Sparrow
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. There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and preyI thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.And I am still prey.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….

Sparrow Details

TitleSparrow
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 17th, 2020
PublisherTor Teen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

Sparrow Review

  • Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    Pages: 320Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor TeenCompletely different than what I expected!I thought this would be a romance with a lot of angst and a girl with a bad ex-boyfriend she is trying to get over but it was much deeper than that. It was about tragedy and how one tragedy can affect a person’s life if it isn’t dealt with. How one incident or a relationship with issues can lead to other relationships with very similar issues. It also is about how one bad relationship can affect Pages: 320Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor TeenCompletely different than what I expected!I thought this would be a romance with a lot of angst and a girl with a bad ex-boyfriend she is trying to get over but it was much deeper than that. It was about tragedy and how one tragedy can affect a person’s life if it isn’t dealt with. How one incident or a relationship with issues can lead to other relationships with very similar issues. It also is about how one bad relationship can affect so many people, not just the two people involved.Savannah Darcy Rose (a.k.a. Sparrow) is a seventeen year old student and ballet prodigy. She hangs out with the ballet and drama crowd and has two best friends Delaney and he dance partner Lucas. Both her and Delaney have had a crush on Tristan, the hot rich boy at school, and he notices Sparrow and soon becomes her boyfriend. Sparrow lost her mother when she was very young and has recurring nightmares that feature her mother. She lives with her father Avery Rose, a defense attorney and her aunt Sophie. Both her father and her aunt love her very much and treat her well. Her father questions Tristan when he first takes her out like any father would. They see how well Tristan treats Sparrow.However, Tristan gets very jealous of Lucas and any time she spends with Lucas including dance practice. Her friends become suspicious when they see Tristan yelling at her. It turns out a Tristan is not as perfect as he seemed to be. Of course Lucas has always known this because Tristan has bullied him since fifth grade for being a ballet dancer.Though Tristan can’t really bully Lucas much anymore since Lucas grew to be 6’5” and very muscular from dance. But Tristan still makes degrading and homophobic comments about Lucas being a dancer. Lucas is good at ignoring, but not so much after Sparrow starts dating Tristan. The character development in this book is terrific, as is the world building.Lucas has his own troubles at home, but he continues to try and help Sparrow. Though something tragic happens and each of the characters has different reactions and issues that arise because of it. I won’t say much more than that, but the journey each character takes to recovery is terrific and the story deals with the psychological effects in a fantastic way. However, I can’t decide if I liked the ending. In some ways I do and in some ways I don’t, you’ll understand if you read the book! I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Amazon|Twitter|BookBub
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  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI think there's a rule somewhere that says that if an author writes a book about ballet, you are legally required to read it. How else to explain my apparent compulsion in picking up books about ballet, even though I've never really had an interest in it before in my life? Something about the discipline required, the athleticism, and the intense emotions just appeals to me on a very base level.SPARROW is a book about a high school Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI think there's a rule somewhere that says that if an author writes a book about ballet, you are legally required to read it. How else to explain my apparent compulsion in picking up books about ballet, even though I've never really had an interest in it before in my life? Something about the discipline required, the athleticism, and the intense emotions just appeals to me on a very base level.SPARROW is a book about a high school ballerina named Sparrow. She has close friends and is passionate about ballet. When she ends up going out with the hot jock on campus, Tristan, it seems like her whole life is perfectly rounded out. But Tristan is not a nice boy; and when he attacks her one day, she must spend the rest of the book not just having to recover, emotionally and physically, but also face the dark, half-buried memories from childhood that his abuse has inadvertently uncovered.I didn't realize this when I picked up the book, but SPARROW is a dual-POV story. Half is told from Sparrow's POV and the other half is told from the POV of the Nice Guy who she's friendzoned, Lucas. I kind of wish the whole book had been narrated from Sparrow's POV, because it kind of ends up feeling like one of those cautionary tales Nice Guys feed girls to gaslight women into dating them, e.g. "He's no good for you, I'm the only one who can treat you right, hope he beats you to teach you a lesson, etc." Lucas isn't like that at all, but I'm not sure having that dichotomy in the narrative was a good move.I liked Sparrow's POV, but wasn't as big a fan of Lucas. This is a story of healing and confronting abuse, and while the author did that part of the book really well, I didn't really feel like Lucas's POV had any place in Sparrow's journey of healing. The writing is beautiful and it does portray an abusive relationship pretty realistically-- to the point where it's hard to read at times-- but something about it felt a little too dramatic and contrived, and it kind of ended up feeling like a Lifetime movie.SPARROW is not a bad book but I would not put it on the same level with Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK, as the blurb writers did. That only raises somewhat unrealistic expectations.Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 2.5 stars
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  • Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
    January 1, 1970
    This book felt very disjointed to me. I felt like I was missing part of the story... it didn't flow at all. There was no real background to the characters (I didn't even realize that Sophie was her dad's sister until about 100 pages in), the small mentions of her mother were confusing without the context of what actually happened, and Tristan and Sparrow's relationship was hardly described at all. One minute they're on the first date, and then fast-forward and she's afraid of him. Skipping all This book felt very disjointed to me. I felt like I was missing part of the story... it didn't flow at all. There was no real background to the characters (I didn't even realize that Sophie was her dad's sister until about 100 pages in), the small mentions of her mother were confusing without the context of what actually happened, and Tristan and Sparrow's relationship was hardly described at all. One minute they're on the first date, and then fast-forward and she's afraid of him. Skipping all stuff leading up to the abuse took away my involvement in their relationship, and quite honestly, took away any care I had about these characters.And am I the only know who noticed the overabundance of stupid nicknames? Everyone had like 10 different nicknames, and the dialogue felt forced... like what an adult thinks teenagers sound like.At the end of the day, I still think it was a good story, but you could absolutely tell this was a debut novel.**I received this book as an ARC
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Giveaway win! 2.5 starsSparrow is a quick read but it didn't make me feel anything. Sparrow is about a very talented ballet dancer Savannah "Sparrow" Rose who is very good at keeping secrets. She just wants to be normal and safe but in the aftermath of a violent assault by her "perfect" boyfriend she must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past. I thought I would be upset while reading this but I wasn't. I didn't feel any emotions one way or the other. It was an okay read but it Giveaway win! 2.5 starsSparrow is a quick read but it didn't make me feel anything. Sparrow is about a very talented ballet dancer Savannah "Sparrow" Rose who is very good at keeping secrets. She just wants to be normal and safe but in the aftermath of a violent assault by her "perfect" boyfriend she must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past. I thought I would be upset while reading this but I wasn't. I didn't feel any emotions one way or the other. It was an okay read but it wasn't the powerful and heartbreaking read I thought it would be. No rec.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis alone brings me to the brink of tears.This is gonna be good.Thank you, Tor/Forge, for my ARC. I am looking forward to getting to this one!
