“Sway” by Kat Spears is, if we’re taking it down to a bare bones comparison, a retelling of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. The main character is Jesse, a high school student with connections and pull with many different people (you call him when you want drugs or alcohol, if you want a fundraiser to be successful, if you’re the principal and you want a trouble student out of your hair). So when popular kid Ken Foster offers him two hundred dollars to help him get a date with the nice, beautiful Bridget, Jesse agrees. What Jesse doesn’t expect is that by getting to know Bridget he’d end up falling in love with her as well.
I ended up really liking this book mostly because the high school that was featured wasn’t one of those stereotypical schools that only exist in fiction. I mean, how often do we end up reading stories or watching movies where all the kids get along and nobody drinks or ever does anything wrong?
Well these characters were real and they were raw. Jesse deals drugs but has a conscious about it (he warns his new friend, who is Bridget’s brother, that he shouldn’t rely on drugs to feel good at parties). Bridget is a good girl who likes to volunteer her time but also likes to go out at night. All the characters show a full range of emotions and are snarky and annoying at times and loveable at others. It was nice to see a less idealistic version of high school and high school students.
My only issue with the book is exactly how many different things Jesse had a hand in. Drug deals, fake ID’s, friends with DJ’s and cheerleaders and bowling alley owners and he’s not even a senior in high school? At one point he even has the principal coming to him for help which seemed to me like it was a little bit of “movie magic” so to speak (suspension of disbelief). But all in all I liked it and will be following Kat Spear’s career.