Sway, by Kat Spears | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | February 9, 2015
By Kat Spears
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
What to expect: Romance, Teens, High School
Some might call it swagger, some might call it confidence, but everyone who knows Jesse Alderman calls it—and him—sway, for the high school senior has something that no one else does, and he’s turned it into a profitable business.
Jesse can always deliver, and what he offers is always in demand: prom dates, term papers, party favors, and fake IDs. It’s a failsafe business for Jesse: keeping people distant and in need—there’s no personal mess, just a verbal contract and enough cash flow to keep Jesse independent from his hopeless dad. But Jesse’s latest business deal–to help Ken Foster, the captain of the football team and all-round douche, win over the impossibly good and beautiful Bridget Smalley—turns out to be anything but a smooth transaction: the assignment’s complete, so why’s Jesse so compelled to keep working on a job he’s no longer needed for? Surely he can’t be feeling something—can he?
Kat Spears debut novel is, quite simply, a delight. It has all the ingredients for an engaging and witty read, laced with honesty and insight that’s refreshingly real. There’s love and teenage angst in the mix of this page-turner, perhaps essential components of a high school set, young adult read, but the story is gritty and real, unafraid to cross over into the darker sides of teenage life, and unapologetic in its witty and honest portrayal. You shouldn’t, by all means, love Jesse, but you of course, can’t help but root for him. The reader is sure to be swept up by his sway, but allowed an intimate and emphatic entrance into his life—one that’s devoid of compassion or kindness on a hardened surface, but bubbling just below. Bridget’s presence may impact Jesse Alderman in a big way, but Jesse’s presence will bowl the reader—teenage and adult—over from page one through to the very end with his enigmatic and deeply layered character. If anything, Kat Spears may just be the one with some very valuable sway; get ready to be sold.
Add this book to your collection: Sway, by Kat Spears
About the Author
Kat Spears has worked as a bartender, museum director, housekeeper, park ranger, business manager, and painter (not the artistic kind). She holds an M.A. in anthropology, which has helped to advance her bartending career. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three freeloading kids. Swayis her debut novel.