  • Sarah Loves Books and tea
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautiful but heart-breaking novel. Sparrow is a talented ballerina with a difficult past who becomes the victim of a violent assault at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. The story follows Sparrow both before and after the attack as she struggles to rebuild her life as well as following the perspective of her best friend and dance partner Lucas who secretly adores her. Despite the difficult subject matter I found the book addictive and very readable due to the writing style and I This was a beautiful but heart-breaking novel. Sparrow is a talented ballerina with a difficult past who becomes the victim of a violent assault at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. The story follows Sparrow both before and after the attack as she struggles to rebuild her life as well as following the perspective of her best friend and dance partner Lucas who secretly adores her. Despite the difficult subject matter I found the book addictive and very readable due to the writing style and I fell in love with the characters of Lucas and Sparrow and with their family and friends. I don’t read many contemporary books and I was only drawn to this because the main character was a ballerina – now I intend to read more books like this as I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.E-Arc received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • El
    January 1, 1970
    *received an arc from netgalley*This was a really poignant book but we just got off on the wrong foot & I just couldn’t get that mental block out of my mind.At first it’s pretty cringy, typical YA stuff but then it completely changes! I liked having Lucas’ perspective but it did confuse me the first time when the story suddenly rewinded & I wasn’t sure what was going on with that but it actually worked really well for the rest of the book.I also really liked the time frame on this *received an arc from netgalley*This was a really poignant book but we just got off on the wrong foot & I just couldn’t get that mental block out of my mind.At first it’s pretty cringy, typical YA stuff but then it completely changes! I liked having Lucas’ perspective but it did confuse me the first time when the story suddenly rewinded & I wasn’t sure what was going on with that but it actually worked really well for the rest of the book.I also really liked the time frame on this because we see the before, during & after of abuse, which I feel like I haven’t seen before.It also felt with different types of abuse & how they can link together.Overall, this is a really different, unique book that I really enjoyed! It started off badly for me - but I’m warning you now - so hopefully you can go into this with an open mind & not get stuck on the beginning!
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  • Caitlin Theroux
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss for allowing me to read a digital ARC. This review contains my opinion only and does not reflect the views of the publisher or the author.All of my reviews contain spoilers.I wanted to love this a lot more than I did, and I also wanted to be more angry with it than I was as well.Sparrow follows two narrators--the titular character and her best friend Lucas--after a devastating assault on Sparrow by her abusive boyfriend, Tristan King. Both she and Lucas are students at the Thank you to Edelweiss for allowing me to read a digital ARC. This review contains my opinion only and does not reflect the views of the publisher or the author.All of my reviews contain spoilers.I wanted to love this a lot more than I did, and I also wanted to be more angry with it than I was as well.Sparrow follows two narrators--the titular character and her best friend Lucas--after a devastating assault on Sparrow by her abusive boyfriend, Tristan King. Both she and Lucas are students at the same high school in Virginia, and both dance ballet at the same conservatory. Sparrow's friends and family have to learn to pick up the pieces and recover alongside her once she wakes up from the coma Tristan puts her in.So...this book was good? The question mark represents my confusion with why it wasn't better. I'll say right now that because it's a debut, I understand where some of the writing went a bit under-polished, and the author's history as a speechwriter comes through pretty clearly in the last third of the piece. As a debut, it's good. Novel writing is hard. No avoiding that. And for Jackson to pull through after six years of work and release her precious book-baby into the world for us to read and review, that's ballsy. It's always ballsy. I'm not disappointed in this book. I enjoyed it. I do expect more from Jackson on her next outing, though.The characters. Oh, the characters. Do you think they were good, Sparrow? Sweetie, I understand if you don't want to tell me your opinion, sweetheart, I really do. But, Sparrow, you've gotta talk to us now, honey. Birdy. Love.SO. MANY. NAMES. IN. DIALOGUE. People don't talk like this. They don't. When I jaw at my husband about something, I say his name for emphasis in the middle of a conversation. "...blahblahblah and you would not believe how good that steak was, Connor. For real. You wouldn't." Period. Maybe one more time I'd call him by any sort of epithet, but that's all. Conversation flows when you know someone. You hardly even have to use a pet name to get their attention. The fact that you're speaking will usually suffice to make them listen, especially when you're close like best friends or family. Overabundant names and the unending use of "okay?" really set my teeth on edge and made me want to skim most of the dialogue at the end third.For the most part, the characters started out good. I don't know if the author knew how to develop them and draw them out of themselves, though, because they didn't grow the way I anticipated them to. Sparrow does the most changing, but she suffers a massive trauma. We understand her arc. After losing his dad and moving in with his grandmother, Lucas is still...Lucas. Still the whiny teenager I really came to not enjoy reading. Delaney has my heart out of all the cast, and I wish Jackson had latched onto her as a stronger player in Sparrow's life.The prose was good! No big complaints there. Really, my biggest issues are with the people not sounding like people, and so much stuff happening "off screen." We're told constantly about events that transpired without having a window through which to view those events. Like when Christmas comes and Lucas' mom and sister visit him at Granny Deirdre's house. We're TOLD that it happens. In passing. When the author has built up to that being important. For this reason I couldn't stand Lucas by the end of the book. He is not given the justice he deserves, and his family--with the exception of Anna--fall flat. I wanted to feel for them more, wanted their struggle to be visceral and heartbreaking. They just lost a father/son/husband! Then Sparrow gets attacked! Then Lucas beats the hell out Tristan and the family is a mess!!! Where's my heartache?!Little things like Sophie cooking when she's stressed, Delaney being a stan of the Bard, Madame Levkova's ENTIRE history, and the whole clump of other boys we met at the beginning of the book having quirks--all of that is glossed over for inane paragraphs of sprawling dialogue that sounds so clunky and forced. These bitty details had the potential to bring these characters to life and have them inhabit a whole world for us, beside us, to drag us in and make us feel everything they felt. But we were only told about them. And that brought the emotion to a roaring standstill.I have to chalk these complaints up to Jackson being a first-time novelist. This will come with experience. The