I have a wonderful cubicle mate that is always recommending books to me, typically cubicle mate and I have very different tastes in literature (and music), but I took her up on her latest recommendation because you cannot go wrong with Sheree Fitch. Fitch’s newest YA novel, “Pluto’s Ghost” shares the story of Jake Upshore, a high school trouble maker, who is known to act out, largely based on the fact that he lost his mother at such a young age. Skye Derucci sees something other than a delinquent and hidden behind the Pluto’s Ghost museum display in Washington, while on a school trip, Jake and Skye share their first earth shattering kiss that changes everything.
At 18, Jake is sure he’s found the love of his life, even though Skye is embarrassed to be seen with Jake and they decide to keep their relationship under wraps, that is until the rumor mill gets started and the word on the street is that Skye is pregnant with Jake’s baby and she has planned a trip to Halfiax, Nova Scotia from Poplar Hills to abort the child. Devastated that Skye has not informed Jake of any kind of pregnancy, Jake takes the bull by the horns and decides that he must discuss this with Skye, even if that means he has to use whatever means possible to get to her.
To give the novel a hook, Fitch starts the story with Jake in the back seat of a police car. Jake explains,
Everything that’s happened is because of Skye. I’m not blaming. I’m just saying. I’m telling this tale because of Skye and the only reason I was starting to think my pathetic life wasn’t such a crock of shit after all was because of Skye. Maybe, when you hear me out, you’ll come to understand I’m guilty of only one thing for sure – losing my way because of Skye. Loving her way too much. I’ll own up to that from the get go.
If that doesn’t rope you in from the start, I don’t know what will. Sheree Fitch has a special ability to make you enter the world of young, confused and determined Jake Upshore. Many times it felt as if I were in the head of a young boy, experiencing the pain and fear that any young child would experience when faced with hearing that you might have a child on the way. We experience teen pregnancy from a males perspective and Fitch is able to do it brilliantly. Although, Skye is mentioned throughout the whole story, we hear her voice through the large amount of journal entries she’s left for Jake to look through as she disappears overnight.
Of course, I’m biased because I’m from Nova Scotia (as many of you know) and I like a good Maritime feel to a novel when it is set in my hometown. Fitch was able to draw elements of home (for me) in this novel, mentioning the sweet little town of Tatamagouche and even the library I use to visit often in Dartmouth by the ferry terminal. Sheree splits her time by travelling to and from Nova Scotia to Washington, DC. Therefore, there was a real connection to her two beloved cities in “Pluto’s Ghost”.
Be sure to look into reading this new young adult fictional novel and travel with Jake as his world is turned upside down and he sometimes acts “AWOB” – absent without a brian. His words, not mine.