Book Review: "Sparrow" by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Updated: May 20
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Publication Details: 338 pp; Tor Teen; March 17, 2020
Savannah Rose –Sparrow to her friends and family– is a seventeen-year-old talented ballerina. Sparrow starts dating Tristan, the popular rich guy at school. But soon she realizes he's not perfect as she thought. Sparrow begins suffering abuse by him because he gets jealous of Lucas, her best friend. People around her question the relationship she has with Tristan, but she doesn't admit how toxic her boyfriend is.
One day, Tristan brutally assault Sparrow, putting her into a coma. When she awakens, Sparrow has two options. She can either admit to her family and Lucas what happened or keep silent. Choosing the latter, because that's what her mother taught her, Sparrow's life gets darker.
After reading the first part of the story, I was convinced that the book wasn't only about an abusive relationship but also childhood trauma. It's a story about how experiences determine who we become when we grow up and how they affect our future. It's about a girl 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.
Sparrow is a two point-of-view story told by Sparrow and Lucas. Sparrow's part helps us to understand how a person who suffers abuse feels like and all the process she struggles with to heal, and Luca's part 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 POV tho. 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. I felt like his part lacked empathy.
What I liked most were the dialogues. They are wisely written. Sparrow visits with the therapist after the coma, 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.
Overall, Sparrow is a cruel but hopeful novel if you feel ok reading about abuse. It has explicit content.
P.S. I loved the cover of the book and what it represents for the story.