Ms. Hodge has done an outstanding job with this inspirational coming of age novel. We’re introduced to sixteen-year-old Jazz Hooper and told how she and her mother were involved in a serious car accident. Unfortunately, her mother didn’t survive it. Not only does Jazz have to deal with the guilt thinking she caused it, but also she has come out of the accident with severe facial scarring. It’s all too much to handle for her and she sinks into a deep depression. Jazz wants nothing to do with anyone anymore since they all treat her like a freak because of the scars. Some even call her unfavorable, nasty names to her face and behind her back.
Her dad doesn’t know what to do to make things easier for his daughter. So he makes a drastic decision to move them from England to Kenya, where they’ll live at Longleat Safari Park while he takes an available vet position. During one of Jazz’s darkest days at her new home, she stumbles upon an orphaned leopard cub. This is the very catalyst she needs to get her on a two year path of growth, healing and moving on with her life.
If I had to sum this story up into one word, I think it would be fitting to say, “Wow!” This story was emotionally gripping from the very first page to the very last. My heart bled for Jazz and I wanted her to realize that no matter how bad the scars were on her face, there were people who truly loved and cared for her – although it didn’t seem that way at times to her. She was at a difficult time in her life because she was sixteen. Now add to that, that she had to deal with the physical scars during this transitional period. It was completely understandable that she was burdened and overwhelmed with everything. When she stumbled upon the baby leopard cub, I had hoped that this animal would be Jazz’s lifeline and salvation. I highly recommend this story and feel that readers will really sink their teeth into this novel. It’s one of those stories that once you start reading it, you can’t put it down. Well done, Ms. Hodge!
From bestselling and award winning author, Sibel Hodge, comes a inspirational coming of age novel...
Most sixteen-year-old girls are obsessed with their looks, but Jazz Hooper's obsessed for a different reason. After a car accident that kills her mum, Jazz is left with severe facial scars and retreats into a dark depression.
Fearing what will happen if Jazz doesn't recover, her dad makes a drastic decision to move them from England to a game reserve in Kenya for a new start. And when Jazz finds an orphaned leopard cub, it sets off a chain of events that lead her on a two year journey of discovery, healing, and love.
"A percentage of the royalties from the sale of this book will be contributed to Panthera, a leading international conservation organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the world's big cats, plus other wildlife conservation groups." -- Sibel Hodge, Author