Summary: At the reading of his grandfather’s will, Spencer is only half listening. But later when he gets his assignment to get a kiss on the cheek from former film bombshell Gloria Lorraine (GL), he feels cheated. While his cousins are headed to foreign countries and his brother Bunny is getting a tattoo, Spencer is headed to Buffalo, New York to film himself getting kissed by a ninety year-old woman. Expecting a dull experience, things quickly take a turn when GL kidnaps him in a stolen car with a person in the trunk and her granddaughter, AmberLea, sprung unwillingly from a house arrest sentence. Heading across the border to Canada with this unlikely cast of characters, Spencer wonders if his grandfather has staged some elaborate movie for him, eventually learning that not all heroes are on the big screen.
Number of Pages: 219
Age Range: 13-14
Review: Jump Cut by Ted Staunton is another book in Seven the Series, and I loved how it fit with Ink Me by Richard Scrimger because the characters, Spencer and Bunny, are brothers. When I read Ink Me, it was hard to tell if Bunny’s view of things was accurate, or if he was misinterpreting what Spencer texted, but Staunton’s addition reveals Bunny had things more sorted out than Spencer did.
I’m sure that’s confusing if you haven’t read the two books, so let me urge you if you are going to read one, you need to read them both to get the full picture of both characters. It is definitely worth it.
Once again, through the story of his grandsons, I got another piece of David McLean’s character. I had my own ideas about how David and Gloria’s lives could have been connected, but I never imagined his interaction with her when she needed it most would have created a lasting impression on her for life.
This earlier story of David McLean’s life reveals perhaps at heart he was most like Spencer; an observer, not quite sure of himself yet, but looking to belong. When I realised how alike they were I appreciated Spencer’s part of the story even more, because Staunton shows him gradually overcoming his initial aloofness and awkwardness. There is no final letter for Spencer because he doesn’t really need it. All his grandfather wants is for him to bear witness to a part of his life no one ever knew about.
It was a bit over the top, but Jump Cut‘s larger than life characters and situations just made Staunton’s story a fun and engaging read. Spencer’s inability to distinguish whether he was in a movie or real life was a cool idea, because I also felt that way as the reader. After reading four of Seven the Series already, it was quite easy to imagine David McLean orchestrating an adventure of that magnitude for his grandson. Jump Cut proves the Mark Twain quote: “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
“GL nods. ‘My big line in Shadow Street. Just because it’s from a movie doesn’t mean it isn’t true.'” – Gloria Lorraine from Jump Cut by Ted Staunton, page 146