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Pity Isn't An Option Paperback – March 8, 2013

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From the Back Cover

"So that's it, then? He's just going to be... out there?"

     "No." Jonas plops down on the ground beside me. "That's not it at all."
     I wait for him to continue, but he mumbles "that's not it at all' again, gets up, and starts to pace. Dust flies around his legs in puffs as he kicks it back and forth, then settles on his pants, giving him half blue, half brown legs. Dirt does a pretty good job of covering things up. That's how everyone must think of us -- the dirt they would rather not have to see. Otherwise, how could they turn their backs on us like this? Not care about what his disappearance will do to us three?
     "The plan. Hattie, it's time for the plan." He's stopped pacing, but dust is still flitting around. I wave it out of my face and search for Jonas' face to see if he is saying that I think.
     "You know what I'm talking about." He continues, when our eyes meet. "We'll leave tonight after everyone's gone to bed. And you -- "He points at Micah, "Will not say a thing."

About the Author

Jessica L. Brooks: YA author. Lover of books, coffee and all things owl-dorable. I write about near-future dystopia (PITY ISN'T AN OPTION, Cozenage #1 out now); magical realism (IF I SPEAK TRUE, forthcoming -- Flora #1); and love to serve virtual cookies. (Here, try one -- they're tasty!) Feel free to connect with me at my blog (, or anywhere else on the interwebs by searching for my username: coffeelvnmom.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482685779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482685770
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,411,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jessica L. Brooks is a lover of books, coffee, and all things owl-dorable. She writes young adult books about near-future dystopia (PITY ISN'T AN OPTION, Cozenage #1) and magical realism (the Flora series: IF I SPEAK TRUE, BY SUN & CANDLELIGHT, and OPEN THY HEART) and loves to serve virtual cookies. Connect with her on her blog, Let Me Tell You A Story, Tumblr (also called Let Me Tell You A Story), or anywhere else on the interwebs by doing a search for her username: coffeelvnmom.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fictionalboysarejustbetter on February 19, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, guys. I started this on New Year's Day with less than 2 hours of sleep. That was a bad, bad idea. I still don't know what happened in the first 6% of the book which may actually explain a lot of my confusion for the first half. I probably missed important points under that hallucination of a day. It gives me a headache just thinking about it...

But anyway, that is not a good way to start off a book. I was such of a confused mess for about a month that couldn't get into it. It frustrated the crap out of me. But after reading what it was about a few times on Goodreads, I finally got into it.

Not too much happens in the beginning, but I loved Jonas. He reminded me so much of myself that it wasn't even funny. I just wanted to hug him. I feel like he's on the list of my fictional brothers.

Also the whole beginning involved me almost hurting Micah because he was being a little jerk. I now know/understand his feelings (because of the ending), but I still kinda want to hurt him.

Also, random side note. I have a very love/hate relationship with book that switch POVs. I just kept thinking Jonas was Hattie and Hattie was Jonas and it was a mess. That could have been part of the reason it took me so long to get into it. I'd just read thinking Jonas was talking, but then Jonas would be addressed by name, and I'd realize oh wait! and I'd have to reread the chapter...just like Allegiant! Pay attention, guys. It'll help. I promise.

Yes, but then things happened! Drafts and fights and arguing and disappearances! It was exciting!

And then they went on a journey! Although I'm not gonna tell ya what they were looking for...but Hattie and Jonas bonded. I-I ship them so hard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Genie on September 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
4.5 stars

Pity isn't an option when you're trying to survive

In her YA debut, Jessica Brooks has written a novel in a realistic dystopian setting that captivates and explores how people live on when faced with difficult situations.

'I deserve to be treated like a human. I'm still a person who wants to do things and has dreams and potential and believes that carrying out what you want to do in life can be possible.
That is it.'

Jonas is a boy with a rare blood disease that is struggling to be normal and doesn't want to be seen for the condition that he has but for what he is. Hattie is a girl who is coping with a life filled with a bleak future, looking out for her younger sister Lucy and trying to make things work at home. The two have been friends for as long as they could remember - but a)will it develop into something more? and b)how will their bond cope when faced with a challenge neither of them expected?

'Sometimes it's not what you see that is important. It's what you feel.'

I loved how the author incorporated such meaningful quotes throughout the novel that gave the characters depth and the capacity to resonate with the audience. The fact that the book was written with alternating points of view from both Jonas' and Hattie's also made it interesting to see their different perspectives on how they felt about each other and the fact that their lives were getting much more unstable. Although there wasn't a great deal of world-building and what was given was quite vague, the character development certainly made up for this slight flaw. This novel had something that some dystopian novels lack: FEELING - and that counts for a lot in my eyes.
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Format: Paperback
I am just... moved. Touched. Changed. There's something different about Jessica Brooks' debut novel, Pity Isn't An Option. It's more contemplative than I'm used to, and the writing is just gorgeous. It doesn't gimmick or formulate. It just goes. It just journeys. That's how I feel, like I just went on a journey that changed me.

Have you ever been on an adventure like that in real life? When I was a kid I went on a hike with my family and some friends. It was horrible and wonderful. Our friends got motion sick in the car on the way there. We hiked too slowly. The sun blazed overhead. We ran out of water at the halfway point and still had a long way to get back to the cars. The mother of the other family collapsed with heat exhaustion. We prayed. We walked along a dry riverbed looking for water. And we prayed. And we sucked on Juniper berries. Did I mention we prayed? When we discovered water, we went crazy, jumping all over in it, soaking our hot skin and our clothes, drinking it where it ran down the rocks. Best day of my childhood. I don't even remember the hike back. Just that incredible moment when our prayers were answered and we could fill out canteens for our friends waiting up the trail. One day, one simple adventure. Life defining.

That's how it feels to read PITY ISN'T AN OPTION.

It's the first of a series. The author classifies it as YA contemporary with dystopian elements. I'd classify it as near-future YA dystopian. It's a five-years-down-the-road-if-the-economy-keeps-going-downhill-and-our-political-system-gets-even-more-corrupt kind of thing. President Kendrick refuses to relinquish the presidency, and he's forcibly conscripting a civilian army for some unknown purpose.
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