Summary: Jake Upshore has his problems with anger, impulse control and reading, but most of it is overshadowed by his relationship with Skye, the love of his life. When she disappears one day and Jake hears rumours that she is off to Halifax to get an abortion, his brain goes into overdrive and he can’t stop himself from taking action. So begins a journey to find Skye that involves battling his personal demons and many unfortunate incidents. Jake finds himself in a place he never expected to be, largely because of his impulsive nature, and he is left to decide if he can overcome it to gain the trust of the one he loves.
Number of Pages: 254
Age Range: 16-18
Review: At first, reading Pluto’s Ghost is the mental equivalent to putting on Spanx. I’m a reader, have been for my whole life. I never had trouble learning to read and I was reading at a grade 13 level in grade eight. I am also a reserved person. So forcing my mind into the perspective of a young man with a learning varation, driven by impulse and adrenalin with a brain triple-wired for sight and sound was difficult for me. Extremely difficult.
But the reason why it was so difficult to get into at first was because Sheree Fitch instantly immerses her reader into Jake’s point-of-view through her writing style. She allows her reader to experience the world from inside his skin, and it is truly an eye-opening experience.
Jake’s voice is fluid and rushed, and he is largely driven by his physical reactions to whatever situation he is in, and through it all Fitch shows us a very keen and smart mind that at times just needs a bit of taming. I loved it.
This is my second time reading Pluto’s Ghost, and it took me two times to properly appreciate it. There is so much contained in Jake’s perspective that I didn’t catch a lot of it the first time. Because of that I would recommend it for older and experienced teen readers. There are themes of abuse and some violence, but it is mostly the story of one young man’s journey into adulthood and his quest to be worthy of the one he loves.
“Best as I can describe it, love feels like in the summer when I’m outside mucking in the dirt and it’s one of those days so blue and yellow and lime green you got to wear shades or you’ll be blinded by all that jeezly light.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 10
“Skye and Kaje. They should have clued in back then I was going to be having a hard time with the two of the three Rs. Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. Who thought that up if not someone with a learning variation? Variation or learning difference, not disability, okay?” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 38
“But enough remembering and reflecting and confessing for now. This writing shit down has a way of making me admit way too many private things. No wonder I hate it so much. Like taking a crowbar to my heart and digging it out of my chest.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 87
“But I kept going AWOB. Absent without a brain. Burble, burble, underwater, like I was watching myself through an aquarium screen. Jake Upshore, the action-less hero in a warped slow-mo video game. Yes, a full-blown panic attack was settling in.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 115
“I was mad at Skye. No thought of me. Whatsoever. As I drove on, I had lots of what-ifs like little hamsters spinning wheels inside my head and gnawing brain.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 148
“All I know is if you went to China, you’d need a translator to read the signs so you’d know where you were, where you were going. When you read like me you are your own translator. Every day. Every goddam day I open a book, I kind of don’t know where I am going. And don’t even get me started about writing and how long it takes me for one paragraph. So yeah. That’s how it is.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 150
“And I was. I really was and you maybe think that’s a bit weird because I never knew them at all but when you know what it’s like to lose someone you loved that much, needed that much, you can almost feel the hole in another’s heart and it’s sad because it is and because you know that pit will get deeper, because that time heals saying is bullshit; time just gives you more time to know you’ll miss forever. I heard soft drum-beating from inside the house and I felt like I do when I’m alone in my room with a song on the radio that makes my throat feel like someone pressed on my Adam’s apple with their thumb.” – Jake from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 165
“My therapist tells me it’s the wounded who wound. Sounds great. Still, it is no excuse for what my dad did. Not ever. But . . . well, it helps me start to understand.” – Skye from Pluto’s Ghost by Sheree Fitch, page 245