Cascading Petals: A Review

(5 / 5)

Come into the world of Jewel Hart: a teenager with a beautiful soul who is experiencing ugly hardships. Within the pages of Cascading Petals by Jane C. Brady, we will learn just what the sources of these hardships are. It’s not easy to exist in high school, especially when you’ve been made the target of bullies for the majority of your life. With one year left, Jewel braces herself to get this final torture over and done. It won’t go easy for her, however. With the new transfer student Jewel finds her life flipped upside down. Enemies have the potential to become friends and acquaintances become that much closer. Is there love in Jewel’s future? Or is there only heartache?

Brady captures the torture of being a bullied high school student with such majesty; it was hard to put the book down. Anyone who struggled, or is struggling, in that time of their life will immediately identify with the way Brady portrays her characters. She also shows her antagonists as human, which can be difficult to do. When you’ve experienced bullying, the hardest thing, aside from surviving, is realizing that your tormentors are just as human as you are. It’s a very realistic approach and lends itself well to this book. Her depiction of how schools have been handling bullying in Canada was also very accurate. While there are good schools out there, the majority have been severely unprepared to address the issue, even when something tragic happens.

The only downfall of this book would have to be some of the descriptions that the characters use for each other. When transfer student Kaiden Carter describes how Jewel appears to him, it’s with very over-the-top imagery which can be hard to swallow. While this is a young adult novel and that language is expected, it’s a bit much in some places. As a teen reading the book, however, it might be easier to accept.

It is important to note that Brady does not hold back in the repercussions of her characters actions. There are events that take place in the book that may act as triggers for sensitive readers, so that should be taken into consideration before settling down to read. It’s heartbreaking for those who get invested in the lives of the characters to watch them struggle and go through such pain. By bouncing the book back and forth between different viewpoints, the full picture can be seen which can cause a larger impact on the reader.

For a young adult novel it was pleasantly surprising to feel so invested in how things turned out for the protagonists of Cascading Petals by Jane C. Brady. As a reader outside the target for this book, it was great to feel connected to the characters right from the start. Covering difficult topics and fairly crafting each characters personality and backstory, Brady does a great job making her book worth the read. By doing such a realistic job, all readers will find themselves swallowed up and eager for more.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Reviews, 0 comments