The Nature of Jade
By Deb Caletti
Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Jade DeLuna is trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That’s why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, which is where she firsts sees Sebastian.
When she finally meets him, their connection is immediate, and soon Jade is drawn into the cozy life Sebastian has with his son and his grandmother on their Seattle houseboat. Even though the situation is complicated, Jade hasn’t felt this safe in a long time.
Until she learns that Sebastian is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right...
Sometimes, love is a surprise, an instant of recognition, a sudden gift at a sudden moment that makes everything different from then on. Some people will say that’s not love, that you can’t really love someone you don’t know. But I’m not so sure. Love doesn’t seem to follow a plan; it’s not a series of steps. It can hit with the force of nature - an earthquake, a tidal wave, a storm of wild, relentless energy that is beyond your simple attempts at control.
I thought this book would capture my attention from the start after reading the summary. It was a reasonable assumption because I love animals and there’s some romance mentioned. But the beginning I found a little boring. They were a few unnecessary details that I spotted here and there and it took me a while to actually like it, which I did in the end. For a first of Deb Caletti’s books, it wasn’t so bad.
It was well and smoothly written, just like Sarah Dessen’s books. It makes you feel somewhat calm. Maybe it’s because of the analogies that helped describe the situations or the setting. It gives a sense of meaning of hidden messages. But it also felt like a long time to get to the point.
I sure learned a lot about animals, not just elephants. At the beginning of each chapter, there’s a paragraph (that relates to the chapter, of course) about different kinds of animals. It’s interesting to know a little bit about them and their behaviour. I learned a lot of other things, as well: change, instinct, and fear.
The characters, I thought, were brilliantly developed, although Oliver (Jade’s younger brother) was my favourite. Jade (our heroine) also seemed realistic and funny. You could tell that she does have anxiety by the way she tells the story. But Sebastian (Jade’s love interest), I thought, was kind of iffy. Apart from him having a son, he didn’t feel interesting. He’s nice, sure, but I couldn’t really find the reason why Jade fell in love with him. And the minor characters - they were just so many. You see, when I read, I like to visualize (it’s probably what most people do, too) so when I stumble upon insignificant characters, I picture them as just...heads, even though they come with their own description.
So to summarize, this book was okay. I liked it, but I felt like I could have liked it more. I’m planning on reading more of Deb Caletti’s novels though, which I’ve heard were much better.