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Stained Hardcover – February 8, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (February 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068986745X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689867453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,496,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

It’s 1975 and the world is in the midst of the Sexual Revolution. Except not in Weaver Falls, where seventeen-year-old Jocelyn’s boyfriend Benny is wrestles with guilt over their passionate lovemaking in the woods. When Benny tells her he has bargained with God to swap their relationship in exchange for his dying mother’s life, and that popular Father Warren has counseled him that Jocelyn is of the devil, she feels that her soul is stained -- not a new emotion for her. Although as a small child she perceived the sunlit colors of the stained glass windows in St. Mary’s as God’s blessing, her mother’s divorce ten years ago has estranged both of them from the Catholic church and Jocelyn from the other kids at school. The relentless teasing all through her childhood of her same-age next-door neighbor Gabe has left her feeling even more rejected.

But now Gabe is missing, and the whole town turns out to search for him day after day, as his parents grieve, and Benny and Jocelyn’s breakup drags on agonizingly in the background. In alternate chapters, episodes show Gabe’s wild antics as a child, and his cruel tricks then despite Jocelyn’s devotion to him. After a near-rape when she was twelve, Jocelyn has kept her distance from Gabe, but now she can still draw on that invisible cord that used to bind them to follow clues to his whereabouts and try to comfort his shame that he has succumbed to Father Warren’s sexual demands.

Jennifer Richard Jacobson has built a story that treads delicately around a sensitive contemporary issue and explores first love and naïve belief with convincing characters. (Ages 14 and up) --Patty Campbell

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Jocelyn alternates her narrative between the present of 1975, in which she grapples with an ambivalent boyfriend and the frightening disappearance of another boy whom she's known from early childhood, and the past of that childhood. Gabe, the boy who is missing, is shown to be, through Jocelyn's memories as well as his more recent actions, both strong willed and secretive. Jocelyn is clearly more stable than either Gabe or her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Benny. What she lacks, according to all three of them, is an acceptable attachment to redeeming traditionalism. This includes the fact that she never made her First Communion and seems content to be unchurched. Both Benny and Gabe seem to be influenced in some nefarious way, Jocelyn believes, by the local Roman Catholic priest. Benny tells her quite directly that she is his moral downfall because she is "stained." Jacobson creates some realistic teen characters in this tightly plotted but somewhat problematic novel about priest sex abuse. The adults here are flat and mostly unsavory or at least unsympathetic, except for Benny's virtually sainted but fatally ill mother. But that makes sense given that readers can see everyone only through Jocelyn's eyes. Less compelling is the priest's unexamined motivation. Whether or not readers have background knowledge of the ongoing Church scandal or traditional Catholicism, they will find much to consider and to discuss in this story.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Davies on February 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The characters in this book are completely haunting. Days after finishing the book, I find myself thinking about all of them--the experiences they shared, the decisions they made, the truths they learned. This is one of those books you can't put down, because even when you do, you keep thinking about it. A 5-star winner.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary A. on February 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read STAINED in one sitting, and as soon as I finished it, I started it all over again! While the suspenseful story keeps you turning the pages (Where is Gabe? Why did he disappear?), Jacobson's unpretentious, pitch-perfect writing is making its way to a deep place within you - a place that connects you to all the characters in this book and keeps you thinking about them well after the last page is turned.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up for $1 at a used book store. It looked and sounded interesting. It was an interesting, if somewhat depressing read.

This story follows Jocelyn, who is in high school, as she struggles to deal with her boyfriend Benny's off and on again attitude toward their relationship. Benny's mom is really sick and a new priest that comes into town convinces Benny to make a deal with god. If Benny gives up all the physical aspects of the relationship with Jocelyn then maybe God will help Benny's mom get better.

Jocelyn is an outcast because her mom is divorced and living by herself, and she has very low self-esteem. Jocelyn struggles with the churches rejection of her and her mother, while dealing with the small town pressure to fit in. Now she has Benny constantly making her feel guilty. To add to the mess of emotions Jocelyn still has feelings for her neighbor Gabe, Gabe is in general pretty mean to Jocelyn. Still Gabe and Jocelyn have a history that she can't let go. The chapters alternate between Jocelyn at present (in high school) and scenes from Joceyln's childhood.

All in all this was a sad story. It was a story about religious fanaticism in small towns and how sometimes it's not about being good to people but about avoiding the rage of God. It's about a small town's prejudice against people like Jocelyn's mom and how that reflects in Jocelyn's life. Jocelyn's mom also blames Jocelyn for her father leaving. As such, it is about how someone who has no self-esteem or respect for herself puts up with people abusing and walking all over her.

There is a lot of eluded-to and flat-out abuse in this book. I think the book ends as happily as it could given what it is. It is fairly well-written.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vtown Tigers on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read a book called Stained. This was a really good book. It is about a girl, Jocelyn, who has been friends with a boy, Gabe, for fourteen years. One day he comes up missing. No one has seen him and no one has heard from him. Joss, Jocelyn, is having so many problems between Gabe's missing and her boyfriend Benny. Her boyfriend wants to break up with her. There are search parties going on for Gabe. Joss is just so confused right now. Joss goes out looking for him in the woods. She finds Gabe but he doesn't want anyone to know where he is. She goes back the next day, but he is gone. Through out the whole book, Joss goes back and forth through each chapter to tell about the past and why things are the way they are now.

I really liked this book. I liked when Joss found Gabe out in those woods. I also liked that Joss and Benny got back together. I didn't like it that Gabe was gone.

I would recommend this book to girls especially because it is more about a girl. People who like stories about girls who fall in love would love this book like I did. This book is for people who like stories that switch back and forth.
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