Title: The Nature of Jade
Author: Deb Caletti
Release date: 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Description (from goodreads): Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can’t quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she’s trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That’s why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that’s where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby.
This book was a little jem. It’s one of those quiet yet powerful “coming of age” stories. The Nature of Jade is about family and facing your fears. About growing up and realizing your parents are humans after all. And love. This novel is filled with it and not only the romantic kind of love. This is realistic YA fiction at its best.
If you can’t tell yet, I absolutely adored this novel (and not only because it featured elephants, my favourite animal)! It’s one of those books I wish I had read when I was 18. Jade reminds me a lot of myself when I was her age. She has an anxiety disorder, but she doesn’t let it define who she is. She’s strong and capable she just doesn’t quite know it yet.
She starts volunteering at the nearby zoo where she works with the elephants. It becomes this safe place she retreats to. Her parents are having relationship issues and the household becomes tense. Her father thinks sport is the solution to any problems and her mother (PTA mom) is a little bit too involved in Jade’s school community. Her brother is the sweetest, a little Narnia fanboy!
Jade also not so accidentally meets this boy with his baby and of course, she falls in love (not the main focus of the book and it doesn’t cure her anxiety!!!), but love is never not complicated.
I guess I’m late in reading this book. It did come out in 2007 after all, but it’s such a beautiful read. More people should read it. I highly recommend it!