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Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Jumpstart the World

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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10115119,589 (3.88)1



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This is a nice little story, if somewhat not credible, about just 16-year-old Elle who moves into her own apartment because her mom’s new boyfriend thinks life would be better for everyone if she did not remain living at home. Elle meets her new neighbors – Frank and Molly – and becomes quite impressed with Frank immediately. However, her “crush” is not who he appears to be, he is in the process of transitioning from female to male. This is a story of how Elle comes to terms with her relationship to Frank and Molly, a new school with new friends, her new cat and ultimately her relationship with her mother. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Nov 26, 2015 |
When I heard this book was about a girl's transgender neighbor, I thought it would overly preach about tolerance. Instead, it's beautifully written and incredibly emotion in a subtle way. Fifteen-year-old Elle's mom has a new boyfriend who doesn't like teenagers, so her mother rents an apartment across town for Elle to live in. Alone. Except not alone, because her new neighbor introduces himself immediately, and they grow close. And Elle makes friends at her new school. But when their worlds involve different sexualities and identities, Elle doesn't know if she can cope, so she shuts them out. But will she realize how much she really needs them before they're gone? The honesty of Elle's thoughts and actions is really refreshing.
( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a YA about a teen, Elle, living on her own because her mother's boyfriend doesn't want her at home. She's taken under the wing of her neighbors, Frank and Molly. She eventually learns (after developing a crush on Frank) that's he's transgender. And (as these transgender themed books usually seem to go), her life is turned upside down.

Honestly, the the bigger issue here is a teenager being forced out of her home by an abusive boyfriend, and a mother not being able to see that. Elle is forced to do a lot of growing up just so she can survive on her own while still managing to stay in school.

Then there's all too perfect, crush-worthy Frank. Elle perceives him as gentle, caring and willing to listen. These attributes have nothing to do with Frank being trans. No, these are signs that Frank, unlike her messed up mother and would-be step-father, is a normal, caring, well-adjusted human being.

As seems required by these sorts of books, Elle myst go through a chapter or three of freak out. Does her crush signify something about her sexuality or gender that she's not been previously aware of? For a kid living on her own, I doubt she'd really have the time or energy to spend on this level of a freak out. But having Elle just roll with it, I guess, would have been too dull.

Sigh. ( )
  pussreboots | Jan 12, 2015 |
Loved this novel about a 16 year old living in her own apartment in New York after her mother dropped her there to be with her boyfriend. In JumpStart the World, Elle makes friends with her next door neighbors who aren't as ordinary as they seem. She struggles with friendships and coming into her own sense of self. It was a great read, and I would definitely recommend it to high schoolers. ( )
  Trock33 | Sep 11, 2014 |
Hands down the best YA book with trans/genderqueer characters I've read, which is not to say perfect by any means but politically and emotionally smart. Okay! ( )
  anderlawlor | Apr 9, 2013 |
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Sixteen-year-old Elle falls in love with Frank, the neighbor who helps her adjust to being on her own in a big city, but learning that he is transgendered turns her world upside-down.

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