author : steven gould
pages : [paperback] 345
Davy lives alone with his father. But the truth is, it isn’t much of a home. When things get so bad that Davy decides to run away, his big question is, Where? And how will he live?
The magical answer: anywhere Davy wants!
Davy discovers he has the power to “jump” from one place to another. Not just a few feet. But hundreds, even thousands of miles! And as Davy explores his new power he learns that the world is literally his for the taking. But there are consequences too, as Davy will learn.
I was so excited to read Jumper because ages ago (close to eight years, I think) the movie adaptation was released and I fell in love with it. I was young enough to overlook its faults; mostly, what I loved about Jumper was the concept of teleportation. What would you do if you were a teenager and suddenly found out that you had this ability? Davy Rice decides to run away from home, steal some money, and set himself up for life. I remember daydreaming a lot about what I would do, if I would help people, and what might happen if the government realized that there were people out there with these abilities. And, unfortunately, the ideas that fueled my imagination were greatly changed, when they were lifted from the book to the movie adaptation.
In this book, Davy has a tough life. The book gets dark, fast. His father is abusive and when Davy leaves home, everything that could go wrong does. He’s mugged. Someone tries to rape him. He’s nearly stabbed over using a bathroom for too long. Surprisingly, though, whenever he makes any huge decisions (like the aforementioned decision to steal money) that doesn’t blow up in his face. At least, not immediately. With his ability to teleport or ‘jump’, as Davy calls it, to any location that he can recall very well in his memory, he’d be able to jump halfway around the world if something terrible did come to find him.
While Davy experiments with his powers, the book starts to drag. I was looking forward to the action that I thought would be in here, big confrontations with a ‘bad guy’ or some government figure. Most of the book reads more like a character study, which is . . . fine. I could understand the loss of action scenes that were added purely for the benefit of moviegoers. The only problem is, I didn’t really like Davy as a person. I gave him a lot of leeway because of how terrible his childhood and young adulthood has been. At some point, though, when he had the means to support himself and move to a nicer situation, I started to feel less sympathetic. And it was mostly because of Millie.
Millie was Davy’s romantic interest in the book and I have no idea how they managed to stick together (and, apparently, they’re still together in the rest of the series, which I’m not sure I’ll be reading). Millie is several years older than Davy, which is fine, except she’s in college and Davy shows absolutely no respect for that. I remember a specific passage where she said that he couldn’t stay an extra day one weekend because she had a big test the day after. Davy literally complained to her about it until she decided to give up some other day to him, like he deserved it. I honestly have no idea if it was ever even mentioned what she’s studying in school. That’s the thing; for as much space and time that is dedicated to every minute thing that Davy does, I know absolutely nothing about Millie except that she’s his girlfriend and willing to put up with his quirks. They start up a long distance relationship after hanging out together in New York for about a week or two. It was just . . . crazy.
So, honestly, even though I haven’t watched the movie in a while and know that it isn’t that great, I think that it manages to carry a better story than the original book.Jumper disappointed me, and I hate to say that because I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for years. I didn’t mind that it was grittier, more realistic because of the horrible things that happen. I just wish that the story and characters had been shaped differently.