There are some books that take awhile for you to decipher your feelings towards. Other books you know immediately that you are going to dislike. Then there are the little gems that you connect with from the very first page. For me, Jumped In fits into the third category. From the first mention of Nirvana--my favorite band, if you didn't already know that--I knew I would love this book. This was a fantastic debut that made me believe that this is an author to watch.Sam has mastered "slackerdom." He knows how to get by in school, and in life, without attention. He spends his times in the sounds of grunge classics and reminiscing about the days where he was happy with his mom and his two best friends, Dave and Rupe. When his English teacher pairs him up with Luis Cárdenas for a poetry assignment, the facade that Sam built slowly starts to unravel and he must rewrite everything he's come to believe.This book was not what I was expecting, and I loved it. Sam's voice is the best part of this story. It's raw, and real enough to pass emotions onto the books readers. I, myself, teared up at the end. This is a truly powerful story that had me bound. Jumped In teaches its readers a lesson that is invaluable, especially in the world in which we are a part of today. The author excellently weaves a contemporary tale that nails the nitty gritty, and leaves us feeling hope. The book moves at an excellent pace. It's an easy book to read through, and it's even easier to enjoy--it helps that there are constant references to the greatest grunge band of all time (and nothing anyone can say will ever make me change my mind about this).Jumped In is one of the few stories that doesn't have a focus of romance, or a main character even really thinking about romance, that has been able to hook me. Sam's a very realistic main character, I believe. He's afraid, and unsure of himself. He has trouble dealing with reality, which makes it impossible for him to do more with his life. He is very set in the past, which is why he acts the way he does. He's a smart kid, but he's lost. His emotional journey throughout this novel is breathtaking. It's one that I'm very glad I was able to witness because what Sam goes through is something to which everyone can relate. This is really a novel about growing up, and finding yourself through the blender into which life throws you. The minor characters tied in wonderfully, and each fulfilled their purpose in helping Sam complete his journey. I would definitely recommend this book to those who like their contemporaries a little edgy, and very heartfelt. This book is more than just a story, it has a deeper meaning that will hit its readers in their very core. It's gorgeous, and real, and even after more than a week later, the message still lingers. There are a few minor exaggerations, but they are easy to look past as this book really pushes its lesson. Jumped In tells us that there is more to a person than just their outer appearance. What matters is the person inside, and you can't know that until you take a chance and speak up.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.This review can be seen here on my blog as well.