THE DEATH OF JAYSON PORTER by Jaime Adoff

THE DEATH OF JAYSON PORTER

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Abuse coupled with the death of a friend drives a teen over the edge and toward a new life. Jayson Porter wonders why he doesn’t stand up to the constant abuse of his alcoholic mother. Unfortunately, Bandon, Fla., has few options for an interracial 16-year-old whose skills include avoiding neighborhood thugs, cleaning motor-homes and failing classes. After an unsuccessful suicidal leap lands him in traction, Jayson begins to confront both his inner turmoil and his kidnappers. Adoff’s narrative blends verse styling with short chapters, accurately reflecting Jayson’s conflicted personality and disjointed home life. Though tragically flawed, the characters are ultimately underdeveloped; Jessie’s alcoholism only partly explains her abuse and raises questions as to the authenticity of her anger toward Jayson. Adoff’s portrayal of the weakened Jayson and ultimate reunion with Trina creates a saccharine feeling in the second half of the book, which is incongruous with the pervasive despair in the first half. As Jayson comes back to life, readers can’t help but wish the turnaround had been more realistic. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0691-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2008




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