By: Sherry Mayes
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Romance
Set in the dusty desert town of Cedarville, North California, beauty queen, Jody Angel Taylor believes her life is all mapped out: glamorous, clever and popular, and due to marry her handsome boyfriend, she has it all. Until one night she has a devastating car crash, ending up paralyzed – and her perfect world collapses.
Committing media suicide and publicly blamed for her own accident, everything around her falls apart. She becomes a lonely recluse, feeling she’s lost everything including her legs – her boyfriend to her best friend, her father to an affair, her mother to depression – but above all she fears losing her mind.
What she doesn’t know is that someone across the globe is about to throw her a lifeline. Can she find the courage to take it?
Determined to love again and clear her name, she embarks on a new adventure that will transform her life beyond all expectations.(from Amazon)
I tend to read a lot of alternate world type YA books (paranormal, dystopian), and Stop the World was a nice change for me. Although it is a work of fiction, it’s based on a true story and, therefore, very much “of this world”.
Jody is our main character and to some extent, we all know a Jody. She’s the one that everyone wants to be. She’s gorgeous, intelligent, wealthy, popular, and has the dream boyfriend. That is, until her life is forever changed by a car accident. Jody’s story is about learning the value of character over beauty. When face with being a paraplegic, she learns the shallow depth of her relationships, and herself. She learns that having a boyfriend, getting married, and living a life of high status isn’t what life is about. But the greatest lesson she learns is the value of knowing and loving yourself.
Jody isn’t a very likeable character in the beginning of the story. She’s whiny and self-loathing. Not very attractive qualities, but hey, who wouldn’t have times like that if they were faced with her challenges. I will admit that because of where the story began, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I would have gotten more quickly involved in it had it began from the beginning and progressed, rather than in the middle and then backtracked, if that makes sense. It would be the equivalent of saying “B,A,B,C”. However, the story picked up quickly after that, and I really began digging in. The remaining three quarters of the book far outweighed the very beginning and earned it a five wing in my book!
Mayes teaches us that perfection isn’t real. The most important thing in life isn’t attaining perfection, its about being a person that you can love and respect. It’s about loving someone for who they are and who they dream to be and be loved by someone who respects you enough to support you in your dreams.
About the Author:
I’ve worked as a journalist for nearly twenty years and have also written two self help books.
STOP THE WORLD is my first work of fiction. Based on a true story of a young girl I met over nine years ago, I was drawn into the fascinating world of my protagonist, Jody Angel Taylor. This YA story was an incredible journey for me as it’s set in Cedarville, North California, a place that has become so tangible, I feel as if I actually live there.
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