Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $19.99
Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan
Award-winning YA author Kate McCaffrey explores cyber bullying from a new perspective in her latest release that should be essential reading for every young person in this age of widespread social media use.
Saving Jazz is a powerful story about the devastating consequences of a group of teens’ drunken behaviour at a house party. When it goes viral no one’s life will ever be the same.
Told through a series of blog confessions by Jasmine - Jazz - Lovely, I found it at times confronting and disturbing but so compelling I couldn’t put it down.
For Jazz, the choices she and her friends make one night will change the direction of their future. As she writes in her first blog post, ‘The worst thing about regret is there is no way to undo it. No way to go back in time and make better choices.’
The admission at the start of Post 1 sets the scene for a gripping read: ‘I am a rapist.’ From there, Jazz reveals with raw honesty the lead-up to and aftermath of a shocking incident that leads to consequences Jazz and her friends Annie and Jack could never have imagined.
McCaffrey has a gift for capturing an authentic teen voice. Her previous titles -Destroying Avalon, In Ecstasy, Crashing Down and Beautiful Monster - have all garnered awards. Saving Jazz is the follow-up title to Destroying Avalon.
It should have a place on every high school English reading list. Teaching notes are available from the publisher.