My favorite part of reading is when I find “that book.” You know, the one that hooks you from the first page. The book that keeps you dying to read page-after-page. The book that you hate to finish but can’t stop until you do. Those books are often hard to find, but when you find them, it's so worth it.
The Jigsaw Jungle, by Kristin Levine, was one of “those books” for me.
From the first page of the book, The Jigsaw Jungle, I was hooked. Kristin Levine made a brilliant choice with the overall design and structure of this book. Alluding to the title, the book is designed to reflect the puzzle theme that is present through the entire story.
Instead of being a normal text-based story, The Jigsaw Jungle is told through lots of different text varieties, such as text messages, e-mails, receipts, and video transcriptions. I thought the different versions of text made the story really reflect the puzzle theme, and it totally kept me hooked. I was able to almost follow a puzzle itself as I tried to figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of Claudia's, the main character's, father.
The theme of puzzles not only is present in the overall structure of the book, it also carries through the plot of the story. Growing up Claudia's father and his mother always did puzzles together. This was a tradition then that Claudia's father passed on to Claudia when she was little. So naturally, when Claudia's father disappears, the clues he leaves behind for her are literally puzzle pieces that help her solve the biggest puzzle ever, “Why did her father disappear in the first place?”
The plot of the story will have your puzzled as you read along with Claudia. The big ending of the story will surprise you at first. But after I figured out the truth behind everything in the story, everything wasn’t such a puzzle after all. Clues all along the story were present, I just missed them, but so did Claudia!
After the story, I naturally went back and read different parts of the text. Once I knew the ending, I had to see if there were clues all along. There were! And, they were so obvious! I was just so engrossed with Claudia and her journey that I was missing them. I even missed the clues that were present in the cover of the story. Promise I am not giving any spoilers away, the cover of the story will not make sense to you until you read this book! And, you absolutely need to read this book!