Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Happy Book Birthday... The Jump by Brittney Morris!

This book came out yesterday and sounded very exciting. It's an urban scavenger hunt with very modern flair...not science fiction but rather adventure pure. Or at least, that's what I'm guessing it will hold. It promises tension, fast-paced action, riddles, and hopes as well as dreams. So, let me dive in and I'll tell you what I think. (Mission Impossible music is playing in my head as I pick this one up...)

by Brittney Morris
Simon & Schuster
YA Urban Adventure
256 pages

From the acclaimed author of SLAY and The Cost of Knowing comes an action-driven, high-octane novel about a group of working-class teens in Seattle who join a dangerous scavenger hunt with a prize that can save their families and community.

Influence is power. Power creates change. And change is exactly what Team Jericho needs.

Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han are the four cornerstones of Team Jericho, the best scavenger hunting team in all of Seattle. Each has their own specialty: Jax, the puzzler; Yas, the parkourist; Spider, the hacker; and Han, the cartographer. But now with an oil refinery being built right in their backyard, each also has their own problems. Their families are at risk of losing their jobs, their communities, and their homes.

So when The Order, a mysterious vigilante organization, hijacks the scavenger hunting forum and concocts a puzzle of its own, promising a reward of influence, Team Jericho sees it as the chance of a lifetime. If they win this game, they could change their families’ fates and save the city they love so much. But with an opposing team hot on their heels, it’s going to take more than street smarts to outwit their rivals



An original tale hits with tons of action and enough tension to keep the pages turning in a quick-paced adventure.

Jax, Yas, Spider and Han make up Team Jericho, a scavenger hunting team, which follows internet games/clues to solve puzzles. They are the best in their area, and each member is as different as can be. When a big corporation wants to build an oil refinery in the public garden, their future takes a dim turn. But there's hope as a special scavenger hunt appears, and the winner can help shape what's going to happen next. However, Team Jericho isn't the only group, who's determined to win.

The unique setting and plot really draws in and sets a fantastic stage for this adventure. In some ways, the group reminds of the Goonies as they do their best to save their lives as they know it. While they head from one intense situation to the next, the tale also weaves in clues and riddles needed to be solved, which gives it a nice twist and promises surprises. The edition of technology, corporations, social issues, and more sets a modern-day thrust with a thrilling atmosphere. It is an exciting read with tons to offer and enjoy.

There are triggers in this one (a bit), which hit alcoholism, racism, cursing, and police threats (in a negative way). None of these are over-the-top and stick well to the audience level. These fit right in with the urban setting and living/neighborhood/family situations of the characters and support the main themes. While big corporation eating up social spaces for greed reasons is one theme, there are also weaves of inclusivity, bullying, family, and more. So, there is quite a bit of depth behind the action.

This is written from the different characters' points of view with each chapter giving the name of the character to keep confusion at bay. The personalities and problems of each one comes across nicely, and the author takes effort to make the diversity sit. While this is appreciated (especially fitting to current times), the even spread between the four is a little unbelievable and forced, which also made it hard to really connect to the characters, at times. Even among themselves, there's a lack of 'perfect' bond, which if present, would have made this one beam. But then, there were several aspects in other areas, which also hit a few hiccups on the realistic/logic end. None of these hurt the main flow, though, and it's still a fun and exciting read worth picking up and enjoying.

And here she is...

Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY, The Cost of Knowing, and The Jump, and has written video game narrative for Insomniac Games’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 for PlayStation 5, Unknown Worlds’s Subnautica: Below Zero, and Soma Games’s The Lost Legends of Redwall. She is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.

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