Book Review: Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith – 4.5 stars

This book is beautiful, lyrical, sad and hopeful. It’s one that has stuck with me for many days after I finished reading it. Delivered in verse, (Thank you Kwame Alexander for teaching me to appreciate books in verse!) Ebb and Flow packs a punch without flowery or abundant language.

Smith’s book is the story of Jett…a tween whose father is in prison and who has been sent to live with his Grandma Jo after doing something troubling while in his mother’s care. Jett carries a lot of guilt and shame about what he did and really can’t bring himself to talk about it. He wonders if he is a bad person ‘like his father’ and spends much of his time beating up on himself and self-sabotaging by committing additional minor transgressions.

Jett’s Grandma Jo is an amazing character…the adult you always dreamed of having or being! Through her love and conversation, Jett is able to reveal his past, come to terms with it and begin to look forward to his future. Other characters in the story (who I won’t mention specifically to avoid spoilers) are also perfectly drawn. I wanted to pick up every single person included in this story to give them encouragement and hugs. It takes a strong author to make a reader feel personally responsible for her characters.

Smith also does an incredible job of making this story flow. It pulls you along with the narrative, a love for the characters and the spot-on verse she writes. You’ll find your heart breaking for Jett and find yourself absolutely rooting for him to see the truth about himself. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself with wet cheeks while reading this book…only you will know whether you are crying for the book’s sadness or hope or both! Read this book because you have faith in humanity…finish it with a better understanding of why!

To get your copy of Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith (Kindle version only $5.99 at the time of this writing,) please click the link below:

Ebb and Flow

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