting Up?

2) You can be 1 of 5 lucky winners of a copy of The Jump by entering this giveaway! Just follow the instructions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

(I’d like to thank Faber & Faber for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

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