Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review of Jumper by Steve Gould

This is not a review of the novelization of the movie, but of the original book the movie is loosely based on. My husband had read the books and watched the movie, he enjoyed both and encouraged me to read the books and watch the film. We watched the movie together, and then I read the first book. It's interesting to watch a movie with someone that has read the book it's based on, and he wanted an opinion on the movie without the knowledge of the book. The movie is interesting and exciting, but I think the original novel is better. (Aren't they always?)

There are many things the same in the book and the film. The main character is Davy, a boy with an abusive, alcoholic father. Davy discovers his ability to jump when his dad is beating him very badly. His mother left in the book as well, though not for the same reasons. (I'm avoiding two different spoilers here.) We follow Davy on a journey of learning about the outside world and his gift of teleporting or jumping as he calls it. He meets a girl named Millie and falls in love. He struggles with whether to tell her about his gift, afraid it will scare her off.

There are also many differences. He is not being chased by an organization out to kill jumpers. The book is more of a drama and character study. Don't get me wrong, it has lots of action too. We see our protagonist struggle with choices, such is life I suppose. One of the big things Davy struggles with is his anger, which is very common among abuse victims. While the movie makers made Davy less appealling, though not unappealling, they made his Dad more so.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was entertaining and well paced. I will probably read the sequel. I'd say this is a good summer read, a great way to relax for a weekend.

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