Saturday, January 11, 2014

Living With Jackie Chan

Even though it's his senior year in high school and should be one of the best times of his life, Josh has moved away from home and in with his uncle Larry where he will attend a new school and try to start over.  Last year he fathered a baby and can't get over his feelings of guilt.  Larry and  Josh were closer when Josh was younger, but Josh is desperate for a chance to start over and although they feel a bit like strangers, Josh accepts Larry's generosity and moves in.  

Larry is obsessed with Jackie Chan and karate and quickly gets Josh signed up for lessons. At first Josh thinks Larry is a little nerdy, but the two spend quality time together - something Josh wasn't getting with his parents - and it soon becomes evident that Larry is a great guy- the real thing.  And if anyone can help Josh, it will be Larry.

Josh manages to find a friend in Stella, a girl who lives upstairs in Larry's apartment complex.  Although Josh has feelings for her, there are two obstacles in the way- the fact that Stella's boyfriend controls her and wants to know her every movement, and the fact that Josh feels far too guilty about what happened last year for him to begin a relationship.

Jo Knowles is quickly becoming a must read author for me.  I loved See You at Harry's, and Living With Jackie Chan is another great novel. Knowles creates characters that are real - with flaws and struggles.  My only regret in reading Living With Jackie Chan is that I have yet to read Jumping Off Swings, which is referred to as a companion novel, and would have given me a bit more background knowledge about Josh.  

I'm highly recommending this to YA readers I know along with all of Jo Knowles work.

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