story was good, and I genuinely felt bad for Sparrow. I've got some trauma and repressed memories, and I could identify with her strongly. Everyone else though? Meh.Should Mary Cecilia Jackson ever happen to see this review, though I doubt that's even a possibility with how big the Internet is, I just want her to know a couple of things.1) Listen to how your characters talk. Listen to real-world people talk. Then write conversations. Don't make characters say what you think would come naturally. Actually take the time to hear their voice before you write a single word of dialogue for them. That will eliminate the problem with clunky, expositional dialogue.2) Show us those moments that seem tiny!!! Christmas, Delaney's square dance, Sophie cooking when she's stressed, Avery walking around in a suit barefoot, all of those tiny things. They don't sound important, but they are. With real people, these traits make them people. I have a tendency to pick up projects and then drop them just as fast, but if you only ever told a reader that instead of showing them the piles of cookbooks, sewing, sketchpads, musical instruments, etc. in my room, they'd never have a deep feeling of how that is. Show that with a character constantly having a new hobby. Show us. Please.3) Limit your character lectures. Don't make us suffer the same long-winded moments that a bratty teenage boy wouldn't want to experience either. If he's hating it, we will too.4) Flesh out your side characters. They're not blips. They're massive players in the lives of your characters, even if they only stumble in from stage left once in a while. Think about people: your best friend's childhood friend who has problems will spill over into your best friend's life, which in turn will make you experience those things too. Characters are not just cardboard cutouts, even when the people we meet can be vapid and dull. Make them real. Give them flesh of paper and blood of ink. We want to feel everything in a story. That's why we read.Sparrow was good. My review may not reflect that, but it was. I would put this on my library shelf or personal shelf, or both. You don't always have to be super dark (Ellen Hopkins, looking at you), and you don't always have to skim around an issue either. There is a happy medium when dealing with heavy subject matter, and this book does a good job of finding that warm spot. Next time we're asking for a stronger effort, that's all. And with the experience Jackson has now with writing a full novel, I think we're bound to get that.
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  • JOANNA M
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of “Sparrow” through bookish first in exchange for an honest review. Triggers: Anyone who is interested in this books should know that there are themes of physical, emotional, and physiological abuse. I really wanted to enjoy this book and initially I did, but I’ve got to be honest...I struggled to make it to the end. The themes of this book are so heavy and many of the characters who could lighten that, just don’t. Lucas...whiny Lucas who had little to no character growth or I received an ARC of “Sparrow” through bookish first in exchange for an honest review. Triggers: Anyone who is interested in this books should know that there are themes of physical, emotional, and physiological abuse. I really wanted to enjoy this book and initially I did, but I’ve got to be honest...I struggled to make it to the end. The themes of this book are so heavy and many of the characters who could lighten that, just don’t. Lucas...whiny Lucas who had little to no character growth or development. I wanted to like him but I just didn’t. I didn’t enjoy reading from his POV and I didn’t think he was the answer to all of Sparrow’s problems. Sparrow, naive, sweet Sparrow...it was torture watching how meek, submissive, and complaint she was for Tristan. I wish the the author would have shown us the manipulation, how Tristian convinced her he loved her and got her back...again and again. Instead we were just told about it. Likewise, we never got see why she loved him in the first place. I wish the author would have convinced me Tristian loved Sparrow before she showed his darker side. It felt like they got together and he began abusing her right away.I think this book had great potential, I loved Delaney!! It just missed the mark for me.
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  • Ann Petralia
    January 1, 1970
    This was a tough book to read and please be warned for triggers especially those who may have suffered abuse...Sparrow is a dancer and she's a beautiful dancer. She's recovering though from an abusive childhood that was all inflicted by her late mother. Ironically or not really, her boyfriend is that same as her mother, abusive and Sparrow thinks she deserves the treatment that she received not only from her mother but also her boyfriend. It's a heartbreaking story and most of the time my heart This was a tough book to read and please be warned for triggers especially those who may have suffered abuse...Sparrow is a dancer and she's a beautiful dancer. She's recovering though from an abusive childhood that was all inflicted by her late mother. Ironically or not really, her boyfriend is that same as her mother, abusive and Sparrow thinks she deserves the treatment that she received not only from her mother but also her boyfriend. It's a heartbreaking story and most of the time my heart bled for Sparrow. I wanted to punch Tristan on so many levels! However, this book, did read as a debut. I have to give mad props to Mary Cecilia Jackson for tackling such a tough subject as a debut novel and doing a good job of it. The book was good. It really truly was, but Jackson is teetering on greatness with this one and I really REALLY wanted to see it go over to greatness, but a few things held it back...mainly these two points1. The conversations. Ok, I may be more than 20 something years older than the characters in the book, but I don't think anyone talks like that in normal conversation. The dialogue was a little wonky for me. It just felt off reading it. 2. The dual narrators did not work in this case. I loved the idea of having a 3rd party who is on the outside of the abusive relationship share their POV, but I don't think Lucas was the one to do it in this case. I found myself wanting to get back inside Sparrows head more than once....That being said though, it is still a good read! Thank you #bookishfirst for the ARC
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  • Megan Clemons
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest I am not a young adult genre fan so I could of been a harder critic on this. Ballet has always been a dark subject because of body image that is associated with it. In sparrow the lead has an unforgettable and unfortunate event happen to her and she has to learn how to heal and try to figure out how to move on. She has a lot of pressure on her and keeping secrets is eating her up alive. Her talent is beautiful and she has to be able to put the secrets behind her or deal with them To be honest I am not a young adult genre fan so I could of been a harder critic on this. Ballet has always been a dark subject because of body image that is associated with it. In sparrow the lead has an unforgettable and unfortunate event happen to her and she has to learn how to heal and try to figure out how to move on. She has a lot of pressure on her and keeping secrets is eating her up alive. Her talent is beautiful and she has to be able to put the secrets behind her or deal with them head on or she may never be able to dance again. Sparrow is a dark young adult novel and honestly I don’t know appropriate it is for a teenager to read but it is eye opening on the date rape issues that so many teens face.
