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Drumbeats Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I loved Jess because she was very kind and represents what a lot of people her age want to do- change the world. I felt that the book was very realistic in showing that even the best intentions and plans don't mean that one person can change the world on their own. For example, Jess acquires mosquito nets for the village, but they end up using them on crops and destroying them. Very sad, but realistic. I sympathized with Jess, who went to Ghana to teach and help the poorest, and ended up in a school for the most privileged. However, she stayed optimistic and did her best with what she was given. She is a character who is extremely easy to empathize with and care about.
Jess befriends Jim, an American who is there with the peace corps. I loved how swoon-worthy Jim was, but also mysterious and possibly dangerous. What an amazing man to read about! ;)
I also found the political events in the book very interesting. I don't know if the author has been overseas, but it really felt like she had. I would be shocked if she hasn't. Everything about Ghana was detailed and you really felt like you were there in the story dealing with what Jess was dealing with. I haven't been to Ghana specifically, but from what I can apply from my experiences in other countries, the story seemed very real.
The only ways this book could have improved were if there had been more dialogue and less "gaps" in the story. It was a LOT of narrative and not a lot of actual conversations. It also sometimes seemed like some important parts were rushed/skimmed over. Particularly, the ending seemed rushed and sudden.
This book ended on a total cliffhanger! Grrrrr no fair. :P I really, really want to read the sequel (comes out next year) and find out what happens to Jess next! Even though the book wasn't first-person, it felt like her diary and I'm totally invested in her life now. This book wasn't my usual fare, but I'm really glad I read it.
Julia Ibbotson's descriptions of Ghana instantly transport the reader there and one could often feel the searing heat of the country burning right off the pages off the book. It is very clear that the author has spent some time in Ghana as her knowledge of the country and its political strife is quite extensive. I love the symbolism of the drums throughout the book, making it quite atmospheric. Julia Ibbotson has a writing style that for me flowed seamlessly and drew the reader into a fascinating story. Really looking forward to the sequel! Highly recommended.
It’s a rewarding experience to be able to not only know about certain aspects of living but, most importantly, be a part of what we seek. Jess’ story is one of coming of age, interacting beyond our norms and processing life. I can truly appreciate Jess, as a determined youngster. Her family dynamics could’ve very well hindered how she approached this experience or whether she would’ve even pursued the challenges of humanitarian work. The only qualm that I would add is the author’s style of leading readers through details, by way of telling. With this exception, I would still recommend Drumbeats to readers that could enjoy a thought-provoking story.
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