Welcome to the next stop on the Jump When Ready blog tour... :-)
Jump When Ready
by David Pandolfe
Since he drowned, Henry has remained isolated with the same group of teenagers and he keeps wondering why. After all, what could he possibly have in common with a Mohawk-sporting punker from the 80s, a roller skater from the 70s with a thing for kimonos, and an English “rocker” from the 60s? Henry can hear the other groups but he never sees them. Soon, Henry learns that his new friends all possess unique skills for making themselves noticed by the living. Is Henry’s group kept isolated because of their abilities? If so, are they considered gifted or seen only as a potential bad influence?
Before Henry can reach any conclusions, he witnesses his sister being kidnapped. He knows who did it, where she’s being held and what will happen if the kidnappers don’t get what they want. As the police chase false leads, Henry comes to realize that he’s his sister’s only hope. But for Henry to even have a chance, he has to convince a group of teenagers that dead doesn’t mean helpless.
About the author
David Pandolfe has been a bartender in Seattle, the front man for an alternative rock band in Los Angeles and a college writing teacher in Richmond (among other things).
One day, it occurred to him that sometimes these experiences felt like completely different lives altogether. Which got him to writing Jump When Ready, a novel about of bunch of teenagers trying to get over their past lives while getting ready to jump into their next.
While he’s still writing about himself in third person, David Pandolfe should probably mention that at one point he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has had short stories published in Millennium and the Georgetown Review. Jump When Ready is his first YA novel but he’s currently working on another, to be released in the fall of 2013.
Top 10 with David Pandolfe
Your favorite guy or girl characters from your books, including random facts about them.
10. Will makes for a pretty creepy but somewhat sympathetic psycho character. Sadly, at one time Will thought he might put his hacking skills to positive use but then went down a dark path.
9. Karen is a conflicted accomplice to the crime. You can tell she wants to do better but she’s just lost her way. Now, she’s screwed (and part of her knows it) but she just can’t face it yet.
8. Henry’s mother, Cheryl: I think her pain resonates the most. She’s just overwhelmed and vacant until that one moment when she completely breaks.
7. Gary is a man who listens to his instincts. Does that make him psychic or clairvoyant? As a small town cop, he’d totally deny it. But he totally tunes in on a dead kid talking to him.
6. Bethany and Henry were close and stayed close. She never chose to think of him as dead, so to her, he wasn’t. She’s just edgy enough as a big sister to play the role but at the same time Henry knows she really loves her little brother.
5. Curtis has been a pissed off teenager for decades. Which is exactly what it feels like to be a pissed off teenager, even if it’s for a year or two.
4. Simon is just so out of place, even in the afterlife he’s uncomfortable in his own skin. He just wants to fit in and find his place.
3. Naomi is the sweetest dead kid. The funny thing is she’s the oldest but she never really grew up which makes her the youngest. Somehow, she’s managed to hang onto her childhood. I love that about her.
3. Nikki is just such a smart-ass but, at the same time, she’s vulnerable and kind. The thick skin she’s developed has been a protection mechanism because of her last life. But she comes through for Henry.
2. Jamie, the mohawk, goth kid from the 80s. He knew who he was when he was alive and he still does in the afterlife. He just takes it a day at a time. You just know you’d learn good things from Jamie.
1. Henry is just at the moment of being between his past and future when everything shifts and he finds himself “between lives.” What makes Henry so wonderful is that instead of focusing on himself, he dedicates himself to a mission to save someone else. Henry is a friend for life, even in the afterlife.