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsSparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson reads like a cross between Broken Beautiful Hearts and Black Swan, which is wonderful because I loved both of them. It's a well written, heartbreaking and important story. There are triggers for dating violence, assault, and abuse, but it's a much-needed book for teenage girls and young women. I loved the writing style, and even though it was difficult to read at times because of the subject matter, I still could not put the book down. I loved how the 4.5 starsSparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson reads like a cross between Broken Beautiful Hearts and Black Swan, which is wonderful because I loved both of them. It's a well written, heartbreaking and important story. There are triggers for dating violence, assault, and abuse, but it's a much-needed book for teenage girls and young women. I loved the writing style, and even though it was difficult to read at times because of the subject matter, I still could not put the book down. I loved how the symbolism of Swan Lake was intertwined with the story. Lucas was my favorite character. I wish more boys in books were like him: loyal, sensitive, a great ballet dancer and not ashamed of it. The ending was not what I expected or wanted, but it was the right ending. I hope we will get another book because Sparrow and Lucas' story feels unfinished. Overall, Sparrow was an excellent read that will stay with me for a long time. *ARC provided by the publisher and Bookish First
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  • Mariah
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Cecilia Jackson's “Sparrow” explores a sensitive topic with a unique perceptive through various viewpoints. The novel is slow in pace. I found the plot to be slightly difficult to understand, due to the fact that parts seemed to be missing. The author may have done this on purpose, because it can reflect a trauma victim’s mental state... I also found the dialogue to be too robotic and not natural. Someone trying to be a teenager, but failing at it. Nonetheless, I would recommend this novel Mary Cecilia Jackson's “Sparrow” explores a sensitive topic with a unique perceptive through various viewpoints. The novel is slow in pace. I found the plot to be slightly difficult to understand, due to the fact that parts seemed to be missing. The author may have done this on purpose, because it can reflect a trauma victim’s mental state... I also found the dialogue to be too robotic and not natural. Someone trying to be a teenager, but failing at it. Nonetheless, I would recommend this novel for fans of the ballet, because of its accuracy of the art form.
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  • Judy Beetem
    January 1, 1970
    I was so lucky to receive an ARC of Sparrow. For a couple of days I was transported into Sparrow's world of dance and friends, then horror and pain. The dialog is amazing, the descriptions - dead on. Sparrow is a gifted ballet dancer attending the Conservatory. She literally runs into Tristan - the gorgeous, most popular guy at the Conservatory. The meet-cute blossoms into a full on romance and all should be well, but Sparrow's friends don't approve. Tristan has always been a bully and was nasty I was so lucky to receive an ARC of Sparrow. For a couple of days I was transported into Sparrow's world of dance and friends, then horror and pain. The dialog is amazing, the descriptions - dead on. Sparrow is a gifted ballet dancer attending the Conservatory. She literally runs into Tristan - the gorgeous, most popular guy at the Conservatory. The meet-cute blossoms into a full on romance and all should be well, but Sparrow's friends don't approve. Tristan has always been a bully and was nasty to their circle of dance and theater friends since middle school. Tristan stays true to form and when Sparrow tries to break off the relationship, he beats her mercilessly and leaves her for dead. Lucas is Sparrow's best friend and dance partner. He's in love with her and can't stand by and watch this bully rule Sparrow's life. Unfortunatey he didn't act quickly enough and now must deal with guilt and rage as well as the uncertainy that Sparrow will recover and be able to dance again.This book was incredible. The characters are so well developed I had to stop myself from picking up the phone to text them. What sets Sparrow apart from books like 13 Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska is that these kids have a good support system (instead of trying to solve everything in their teen-aged lives themselves). The parents or guardians are well-developed characters as well and are caring, wise to a point, yet very human . Lucas, Sparrow, Delaney and the rest of their group are accepted into any household and they treat eachother's families as their own. Parents and grandparents are suffering themselves, but are able to step in and offer advice and comfort, even if its not exactly what the teens are looking for. This story of Sparrow's journey back to herself, of Lucas's final acceptance of his feelings about Sparrow and his father's recent death makes for thought provoking, moving reading. This is one I will recommend to my students and my family and friends and read again, and probably again!! and more. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read this most excellent book!
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  • Kate Larkindale
    January 1, 1970
    There was a lot I liked about this book, but probably an equal amount I didn't like.It's about a girl called Sparrow, a talented dancer in a small town who is haunted by her past to a degree that threatens her future. She gets into a relationship with a handsome player who treats her like crap and starts trying to alienate her from her friends.In a second POV we get Lucas's story. Lucas is Sparrow's dance partner and all-around nice guy. He's also in love with her, so his jealousy and suspicion There was a lot I liked about this book, but probably an equal amount I didn't like.It's about a girl called Sparrow, a talented dancer in a small town who is haunted by her past to a degree that threatens her future. She gets into a relationship with a handsome player who treats her like crap and starts trying to alienate her from her friends.In a second POV we get Lucas's story. Lucas is Sparrow's dance partner and all-around nice guy. He's also in love with her, so his jealousy and suspicion of the above-mentioned handsome player starts off feeling like sour grapes.I didn't feel like this was a book that really needed a second POV character, especially since each time Lucas stepped into the story, we were taken back in time so we could see the events of the previous section through his eyes. This really slowed the book down and seeing the same events again didn't really add much to the story. And Lucas is far too much the good-guy to be truly interesting. Even when he gave in to his temper and let his rage out, he still came across as a nice guy.The other thing I really didn't like about the book was how quickly Sparrow's relationship with Tristan developed. It didn't really develop, She met him, they went out, and suddenly they were in a relationship and in love. I never understood the connection or what made her think he loved her or why she loved him. Nothing in any of his actions made me believe that. The thing with abusive relationships is that before they become manipulative and dangerous, there has to be something real and powerful there. Otherwise no one would stay in one. Staying is hoping things will go back to being the perfect thing that existed to begin with.While ballet is obviously important to Sparrow and Lucas, it isn't really a huge part of the book, so if you're looking for a story that delves deep into the ballet world, this isn't the book for you. This is much more a delve into the psyche of a young woman whose traumatic past has her confused about what love actually looks and feels like.And as that, it does work on many levels. There are just a few too many distractions around this core plot, and not enough realistic set up in the early part of the book to sustain the later parts.Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this one in advance.
