Review: Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce

Anthem for Jackson Dawes Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce

Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Page Count: 240
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Megan Bright and Jackson Dawes are two teenagers who first meet each other on the hospital ward where they are both being treated for cancer. Megan is scared and worried about her illness, but Jackson seems to be an old hand, having been on the ward for ages. And everybody loves Jackson! He is a whirlwind of life and energy, warmth and sparkle. Megan will need to borrow some of Jackson's extraordinary optimism to face her and Jackson's future. A moving story of first love and a remarkably powerful debut novel.

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Anthem for Jackson Dawes is an emotional and thought provoking story. It's a short book at only 240 pages, but sure to touch your heart. It was an enjoyable read, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

The protagonist, Megan, meets Jackson on her first day in the hospital. She feels an instant connection to Jackson and finds herself drawn to him. Megan was young and innocent, and I thought her crush on Jackson was really sweet. Meeting Jackson had a huge impact on Megan, as he gave her a better outlook on life during a very difficult time.

Jackson is very likable and he has such a winning personality. Everyone can't help but notice him when he walks into a room. Because Jackson has been in and out of the hospital for a long time, he tries his best to make the new patients feel welcomed and get them acquainted with the newness of being in the ward. I really felt for him because you could tell how hard he tried to make it easy for the new kids.

Anthem For Jackson Dawes covers only a very small part of Megan and Jackson's lives, which is when they are in the hospital at the same time. I wish I could have gotten to know Megan and Jackson better so I could have become more attached to their characters.

This is a nice, clean read that would be suitable for younger readers since a lot of the heavier stuff is glossed over or skipped altogether. I thought the writing was really good, the story was short and emotional, and the details were kept to a minimum. I would have loved for the characters to have been better developed and for the story to be longer.

Overall, I did enjoy reading Anthem For Jackson Dawes. I liked the the themes of friendship and hope. While the story did make me cry, I didn't connect with the characters like I would have preferred. This is a solid debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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