The Death of Jayson Porter, by Jaime Adoff

I absolutely did not want to read this book. I was looking through one of the lists of books from which I had to choose one for my YA class, and I saw this book, and I was like, no thank you. Kid from the projects has a crappy life and wants to commit suicide? Yuck.

But then I looked at the other books and realized they were all either a) books I’ve read or b) second or third books in a series. I was more irked at the possibility of reading a series out of order than reading this book, so I went with it. And it turned out not to be so bad!

The eponymous teen, as I mentioned before, lives in a not-so-good city in Florida, with his mother who beats him and brings around loser boyfriends who don’t give a crap about him. His mother’s friend got him into a decent high school, but that only makes things worse for him when he takes the cross-town bus to his job cleaning RVs. He wants to do something with his life, but he’s also drawn strongly to the railing outside of his apartment, the one that looks down over a long fall to the pavement. He wants to jump, more than almost anything, but at the same time he doesn’t want to die. Then, after a terrible thing happens that makes Jayson’s life even less delightful, he takes the jump.

Jayson writes in a stream-of-consciousness style, which would normally annoy me, but I got used to his rhythm pretty quickly and was very intrigued by his thought processes. I was rooting for Jayson throughout the novel, even when I knew it wouldn’t help. The ending is a little too convenient for my liking, but I guess a completely depressing novel wouldn’t sell as well. 🙂

Rating: 7/10
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