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Jimmy by Amber Hartley

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Jimmy is Amber Hartley’s first novel, and the first in a trilogy. And if this is how she starts out, then I definitely will be looking forward to her future work.

I started laughing with the first sentence “I think this desk sucked the life outta my ass…” as it introduces us to Jimmy Stewart. He’s a pretty average high school student—he likes football, hangs out with his friends, and can’t wait till class gets out. He’s a pretty real high school student—he drinks, smokes pot, and has sex.

Jimmy follows the thoughts of, you guessed it, Jimmy as he tackles real world experiences and struggles to get his mind around hot topics of today, from Iraq and terrorism, to freedom of speech and loyalty, and the family dynamic and drugs. In so doing, he discovers the true complexities of love and hate and how neither is a black or white issue. We follow this sarcastic, yet loyal friend, on his journey to discover the most unexpected and toughest betrayals of all—that of himself.

Amber Hartley has taken on quite a project, to explain today’s controversial issues as they affect those that society tends to disregard most—the youth. She does so through conversations and internal dialogue of our main character, Jimmy. The writing is superb and changes ever so slightly to reflect the changes in Jimmy’s psyche and emotions to allow the reader to actually hear this 17 year old.

And since Jimmy follows the inner thoughts of our main character, there is no lacking of character development. He tells us little anecdotes to truly let us know who he is, as well as those around him.

Jimmy ends in such a way that leaves you contemplating your own perspectives and rethinking your views. It definitely challenges you to not box things up and label them away on a shelf, but get to know all sides and make informed decisions. So why not get a copy and decide for yourself?

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