Jessie is determined not to let her hearing loss hold her back. She aims her sights even higher as she ventures in a new direction. With a Black Belt on the horizon, and so close to achieving it, she is unaware of the danger closing in on her.
Until one day, everything suddenly changes and she finds herself standing on the precipice of life. Will she be strong enough to hold on or will she succumb to the darkness that surrounds her?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the third book in a series that follows Jessie, a teen with a hearing impediment. I really enjoyed this story!
Jessie McIntyre is a character I could relate to easily. She has faced many difficult challenges over the last couple of years, what with being bullied at school and competing at Karate tournaments. Now heading towards her eighteenth birthday, Jessie is finding life even more complicated. Will she overcome the obstacles placed in her way? And can she find out what her destiny has in store?
After finishing Compass, I was eager to start reading Destiny and started reading it as soon as I could. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Jessie overcome more than her fair share of problems over the series. She is a very determined young woman, but I found her insecurity caused by her hearing is one issue that seems to hold her back at times.
This story sees Jessie trying her hand at working, first at a art class as an assistant, and then as a volunteer candy-striper at the hospital. I can remember my first attempts at the job market; I remember how nervous I was, worried I would make a complete idiot of myself. Therefore, I could certainly understand and sympathize with Jessie as she tries to figure out the intricacies of those jobs and the people she interacts with.
She also is determined to get her black belt in Karate, which I admire her for. It takes a lot of dedication to attain a black belt, and Jessie seems to have that in spades.
However, as I was reading this story, I couldn't help but feel that Jessie is actually suffering with depression. I don't know if I am reading too much between the lines into the story by saying this, but I had been reading a presentation my sister had asked me to look at on her behalf about depression. It got me to thinking about Jessie (as I was reading this story at the time) - the bullying, her hearing issues and her attitude at times, and it all seemed to fit. However, as I am not meant to be psychoanalyzing her, but reviewing the book, I will leave that for another day.
The story is again well written, and the scenes are very easy to picture. I did, however, feel that the scene with the stalker was wrapped up a bit too quickly. I think I would have liked to see a bit of a tussle between the guy and Jessie, where she did Karate to protect herself. But, as this promotes violence, even in self defense, I suppose it was best to leave it out. The character development is fantastic and I could see each character, whether already known or new, in my minds eye with clarity. I certainly didn't think much of Bob, another volunteer at the hospital, but I really liked Nicole and Sarah. They seemed nice enough and likable.
I have enjoyed watching Jessie and Ethan's relationship grow closer over the series. They have had their ups and downs, as most couples do, but I love the way they interact; you can almost feel their love for each other, it's that palpable. There is a twist that I didn't see coming in this tale, and it made me feel rather sad. I will not say what it was, as I feel that would be a spoiler and will leave it to you to decide if you would like to find out what the twist is. I reached the end of the story and felt sad that it had ended. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find there is a bonus short story called "Happy Holidays... Or Is It?" to read. I really enjoyed that story, as it gave Jessie a chance to do something on her own, away from her family and even Ethan. I think it gave Jessie the opportunity to explore her environment more, and become more confident and "grown up" as she did things for herself.
Jennifer Gibson has written an intriguing and interesting YA story based in truth. I found the story a quick read. I love the way the story flows from scene to scene; it's extremely fluid and the descriptions were described in such a way that I could picture them with ease. This is an author I am looking forward to adding to my favourite authors list.
I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12 to 16, and to adults who love reading younger YA romance or coming of age novels. - Lynn Worton
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Jennifer is an award winning photographer, freelance Illustrator, graphic designer and published author.
Her photography & graphic design has been featured extensively in many media formats including CHEX TV, National Geographic, SNAP magazine and Watershed Magazine as well as various local tourism/promotional materials. Jennifer's current line of work features professionally designed book covers for authors from around the world.
Jennifer was selected as one of 12 winners for the prestigious 2010 Oticon Focus on People Award and the only Canadian to have won in this national competition (North America). She was nominated as an outstanding individual with a hearing loss and for the portrayal of a hearing impaired teen in her young adult novel entitled Sway.
The HearStrong Foundation has named Jennifer Gibson a HearStrong Champion! Jennifer's dedication to helping change the stigmas surrounding hearing loss makes her pretty amazing!