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Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

BOOK review
Started on: 4.March.2016
Finished on: 9.March.2016

Title : Orbiting Jupiter
Author : Gary D. Schmidt
Publisher : Andersen Digital
Pages :  197 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2015
Price : -

Rating: 4/5
"He really could have been any other eighth-grade kid at Eastham Middle School. Except he had a daughter. And he wouldn't look at you when he talked—if he talked."
Jackson Hurd's family decided to take in a foster child called Joseph Brook. At first glance, Joseph might look just like any other eighth-grader; but his life turned out to be much more complicated than that. At the age of 13, Joseph became a father—although he had never seen his daughter. Then Joseph spent time in juvie for trying to kill a teacher once. After being misunderstood for so many times in his life, Joseph has turned into a defensive person. It was not easy, but Jack kept trying to befriend Joseph despite what other people said about him. And the most important thing for Joseph now is to find his daughter, Jupiter.

"I have to see Jupiter. Will you help me?"... and then under the sharp stars and the silver moon and glowing Jupiter, Joseph told us everything.
image source: here. edited by: me.
"Because he loved her.
He loved her.
He had never known love before.
He had never known how much it could fill him.
He had never known anything, he thought."
I decided to start reading this book on my short trip out of town because I needed something short. Although lengthwise this book is fairly short, it actually took me quite a while to finish it. Probably because it's a really sad and depressing book despite it being a middle-grade story. The book is narrated by 12-year-old Jack, and he takes us through his friendship with Joseph that started off really cold at the beginning, but gradually grows closer as time went by. The story itself is actually really simple, there's not a lot of conflict going on in it either. But somehow the simplicity in which Gary D. Schmidt delivered the story successfully played with my emotions. He was able to make a simple gesture into something extremely heartwarming and touching. I won't explain thoroughly what the whole plot is because there's really not much to tell without spoiling too much. The ending caught me by surprise; I really was not expecting the story to turn out that way. Again, I won't spoil anything, but the ending is both heartbreaking yet relieving for me.
"Maybe angels aren't always meant to stop bad things."
"So what good are they?"
"To be with us when bad things happen."
I can't help but love Jack's character in this book, I think he's a really sweet and loving kid. Despite what other people said about Joseph, Jack is persistent in being his friend and always had his back. Jack is willing to do anything to help Joseph, and I think that's a really beautiful portrayal of friendship. Joseph on the other hand, is a much more complicated character. He was raised in an abusive family and never knew what love feels like until he met the girl he loves. I love seeing how Joseph's character transformed throughout the story; how the love he received from Jack's family has changed him from the inside—turning him into a compassionate person.
"Being responsible," Mr. Canton said, "means being ready to do what you're supposed to be doing, even if no one is watching or making you do it."
This book was bittersweet from beginning to end. There were a lot of heartbreaking moments but also heartwarming ones. Seeing Jack's family made me believe that there are still people out there who are pure at heart and genuinely wants to help others without expecting anything back. And this story also showed me what friendship truly means and what it means to have someone's back. This book didn't made me cry like it did with a lot of other readers, but I have to admit Gary D. Schmidt's writing really tugged at my heartstrings.
"Christmas is the season for miracles, you know. Sometimes they come big and loud, I guess—but I've never seen one of those. I think probably most miracles are a lot smaller, and sort of still, and so quiet, you could miss them.
I didn't miss this one.
When my father put his hand on Joseph's back, Joseph didn't even flinch."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

1 comment:

  1., 13 and has had a daughter xD and I am sure I had seen this kind of headline when I was in college from Guardian News...


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