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  • Victoria Zieger
    January 1, 1970
    This book was excellent. The writing alone was stunning and poetic and the style was unique. Sparrow and Lucas were such complex characters with heartbreaking and important stories they need to be heard. The story really evaluates strong themes that are hard to explore especially for teens from abuse to loss and dealing with anger and pain. We are able to see the long term effects of abuse both physical and mental and how they shape children into adults in many aspects. This story follows two This book was excellent. The writing alone was stunning and poetic and the style was unique. Sparrow and Lucas were such complex characters with heartbreaking and important stories they need to be heard. The story really evaluates strong themes that are hard to explore especially for teens from abuse to loss and dealing with anger and pain. We are able to see the long term effects of abuse both physical and mental and how they shape children into adults in many aspects. This story follows two characters in their altering point of view throughout the story who have to learn to cope with the hardships that they have been dealt in life. This story combined the beauty of ballet and dance with the harshness of life in a stunning portrait of growth and hope. I loved the way the author intertwined Shakespeare and art in her prose and used symbolism and depth to truly develop her story and characters. This is a must read. It reminds us that we do not know all of the suffering that people have gone through and how it has made them into the people they have become. While difficult and heartbreaking, it is a story that needs to be told.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    This book was beautifully written. Judging by the characters and the scenes I can tell the author really put a ton of time and research into domestic violence, narcissistic abuse and ballet. The violent scenes between Tristan and Sparrow were so convincing and real that sometimes I felt like I needed to find a corner to hide in. She really nailed the selfishness and the surliness of an individual with Narcissistic personality disorder. The blame that Tristan placed on Sparrow for the most This book was beautifully written. Judging by the characters and the scenes I can tell the author really put a ton of time and research into domestic violence, narcissistic abuse and ballet. The violent scenes between Tristan and Sparrow were so convincing and real that sometimes I felt like I needed to find a corner to hide in. She really nailed the selfishness and the surliness of an individual with Narcissistic personality disorder. The blame that Tristan placed on Sparrow for the most asinine things because he couldn't deal with his own short comings, the quick temper and the risk taking took me back to my own situation. All in all, this book was beautifully sad taking us along for the ride mixed with beauty and ugliness. I would recommend this to anyone else who's experienced relationship violence to read only if they are strong enough to do so. To know that you are never alone and your situation is similar to others' can be a powerful tool in your recovery.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Tor Books and BookishFirst for an advanced copy of this novel. I simply cannot express how much I loved this book. I got up early so I could read it without interruption. Thank you Mary Cecilia Jackson for writing a relevant young adult novel without gratuitous sex and obscenities. Good writers don't have to rely on those elements to make a story important to teens. I fell in love with your characters and it was hard to let them go. I predict that my library users will eat this one Thank you to Tor Books and BookishFirst for an advanced copy of this novel. I simply cannot express how much I loved this book. I got up early so I could read it without interruption. Thank you Mary Cecilia Jackson for writing a relevant young adult novel without gratuitous sex and obscenities. Good writers don't have to rely on those elements to make a story important to teens. I fell in love with your characters and it was hard to let them go. I predict that my library users will eat this one up.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    2.5*I was a bit conflicted with this book. I was really looking forward to reading this after I learned I'd won an ARC from Bookish First. I have to admit that it left me a bit disappointed. Early on, I found the book trite and the characters very flat. There was no build up of tension or drama - it was choppy and stilted and jumped around all over the place, leaving me to catch up constantly. The dialogue drove me insane - I kept thinking "what teenagers speak this way?!" So early on I was 2.5*I was a bit conflicted with this book. I was really looking forward to reading this after I learned I'd won an ARC from Bookish First. I have to admit that it left me a bit disappointed. Early on, I found the book trite and the characters very flat. There was no build up of tension or drama - it was choppy and stilted and jumped around all over the place, leaving me to catch up constantly. The dialogue drove me insane - I kept thinking "what teenagers speak this way?!" So early on I was hugely disappointed. As the book progressed, I was glad I stuck with it. It did get better and I did get more invested in Sparrow's story. All in all, it wasn't a terrible read but I think there was some room for improvement.
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  • Seanean
    January 1, 1970
    Savannah Rose, better known as Sparrow, is a brilliant dancer. Her lifts and jumps are the envy of everyone in the company. She will definitely be the Swan Queen in the next major showcase.But Sparrow keeps her private life out of her dance. She tries very hard to keep them separate. Her friends are from ballet. Her social life revolves around ballet. And she has no one else.Until Tristan.He's everything a girl could dream of. He's kind. He's generous. He's gorgeous. And he says he loves her... Savannah Rose, better known as Sparrow, is a brilliant dancer. Her lifts and jumps are the envy of everyone in the company. She will definitely be the Swan Queen in the next major showcase.But Sparrow keeps her private life out of her dance. She tries very hard to keep them separate. Her friends are from ballet. Her social life revolves around ballet. And she has no one else.Until Tristan.He's everything a girl could dream of. He's kind. He's generous. He's gorgeous. And he says he loves her...... after every time he abuses her.His love has conditions. His love depends on her behaving. If he gets angry, then she must have done something wrong.Sparrow learned this with her mother years before. If they are angry, you were bad.No matter how hard Sparrow's friends try to show her the truth and no matter how hard they try to protect her, they are no match for her own deep insecurities. And they are definitely no match for Tristan's fists when he gets angry. Final thoughts: Whoa. This one hit every button in me. I literally cried more than a few times during this. It is NOT an easy read. But it IS a necessary one for many. The author really nailed all of the points of view on this one. While there were a few little things to nitpick, the overall story is deep and meaningful. There is no HEA (Happily Ever After) in this. It does end, but it's not the same, predictable ending that people have come to expect. This ending is real. I strongly recommend this, but warn that there are triggers here.Rating: 5/5Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Forge for the ARC.
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  • Sacha
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. I’ll post a review upon publication.
