Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
ISBN: 978-0-375-86665-4

Click Here To Purchase Jumpstart the World

It certainly did not surprise me that the master writer who gave us Pay it Forward would be able to create a book like this; a truly fantastic story that offers the most tender, heartfelt feelings and characters that you will never be able to forget.

Elle is a fantastic young girl. Her mother, however, is part of the other group of people – those hideous human beings that seem to be placed on this earth just to see how much pain and agony we can stand from them. When we begin our story, Mom is helping Elle pick out a cat. Now, Mom is one of those beautiful women who only believes in gorgeous things, gorgeous hair, gorgeous makeup…well, you get the picture. Elle is a girl who believes she’s extremely plain and goes for the cat sitting in the back of the cage with one eye and a bad temper.

When they arrive at the new apartment building, a man comes out a door and asks if he can help the family move in. His name is Frank and he is their next door neighbor. What Mom can’t even begin to explain is the fact that her little girl will be living in this new apartment all alone. (She tells Frank that it’s her daughter’s first apartment at 18 years old. The truth? Mom has hooked up with a man who simply doesn’t want a sixteen year old kid – which is Elle’s real age – getting in his way.) So…yes…this young girl will be living in this apartment with just the one-eyed
cat for company, and old Mom is going to get away with it.

Frank takes an instant like to Elle. He’s a bit “elfin” in stature, with thick glasses and lives with a Native American named Molly, who loves to cook more than anything, and loves the fact that Elle thinks her meals are absolutely delicious. Their tender, honest conversations cover almost every topic like family, friendship, etc.; when not deep in conversation, Frank and Elle throw themselves into the die-hard world of Scrabble, which makes Elle’s lonely existence much more fun.

When she heads to school, Elle is completely worried about making any friends whatsoever. She’s very quiet, and most people tease her instead of actually attempting to get to know her. On the first day, a horrific word is scrawled across her locker. Yes, the word makes Elle feel hideous about being there, but it also brings her friends named Shane, Bob & Bob (a young, gay couple), and a quiet boy named Wilbur. Although Elle feels a little odd being in their group, she soon finds that their love, comfort, and friendship helps her more than anything else in getting over the painful way her mother has thrown her to the curb.

As our story moves forward, readers become engrossed in the fun neighborhood; including a man named Crazy Harry who likes to walk the streets outside Elle’s building. We also come to care a great deal for Frank and Molly; they are truly lifesavers in a world of pain.

The author has not only, once again, written a fantastic story that you’ll never forget, but she has also touched upon some hard subjects such as transgender individuals, and the way the world looks at certain factions of society – judging them instead of accepting them for the wonderful souls they are.

I hope this one makes it to the big screen, too. It is truly another masterpiece.

Click Here To Purchase Jumpstart the World