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Drumbeats (Drumbeats Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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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.
Our main character, Jess is from a Quaker family, which is quite conservative. She wants to do more, to become more, so she decides to leave before the start of university. She goes to Ghana.During that year she learned a lot about herself and the person she is and wants to be. The reader couldn't help but love Jess. She is a kind and gentle person and is like a lot of people who want to change things about the world. The author wrote the book in a very realistic way. She shows the reader that the best laid plans and intentions of one person can't change the world by themselves. It takes so much more. Jess went to Ghana to teach and help the poor learn ways to make their lives better. She is a character who learned to live the best she could with what she had. You can't help but care and feel for Jess. Enters a mysterious and possibly dangerous man, Jim, an American who was with the peace corps.The author also put in hints of political events.The author wrote with great detail so that the reader felt like they were right there with Jess in Ghana and learning about the poor. the author wrote a wonderful coming of age story. Jess had stepped into a strange adult world in a different country. Everything was so different than the way she was used to living. She is sometimes alone and curious, confused and scared. She was a young person filled with mature ideas. She was a brave individual. The author wrote a seamless fascinating story. Everyone should read this book.
I was given a complimentary copy of DRUMBEATS from the author Julia Ibbotson for my view of the book. No other compensation took place.