  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I have a lot of feelings about this book, and the rating is subject to change.First, this book is told in what I’ll call an interesting format, and I’d be curious to look at a finished copy to see if chapters are shifted around later. At this point, the first 100 pages of the book are told from Sparrow’s perspective but frequently reference things which the reader doesn’t know anything about. For example, a funeral takes place after an illness which was never described but the characters all I have a lot of feelings about this book, and the rating is subject to change.First, this book is told in what I’ll call an interesting format, and I’d be curious to look at a finished copy to see if chapters are shifted around later. At this point, the first 100 pages of the book are told from Sparrow’s perspective but frequently reference things which the reader doesn’t know anything about. For example, a funeral takes place after an illness which was never described but the characters all knew about it. Then the perspective shifts to Sparrow’s best male friend, Lucas. Lucas’ story backs up and describes some of the same events, filling the reader in on details previously unknown. On one hand, i can understand how important it was to tell Sparrow’s story in an uninterrupted fashion, but on the other hand, it leaves the reader confused and just hoping that some explanation will come later. It does, but you just don’t know that going in.The next thing is that those first 100 pages are magically simultaneously incredibly difficult to read while going down so smooth. Reading the description of Sparrow’s interactions with Tristan are painful and upsetting. Anyone who has been in an abusive, controlling relationship is likely to have a visceral response in places. But i could barely tear my eyes from the page because it was all so perfectly written. This entire book reads quickly. I didn’t count, but i probably put a total of 6 hours into it maybe?Maybe the final thing that i want to mention is that I’m not sure how believable i found the emotional responses of these characters. Do people really blame themselves for the horrendous things other people do, and engage in such nasty behavior to the people who care about them? If they do, i haven’t seen it. It was just a little over the top to me. There were also places where i felt like i was being emotionally manipulated by how ham-fisted tragedies and lessons were. I also found some of the children to exhibit behavior which didn’t quite match their ages. Sometimes Lucas busted out with these extremely prosaic statements that just did not make sense coming out of a 17/18 year old male’s mouth. But then again, I also never knew that there were straight male ballet dancers, so perhaps my knowledge of the world isn’t to be trusted.I suspect this would be a good book for discussion, either with a young person just learning how to be in a relationship or other adults with some experience under their belts. However, as an adult, i would not just hand this book to a teenager without having read it first. This book covers some heavy ground.
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  • Edd Tello
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read some heartbreaking novels about domestic abuse this year. From all those stories, Sparrow was my favorite. Savannah Rose –Sparrow to her friends and family– is a seventeen-year-old talented ballerina. Sparrow starts dating Tristan, the popular guy at school. But soon she realizes he's not perfect as she thought. After suffering a brutal assault by him, Sparrow has two options. She can either admit what happened to her family and best friend Lucas or keep silence. Choosing the latter, I’ve read some heartbreaking novels about domestic abuse this year. From all those stories, Sparrow was my favorite. Savannah Rose –Sparrow to her friends and family– is a seventeen-year-old talented ballerina. Sparrow starts dating Tristan, the popular guy at school. But soon she realizes he's not perfect as she thought. After suffering a brutal assault by him, Sparrow has two options. She can either admit what happened to her family and best friend Lucas or keep silence. Choosing the latter, because that’s what her mother taught her, Sparrow’s life gets darker. When this happens, she knows it's time to stop being a victim and confront her past, or she will fall in a hole with no way out. After reading the first part of the story, I was convinced that the book wasn’t about a toxic relationship. It's about how our childhood experiences determine who we become when we grow up and how they affect our future. It's about a strong character who suffers the consequences of having a troubled mother. Physical abuse is a sensitive topic to write about, but the author finds a heartbreaking-unique way to tell Sparrow's story. The narrative perspective is told by Sparrow and Lucas. The first one helps us to understand how a person who suffers abuse feels like and all the process she struggles to recover, and the second one to realize that a tragedy not only affects the victim but also people around her. I would have liked the entire book to be only from Sparrow's point of view. She's an intense and interesting character and had a lot to offer to the story, especially her recovery journey. Besides Sparrow, Lucas, as a person, had a lot to deal with. All those experiences could have made him grow through the pages, and it wasn't like that. It didn't make me cry or feel sad. I felt like his part lacked empathy. What I liked the most about Sparrow is the last part of the book. The dialogues are wisely written. Her visits with the therapist after the coma her boyfriend puts her in, made me understand the physical and psychological damage that a person faces after an assault like the protagonist suffers; how hard it is to feel loved again and believe in others, but especially in herself.In all, Sparrow is a fantastic book if you feel ok reading about abuse. It has explicit content, but it is necessary for people who are getting a difficult time in their lives. P.S. I loved the cover of the book and what it represents for the story.
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  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    There is a lot of sadness in this novel. If you are at all triggered by domestic violence and/or child abuse then this is probably not the story for you.Sparrow is a ballet dancer. Ballet and the friends she has made there are her life... until she runs in front of Tristan’s car and collides with it.Tristan is dashing, popular, gorgeous and abusive. Very quickly... Sparrow finds herself in a relationship that is all-encompassing. Tristan is possessive and controlling. Soon his jealousy turns to There is a lot of sadness in this novel. If you are at all triggered by domestic violence and/or child abuse then this is probably not the story for you.Sparrow is a ballet dancer. Ballet and the friends she has made there are her life... until she runs in front of Tristan’s car and collides with it.Tristan is dashing, popular, gorgeous and abusive. Very quickly... Sparrow finds herself in a  relationship that is all-encompassing. Tristan is possessive and controlling. Soon his jealousy turns to anger and he’s physically abusing her.No matter what Sparrow’s friends say - and they try everything - she won’t admit that she’s being physically hurt by the boyfriend who claims to love her. He always apologizes, he buys her gifts, and he always feels guilty. the problem is that the abuse never stops.I found the time a little difficult to follow in this novel. The relationship between Sparrow and Tristan seems to advance from zero to one hundred in a very short space of time. it’s not that it’s not possible for a relationship to happen that way - it just seemed a little strange to me.The other perspective in the book is that of Lucas. He is Sparrow’s dance partner and also... has feelings for her. he’s everything that Tristan isn’t. Lucas is sweet and kind, generous of spirit, and appreciates dance in the same way Sparrow does.Lucas is not the object of Sparrow’s affection and despite his jealousy, he tries to be the friend she needs even when she refuses to tell the truth about her abusive relationship.I enjoyed Lucas’ perspective more than Sparrow’s. I think I found her a little bit frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I GET the issues with domestic violence and how difficult it can be to make the decision to get away ... but I’m not sure that the author captured the hopelessness and fear of being alone... and the million other thoughts that go through one’s mind.Maybe I just found Lucas' perspective a more comfortable place to be as a reader.The extreme violence that everyone is expecting finally happens and Sparrow is nearly killed. This is the point at which her past begins to be revealed. There’s much more to Sparrow’s past than the reader knows initially.This book is emotional, especially Lucas’ perspective. (for me anyway) It’s violent but it’s about a topic that needs to be spoken about a lot more often.
