In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.
But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?
A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.
Jesse does not mince words. He calls it the way he sees it but he isn't a bad kid. He has a good heart even though he tries to hide it under his "all business" attitude. He has few real friends but those he does have he holds close and is fiercely loyal to. Jesse has a very definite sense of right and wrong and who is or is not deserving. He tries to pretend that he has a heart of stone but that is more to try and keep himself safe than the truth of the matter. Jesse meets Bridget as part of a "job" and finds that he can't keep himself safe from her. She inadvertently worms her way into his life and his heart. Jesse is that kid who seems to have it all and Bridget is the girl who seems to be the sweet girl next door who is always helping others. I love how mismatched they seem on the outside but in reality, they are perfect for each other. Jesse's honesty (when he manages to be honest) and his cut and dry view of the world is something that Bridget wishes she could have. Jesse wishes that he could have someone in his life like Bridget, someone who doesn't want anything from him other than to be with him. They fit together like puzzle pieces. I will say that there are scenes of violence, talk of rape and sexual assault and some scenes of alcohol and drug use. If any of those things are triggers for you, you should be aware of those parts of this book.
You can click here to add Sway to your Goodreads. Kat Spears can be found on Facebook and Twitter. I give Sway 4 Fairies for a great book that takes a serious look at high school life and the choices we make.