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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
After finishing Jennifer Gibson's book Sway, which is the first book about the life of Jessie, a hearing impaired and bullied teenager, I immediately started reading Compass, the second book in the series. In Compass, the story is mainly focused on Jessie and Karate, from which story lines about injuries, deceit, loss, trust, and hope develop. During a tournament, Jessie suffers from an injury to the head, then she is harassed by a trainer in the dojo while her boyfriend Ethan is away. Afterwards, when Ethan finds out her side of the story, he has to decide whether he believes her side or the side of his old friend - and the reader will be shocked. In the second half of the book, Jessie helps out during a summer camp for mentally disabled children. She has to find various ways to deal with the different problems the children have - and as she has her own problems, she sees the children in a different way than others would.
After setting very high expectations with Sway, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with Compass. While the first half of the book was still exciting to read, the second half was just going on and on about the summer camp - during which the most exciting events weren't really that exciting or dramatic at all (and also quite brief). As much as I like Karate myself, the many descriptions of various training sessions throughout the book became a bit tedious after a while because they did not move the story forward at all. Apart from that, I still enjoyed reading the book very much because the second half very much felt like a well deserved break for Jessie, who had to go through so much negativity during the first one and a half books. Like Sway, Compass by Jennifer Gibson was well written, and the descriptions enable the reader to see the story unfolding right before his or her inner eye.