❥ Title: Rosie Loves Jack
❥ Author: Mel Darbon
❥ Genre: Young Adult Fiction
❥ Publisher: Usborne
❥ Rating: 5 / 5 stars
“Why is it different? Is it cos I have Down’s syndrome? Down’s syndrome isn’t me. I am Rose.”
Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they’re split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down’s syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads
As I sit in my uni common room on this dreary day I am fighting back tears. Happy tears and sad tears all in one. I have just finished reading Rosie Loves Jack and I am incredibly moved.
I’ll start off by saying how raw this book is. I wasn’t expecting it. Rosie Loves Jacks deals with serious issues like disabilities, discrimination, self-esteem issues, sex trafficking, and many more. This novel introduces the reader to an array of people. This is such an inclusive book and it is so incredibly beautiful. To sum it up, Rosie Loves Jack is a very raw account of life written from the perspective of a very kind and warmhearted character.
Rosie has Down’s syndrome. This doesn’t define Rosie. She is Rose. This is such a beautiful message that applies to any one with a disability or condition. Nothing defines you apart from you!
I can’t even begin to explain how exciting and emotional the journey of this book made me. I was delighted to begin the book and read from the perspective of Rosie. To keep this review brutally honest, I have never read or come across a book in which the main character has Down’s syndrome. This may be of my own doing. It took me a couple of chapters to understand how Rosie’s thought process works but the more I read, the more I understood Rosie. I eventually realised Rosie and I are very similar. I love to look at the world from all of its best sides. I like to find the good and the kindness in the people around me. So does Rosie. I was hooked by Rosie’s story from the beginning.
As Rosie sets out to Brighton to reunite with Jack, she encounters many people around London. If you are not from London, let me tell you this – London is big, brutal and scary. People in London can be cold and too busy to pay attention. Many can be very ignorant. Rosie bought such a kind, warm spirit to London and it was inspiring to see the world through her eyes. As I was reading I would constantly notice little moments in which people were being ignorant towards Rosie. She always found a way around it and wouldn’t let that stop her. Most importantly, she broke expectations and let people know that she has the ability to do things the way she wants. That was the most important message of the story. A disability doesn’t take away your uniqueness.
The story takes a dark turn when Rosie meets Janek. I was not expecting the novel to cover such serious topics but it is really important that it did. Mel Darbon did not shy away from being real and raw in her writing. She delivers her message with such determination and the world is compelled to listen.
To continue gushing about this book, Rosie’s relationship with Jack is so sweet but it is misunderstood from the outside world. Rosie makes Jack’s angry go away. Jack makes Rosie brave. They are each other’s support system. Exactly what a healthy relationship should be. Many of the characters Rosie meets are shocked or surprised at the fact that she has a boyfriend. She never let the bullies get her down. She kept on finding her way to Jack. I loved reading snippets of Rosie and Jack’s relationship through flashbacks and letters. If there is a sequel, I would love to see more of their relationship.
This is a story of determination, of kindness and warmth. A realistic and important message. This is a wonderful debut novel and I will read anything Mel Darbon publishes in the future. This is my favourite read of the year. It changed my perspective and allowed me to connect with someone different from the norm. We need more young adult books with such inclusive characters. I hope this book will be read far and wide, and will touch the hearts of everyone.
Until Next Time,