Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: The Jumbee - Pamela Keyes

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (This entire cover is gorgeous, especially the mask. Also, those eyes are striking.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 14, 2010
Publisher: Dial
Page Count: 385 p.

Esti Legard is an actres living in the shadow of her father, an even greater actor. After her father dies, Esti convinces her mother to move them to Cariba, so she can attend the Manichay School and hopefully step out from under her father's shadow. When she hears a strange voice mentoring her on her parts in the play she has joined, she isn't sure if it's real, she's going crazy, or it's a Jumbee. Many of the locals are quick to tell her that he's a Jumbee, but there is something so real about him that Esti can't believe it. When her childhood friend Rafe shows up on the island, way hotter than he used to be, but every bit as charming, Esti starts a longing attraction toward him. Though it's hard for her to be in Rafe's arms while she thinks about her mysterious Jumbee. When strange things start to happen that no one can explain, blame turns to Esti and the Jumbee that locals fear she converse with. Is her mentor simply trying to possess her, or does he simply need a friend and sees one in her.

This was an amazing story. There was so much going on and so many emotions, but Pamela Keyes did an excellent job of reigning them all in so that the story flowed smoothly. I loved the Phantom of the Opera aspect and the Shakespeare on nearly every page. It didn't feel like reading Shakespeare though, it just flowed so nicely and lyrically. There was really nothing that I didn't absolutely love about this book. I guess if I had to pick something it would be Esti's friendships, or her lack of them. She talks about having this great friend in Carmen when she first gets to the island, but then Carmen falls quickly to the wayside. Though this is acknowledge by Esti, I don't feel like they established enough of a friendship to have Esti ditch her. I did love Rafe and the mysterious voice man. Rafe was really energetic and flirty, even if he did call her babe all the time. I think that this book would appeal to everyone who enjoys theater in any capacity. I am by no means a thespian, I haven't actually ever been in a play, but I do enjoy them and I got sucked into this story right away and practically sprinted through it. I didn't actually read it that fast though, because I wanted to savor the mysteries even when at times it was completely unbearable not to know what was going on. I loved the whole feel about the island and the dialect of the natives only added to the setting even more. I could completely feel like I was on the island, even though there was snow outside my apartment. Esti's mom wasn't a very like-able character for me. I feel bad for not liking her, but I feel like she was just to irresponsible and too much of a lush. I mean, her husband did die and that sucks and I realize that, but Esti seemed totally fine and yet here her mom is drinking bottle after bottle of wine while moping around the house. It seems like she could have been a slightly more alive character to fit in with Esti and her father. It was really interesting though, that Esti's mother was such a contrast from herself. Esti was sneaking out and having tryst with different boys and in a play and...her mom was getting drunk at home. Okay, sorry for ranting about her mom. Anyways, I highly recommend you lovers of YA and mysterious backstage voices and cute boys on the beach to check this one out. Unless you absolutely hate everything about Shakespeare, then...maybe skip it.

First Line:
"'Paul is dead!'"

Favorite Line:
"Fifty years from now she knew she would remember every detail of those sea-colored eyes."   

1 comment:

  1. I liked your review. This one keeps catching my eye. I love the whole idea of the phantom of the opera vibe (because phantom of the opera is probably my favorite book) I think i'll have to put this on my to-buy list already. :)

    BTW: Do you want to do a guest blog post?


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