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Kat Spears young adult 'Sway',is an edgy and off beat romance during high school

Sway by Kat Spears


Looking for a book about highs and lows of high school from an unconventional angle? Look no further than Kat Spears young adult debut novel "Sway", which is hitting bookstores on September 16, 2014. It is an original, fresh and edgy look at high school life and romance. Spears captures the essence of high school in these pages. Her characters, especially her bad boy Jesse Alderman, whose Grinch-like heart unfreezes and grows two sizes, during the pages of this off beat romance, are vividly portrayed. If there is a downside to this book, it is that Spears throws in one two many cliches about bad homelife. But for that minor flaw, this book is a home run.

Jesse Alderman is a fixer. He is the guy in school you go to with a problem. Need a term paper. He can get it. Need a date with a popular girl, he'll find away. He deals, and not playing cards, and gets invited to all the popular parties. His clients are diverse. Both jocks and the school principal know he has sway. He is heartless, but is it all business or is Jesse's unaffected mien a defense mechanism to escape something?

Now Ken Foster, captain of the football team, who typically makes the girls swoon, wants to hire Jesse to fix him up with Bridget Smalley, a stunning girl, with heart. Jesse promises action in two weeks, and starts a guerrilla campaign to get to know Bridget. He follows her to an old age home and bargains with an old man to pretend to be his grandfather just to get close to her. But Hiram does not want money, he wants companionship. He befriends Bridget's younger brother Pete, who has cerebral palsy.

But while Jesse can and does set Ken up with Bridget, he cannot escape Hiram, Bridget and her Pete's influence on his life and slowly, his life is turned upside down, as he starts to care again and uses his influence to help out people rather than pad his bankroll. But its a slow journey filled with beatings and meetings with his scary drug suppliers. Jesse is not the traditional nice guy in this book, but he still burrows into your heart.

This is not Grease with a pretend bad boy, or a retelling of a story from the past. Spears captures every nuance of Jesse awakening from the hell that he has been in and his growing feelings for Bridget.

This is a good young adult book, not for middle school kids but geared to kids who are in high school.