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  • Sue's Romance Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsSparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson is an emotional and heartbreaking read that highlights the strength of the human psyche and soul to let go and move forward just as beautifully and gracefully despite tragedy.In this bittersweet novel, we take a journey with Sparrow, a young and talented ballerina. We experience heart-pounding highs and earth-crashing lows as she falls in love and, after a brutal betrayal, must figure out who she is and what she is made of. This violent and tragic 4.5 StarsSparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson is an emotional and heartbreaking read that highlights the strength of the human psyche and soul to let go and move forward just as beautifully and gracefully despite tragedy.In this bittersweet novel, we take a journey with Sparrow, a young and talented ballerina. We experience heart-pounding highs and earth-crashing lows as she falls in love and, after a brutal betrayal, must figure out who she is and what she is made of. This violent and tragic incident also sets off a wave of emotional, physical and mental destruction that leaves no one close to Sparrow unscathed.Can Sparrow learn to live again or will she be forever broken and silenced?This is a compelling read that kept me turning the pages. Full of heartbreak and devastation, I shed tears and got angry. Make sure you have tissues handy. What Sparrow endures may be triggering but, rest assured, she will find her way.eI must say that I absolutely loved Lucas. His strength, protectiveness and friendship are unparalleled. He is so down to earth and yet so untamable. He is himself. Honest and true.This book, for me, seems true to nature. The way Sparrow’s friends try to help while she pushes them away seems eerily authentic.I was left with a couple questions as well. Why did Tristan choose to date Sparrow after so many years? It seemed a little out of the blue, for me. Also, why does she count by threes? Where did that come from?At certain points, like when Tristan has an abrupt change in his demeanor, I felt that I was missing parts of the story. He becomes someone different and we don’t get to see the breakdown right away. Sparrow and Tristan’s relationship seems to be unraveling and yet, we don’t know how they got there either. It seems to go from zero to sixty so quickly. Later on, in the novel, when told from Lucas’s point of view, the story does go back in time to explain the missing pieces. I don’t know if that is the best way for the story to unfold but I got all the information I needed regardless and persevered.For me, this book ends with a HFN. It’s a bittersweet ending that has me aching for another chapter in Lucas and Sparrow’s lives. I need more and hope this author follows this up with a sequel.I received an ARC via NetGalley of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Melissa Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    (2/5) DNF. Sparrow is a high school ballerina struggling with demons of her past (her mom’s death when she was a child), as well as an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. This story is about how she deals with these things while being a high schooler and ballerina who has a bright future ahead of her.This was a disappointing read. I’ve read five or six ballet books, having authored one myself. I suppose I was expecting a lot more from this. There are so many deep parallels that can be drawn (2/5⭐️) DNF. Sparrow is a high school ballerina struggling with demons of her past (her mom’s death when she was a child), as well as an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. This story is about how she deals with these things while being a high schooler and ballerina who has a bright future ahead of her.This was a disappointing read. I’ve read five or six ballet books, having authored one myself. I suppose I was expecting a lot more from this. There are so many deep parallels that can be drawn with ballet and physiological issues. I don’t think the author did a good job there. I had to stop at chapter six after reading some icky-feeling boyfriend abuse scenes. Moreover, the story was very disjointed, skipping over all the events I would have felt were important, leaving me confused and feeling like I had missed something.Unfortunately, I did not find myself invested. The relationship between Sparrow and Tristan King was so rushed, that there was no development between them. It went from sudden meeting, to first date, to abusive boyfriend. I found myself unable to understand why Sparrow would put up with such treatment. She kept saying it was because she loved Tristan, but I wasn’t able to see that because I was not part of any development of love between them. I wonder if there was a reason the author wrote this in such a disjointed way? Perhaps she was trying to draw parallels between trauma victims and confusion/missing swaths of memory and information, but I think she could have done it in a better way.The relationship abuse I witnessed between Tristan and Sparrow left me feeling depressed, icky, and even anxious. It also felt really overplayed, like the author was trying too hard. All in all, I didn’t find myself enjoying a minute of this book and had to put it down for how upset it made me feel. I like to read for enjoyment and captivation. I felt neither of these. Also, there wasn’t a lot of actual ballet in this book so if you’re hoping for more ballet, I’d go elsewhere. Thank you to @netgalley for the ARC. I did my best to give it an honest review based on the six chapters I read. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the book for me.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Two major points in the book's favor, particularly in contrast to other YA books: portrayal of ballet as an artistic outlet that does not involve eating disorders/self harm/attacking other dancers, and discussion of abuse cycles and the way trauma can extend over years and manifest in different ways. I also appreciated the small clues toward the beginning which became more fully explained later.I will say, however, that much of the book didn't strike a particular chord with me. The first half in Two major points in the book's favor, particularly in contrast to other YA books: portrayal of ballet as an artistic outlet that does not involve eating disorders/self harm/attacking other dancers, and discussion of abuse cycles and the way trauma can extend over years and manifest in different ways. I also appreciated the small clues toward the beginning which became more fully explained later.I will say, however, that much of the book didn't strike a particular chord with me. The first half in particular seemed weaker - the time jump in Sparrow and Tristan's relationship, the side characters who aren't especially well differentiated and mostly disappear later in the book. Lucas's perspective, which I never really warmed to, seemed especially extraneous during this half, when so much of his chapters only repeated Sparrow's POV without significant further insight into either their characters or the situation.I think the very thing which made the book stand out from others about abuse in teen couples, and which transformed the second part (delving into how Sparrow had been conditioned to accept or excuse the verbal abuse and later violence in their relationship, even when it was so clear and so obviously severe; a portrayal of continuing trauma in her life rather than the "frog in hot water" situations which characterize many other YA books of this type) made Lucas's chapters a weak link. They seemed so heavily focused on Tristan and Lucas blaming himself for not intervening in the relationship, even as the narrative seemed to have moved to a secondary level in its examination of the abuse.Overall, I think I enjoyed it more because it had interesting ideas to share than and a careful way of sharing them than because of any particular love of the characters or enjoyment of the language, but it's certainly not a bad read (although potentially heavily triggering).
