Jacob Have I Loved

Jacob Have I Loved

Book - 1990
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The remarkable Newbery-winning classic about a painful sibling rivalry, and one sister's struggle to make her own way.

Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise's friends, their parents' love, her dreams for the future.

For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one. But in order to do that, she must first figure out who she is . . . and find a way to make a place for herself outside her sister's shadow.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Children's Books, 1990.
ISBN: 9780064403689
0064403688
Characteristics: 263 p.

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f
FloatingGoat
Feb 25, 2018

This story is painfully beautiful, with the pain quite keen at times. It's not a long book, but it is deep, and needs time to be properly considered and digested. It's not fast-paced or action filled; it's very much an intensive journey with the main character, and experiencing what is at times her rather bleak and heartrending life, but dotted with glimpses of joy and beauty that make the journey so worthwhile and satisfying.
I must admit, I snort-laughed at the junior high reviewer below wondering "when Jacob would come into the story." Oh my, biblical allusion is so lost on this poor child.
Judging from other comments, I think this book's nostalgia and poignancy are probably lost on many in the junior high age group; there just isn't the life experience for most of them to relate to this, or the patience to see it through, and to recognize the depth and reality in the themes and situations. I wish teachers would stop assigning beautiful books like this, and especially stop forcing kids to analyze them to death - that is a form of merciless torture both to the kids and the story. They both deserve better.

j
julia_sedai
Aug 19, 2017

This is a middle-grade story and I read it one day. I only picked it up because I happened to see it at the library and I have a dim memory of seeing a preview for the movie when I was a kid.

I think if this was a true story, I would have believed it more. The thing is, it seems like a true story, but then it isn't, so then at the end I was kind of thinking, "What's the point of this book? Is this even believable? Could something like this have actually happened?"

Anyway, I think the author does do a good job of writing about a moody teenager. In fact, the main character is a bit like I was at age 14, feeling that the whole world hates you and getting angry at everything (although I did not have a perfect sister to compare with). However, it got annoying after a while. And to be completely honest, I was creeeeeeeped out by the fact that she liked such an old man. I don't think it's really plausible, although I will concede that teenagers do form very weird crushes. I'm just glad she got over it pretty quickly.

I don't really recommend it. It's okay, I guess. I was interested in their community on the island, and the crab fishing, but the end few pages about her in the Appalachian mountains seemed completely random and I didn't really buy it.

I'm having a hard time writing what I actually think about this book because it was just so unspectacular.

GCPL_Teen Jun 29, 2017

Some readers may find this book's pace slow. The presence of powerful underlying themes and recurring imagery is a redeeming feature.

v
violet_dove_237
Feb 11, 2015

I agree that this book tells others that society's look on the body image doesn't matter, and that everyone will still live on. I have read it for a school book, and It wasn't the best book to read. You kind of wonder when will Jacob come into the story. There are better books to read.

blue_jaguar_257 Aug 03, 2013

i thout this book explained what its like to always be expected to look a certin way or do certin things the right way

jamarberbakalli Nov 06, 2012

I read it. It was terrible.

w
wallisthompson
Jun 01, 2012

Boring, confusing, and painful in an undefined way. I read it as a child and I will read it again now to see if my impressions have changed, however, I am not enthusiastic. The School Library Journal reports "...Sara Louise realizes that she can come out of the shadows by leaving her family and the island behind..." While this is the plot of the story, Sara Louise's liberation is accomplished by such emotionally meager means that she never wins my interest, and her eventual triumph feels like a sacrifice of her past and her remaining years for a life of only semantic meaning.

paigers9081 May 12, 2011

For all the people out who might want to read this book, this is the worst book I've EVER read. I had to read it for my language arts class and let me tell ya, my grade went down tremendously because of it. I will never read thia book again for all the money in the world.

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gjrainey
Feb 12, 2018

gjrainey thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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blue_elephant_1349
Jul 14, 2017

blue_elephant_1349 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Luciey
Dec 21, 2013

Luciey thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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jessicay
Dec 21, 2013

jessicay thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

violet_cat_1889 Sep 11, 2012

violet_cat_1889 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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wallisthompson
Jun 01, 2012

wallisthompson thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 21 and 99

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