Publisher's Note:  

Jersey Hatch seemed to have it all together—he played sports, was popular, had a great girlfriend, best friend, and supportive parents. But when he emerges from a recuperative care center, all that is gone, his legs and hands don’t work right, his mouth says every word that pops into his brain, and he has to write down his thoughts so that he remembers even the most basic directions and details. Through it all, one question haunts him: why did he try to kill himself?

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books


by Susan Vaught

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

While the subject of this book is depressing, Vaught did an amazing job of not making it too heavy. I didn't expect to laugh but she included a lot of humor to lighten the mood a bit while not detracting from the message. It was incredibly eye-opening to be able to get into the head of the main character, Jersey, who had unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide, and better understand what a person in a similar circumstance might struggle with physically, mentally and emotionally. Through her experiences as a neuropsychologist who has helped many patients deal with this very thing, she was able to make Jersey feel very real. She also made the secondary characters easy to connect with, especially Momma Rush, who you couldn't help but love (and be a bit afraid of). It was interesting to see how those who were nearly left behind dealt with the situation, tried to help Jersey recover and also worked through their own emotional healing. Whether you're looking to learn or be entertained or both, this four star book will appeal to male, female, teenage and adult audiences.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 29 religious exclamations; 13 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 10 scatological words; 19 anatomical terms.


Violence/Gore: Several (13) brief incidents including attempted suicide; surgeries cutting skull open and hole in neck; verbal threat; suicidal thoughts; shoving; punching.


Sex/Nudity: Few (7) brief incidents including hug and kiss; sexual innuendo; implied sexual activity;character (with amnesia) wondering if got girlfriend pregnant; questioning sexuality.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying; attempted suicide and suicidal thoughts; questioning own sexuality; brief and sarcastic mention of needing exorcist.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

List of drugs, wondering if character with amnesia had taken any; adults smoking.

Reviewed By Jenny
No image available