{Review} Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce

{Review} Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia BryceAnthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on April 30, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 240
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2 Stars

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.

The 411:

Megan meets Jackson Dawes when they’re both in the hospital being treated for cancer. She’s just been diagnosed, but Jackson’s been there forever–charming the nurses and everyone around him. At first, Megan tries to resist his friendliness, but she eventually gives in and becomes his friend.

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What We Loved:

We knew that this book would be emotional before we ever picked it up–anytime you deal with cancer, especially kids with cancer, you know things will be hard. Celia Bryce handled Megan’s feelings about her diagnosis and her ups and downs brilliantly. There was authenticity there that we appreciated.

Except for all of the time her mom seemed to have left her alone in the hospital, Megan’s friends’ and family’s reactions to her illness was realistic. No one really knew what to do, so they tried to act normal. We loved her grandfather and loved that her dad sort of put his foot down a bit.

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Um…Not So Much:

While we feel that Bryce captured the overall feel of dealing with the unfairness of illness, we didn’t connect to these characters–at all.

Though he got her in a way that no one else could understand, Megan and Jackson’s relationship was pretty much nonexistent. They were friends, but barely.

We really feel that the cover of this book is misleading–especially the tag line “Every love song must come to an end…” (we chose a different cover for our review). The couple depicted here seems to be much older to us, and it just–doesn’t fit these two.

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The Boys:

Jackson. Jackson Dawes is depicted as an enigmatic older teen, full of mischief and trying to make the best of a situation that isn’t fair. He’s super tall and lanky, almost larger that life. He’s always drumming his fingers on things and telling stories and just embodies life. We loved his personality.

“Another time,” Jackson said. “Another place. And it would be perfect.”

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The Girls:

Megan. Megan is thirteen and dealing with just finding out she’s got a brain tumor. She was a likeable character, we just needed more from her.

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Bottom Line:

Everyone is looking for the next TFioS, but this isn’t it.


Not For Us

Dream Cast:

We couldn’t really find anyone that captured Jackson Dawes, but Lee Thompson Young (when he was younger) could be a good choice. He’s handsome and has beautiful eyes:

Lee Thompson Young as Jackson Dawes

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Rating Report
1.5 Stars
2.5 Stars
3 Stars
4 Stars
1 Stars
Overall: 2


Featured on Swoony Boys Podcast

2 Stars

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