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  • Celina
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so sad and heartbreaking while also being so beautiful and triumphing. I honestly didn't care how Sparrow decided to go on a date with Tristan who is know to fly through girlfriends like they are candy and who has been nothing, but mean to Sparrow and her friends. He's handsome so Sparrow decides to go out with him. As much as I wanted to say don't do it, I understand why the author would choose this way to have Sparrow say yes. There are too many young girls that go out with the This book was so sad and heartbreaking while also being so beautiful and triumphing. I honestly didn't care how Sparrow decided to go on a date with Tristan who is know to fly through girlfriends like they are candy and who has been nothing, but mean to Sparrow and her friends. He's handsome so Sparrow decides to go out with him. As much as I wanted to say don't do it, I understand why the author would choose this way to have Sparrow say yes. There are too many young girls that go out with the jerk in school just because he is "hot." At first Tristan is sweet, but quickly turns verbally and physically abusive towards Sparrow. Her friends see the warning signs, but are afraid to say anything. They don't want to upset her or have Sparrow turn away from them because of her history with her mom. Sparrow suffers from PTSD and OCD from the abuse she suffered as a young child. She hides her emotions from the abuse that still haunts her from her mother. The whole story I am screaming at her to just ask for help and to run far far away from Tristan. She finally sees the light, but it turns ugly and Tristan throws Sparrow into the river after beating her close to death. She spends weeks in a coma before coming out of it. She now has to go through the struggles of dealing with what happen and it takes months for her to come to terms with everything and face Tristan. Overall, I really did love this book even with the emotional triggers with abuse, death, and cancer. This book truly shines the light on teen domestic violence and that their are people are out there to help and support through it. I love how Sparrow finally breaks through the darkness and begins to dance as a ballerina again. I couldn't be happier!
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  • Jennifer Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is about Savannah Rose, or Sparrow. Sparrow is a seventeen year old girl. She’s a ballerina, a small town in Virginia. Sparrow had a troubled childhood, due to her mother. Leaving her good at hiding, and keeping things secret, and to herself. She’s excited when the seemingly perfect guy, Tristen King, asks her out. He’s a track star, has money, is handsome. But that leads to abuse, and as she’s learned growing up, keeping it secret. A girl that never tells. So, the abuse gets near This book is about Savannah Rose, or Sparrow. Sparrow is a seventeen year old girl. She’s a ballerina, a small town in Virginia. Sparrow had a troubled childhood, due to her mother. Leaving her good at hiding, and keeping things secret, and to herself. She’s excited when the seemingly perfect guy, Tristen King, asks her out. He’s a track star, has money, is handsome. But that leads to abuse, and as she’s learned growing up, keeping it secret. A girl that never tells. So, the abuse gets near fatal for Sparrow. I don’t even know where to begin with this book. It was beautiful, it was heartbreaking, it was incredible. What Sparrow goes through, your head breaks for her. And the more you learn, the more you feel. The characters (even the bad one) were beautifully and wonderfully written. Your heart breaks for what they go through (not the bad one). You feel for them. This is a book that draws you in right away. You get totally and completely involved in the world of these characters. You want to keep reading, page after page. You need to know what happens next. This story is written in the point of view of Sparrow, and her best friend and dance partner, Lucas. I think writing it in this way, was the perfect way to tell this story. Reading Sparrow, you are getting her thoughts and feelings. You get to learn why she feels she has to keep everything secret. It kind of gives you an idea of what an abuse victim may think and feel. So you can better understand them. And as Lucas, you are getting the other side of it. How, watching a loved one suffer abuse, affects those that loved them. I absolutely LOVED this book. I’ll admit at points it made me ugly cry. Amazing story.
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  • Karissa
    January 1, 1970
    Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I got an eGalley from NetGalley.com to review. Story (3/5): I have mixed feelings about this one. Some parts were a bit confusing; for example I didn't realize Sophie was Sparrow's aunt until well into the book; for some reason I thought she was Sparrow's stepmom at first. I also wasn't a huge fan of switching between Sparrow and Lucas's POV; they just seemed to be separate stories with separate issues the characters were facing and didn't merge Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I got an eGalley from NetGalley.com to review. Story (3/5): I have mixed feelings about this one. Some parts were a bit confusing; for example I didn't realize Sophie was Sparrow's aunt until well into the book; for some reason I thought she was Sparrow's stepmom at first. I also wasn't a huge fan of switching between Sparrow and Lucas's POV; they just seemed to be separate stories with separate issues the characters were facing and didn't merge together well.Aside from those issues this was an emotional read about a young woman who's been programmed to accept abuse and her struggle back to life from a brutal attack. It's hard to read at points, but also feels a bit contrived. The ballet is more of a backdrop to the story than a really integral part of the story.Characters (3/5): The characters were...okay. I again had mixed feelings about Sparrow...I get that her background played a part here but I was very frustrated with how she kept letting her boyfriend treat her and how she pushed her friends away. I get that she’s supposed to be “prey” but I really struggle with protagonists like her. I didn't like her but I think that's the point in the beginning of this book. I also thought Lucas came off as really immature at points and didn’t really enjoy him much as a character either.Setting (3/5): The setting is contemporary. Brief portions of the story take place in a ballet studio which was interesting.Writing Style (3/5): The writing style was readable with no big technical flaws. I didn’t enjoy the switching of POV and found some things confusing because they weren’t explained well. However, it was okay. Summary (3/5): Overall this was okay but not great. I am always a sucker for ballerina stories for some reason. This is less of a story about ballet and more of a story about a teenage girl battling her demons and overcoming abusive relationships. If you are into that sort of thing you might like this, otherwise I would skip it.
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