Review: Jem by Michelle Abbott

jemReviewed by Jaimie

Jem is a standalone book by new to me author Michelle Abbott and based on the blurb, I wanted to love this one, but I just couldn’t.  Jem was a horribly abused child and the only person to ever show him kindness was Devon – his angel. Although he was only 4 and she was only 7, the two built a friendship that gave Jem something to hold on to.  When Devon tries to help him, he is taken away suddenly and she has not seen him since.

Flash forward 14 years and a now 18-year-old Jem has broken free of his abusive father and brother.  He works in an arcade and shares his trailer with another broken soul.  On the beach one day he sees Devon and instantly recognizes her only she has no idea who he is.  The two slowly get reacquainted but she does not know that he is the boy she thinks about all the time.

Where to start – I liked that we got to see the two as children at the beginning of the book, but the conversation in no way sounded like any conversation I’ve heard between a 4 and 7-year-old.  The dialogue felt too grown up.  On the flip side of that, the internal dialogue that they had as “adults” felt way too childish and I found myself skimming through those parts.

It is understandable that Jem had a strong attachment to Devon considering that she was the only person to have ever shown him kindness.  At times, though, it came off as obsessive instead of sweet.  Devon kept a picture of Jem, thought about him all the time, but didn’t recognize him even when he called her angel – the same name he used as a child.  She’s also on the run from an abusive boyfriend but she hangs out with Jem and allows him around her son without asking his name until over halfway through the book.

There were a few things I liked about the book, so it wasn’t all bad.  I did like the friendship she developed with the couple next door and I liked that Jem kicked her abusive ex-boyfriend’s ass.  That was a satisfying moment. Unfortunately the flow of the book was so choppy and it shifted direction suddenly with no segway so it made it hard to enjoy those good parts.  I also liked the fact that they got their happily ever after since they had been through a lot.

Overall I was not a fan of this book despite a great blurb.  I was too distracted by the childish dialogue and choppy writing style to actually enjoy the plot and characters.

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

Jem
by Michelle Abbott
Release Date: March 1, 2015

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