I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.
There is nothing better than a strong female character in teen literature. It seemed for a while every book I read had a wimpy, indecisive female character unable to do anything for herself. Clare, the heroine of our story here, is nothing of the sort. She is level-headed, practical and smart. She knows how to respond quickly to a situation and do what's right and what's necessary and while she is primarily motivated by emotion, she doesn't let it rule her.
The world created here by Williams is fresh and original. Futuristic YA fiction is a dime a dozen but Jump was different. Instead of a world that had been almost destroyed, as in dystopian fiction, in Williams' futuristic world he presents what actually seems to be 'the perfect world' - ours is ancient by comparison. Until her best friend Libby messes around with a new 'meme' called Improvement, Clare doesn't realise there could be something very wrong with their world, a world which allows global travel in the matter of seconds and has rendered farms obsolete due to the ability to 'fab' whatever you require from a hole in the wall. When Libby uses Improvement to remove a birth mark, her whole personality seems to change and this sets Clare on a journey where she is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her world.
Right from the very beginning, this book takes off at a fast pace and doesn't slow down. It is an action packed adventure that I didn't want to put down. I connected with the characters and Clare and Jesse's budding romance felt natural and not forced - I liked that it wasn't the main point of the story.
I was also so excited by this book once I got to end of it I forgot about what was so irksome to me in the opening chapter or so of this book. It wasn't until I was browsing some other reviews that I actually remembered why I wasn't sure about this book until the cracking pace and non stop action took over. I don't want to add in spoilers but the fact that the rest of the book was so good it made me actually forget about a part I disliked - that says a fair bit about the author!
There was a bigger point to this story than the romance. And of course, the inevitable cliffhanger - I should have known there would be one, but I didn't pick what was actually going to happen! - that has left me a bit shell shocked and shattered that the next book isn't released for another year. I need it now!