When the worlds of adolescent struggles and spirituality collide…
The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance chronicles the life of Jo, a 16-year-old high school student, and her coming to terms with her spiritual calling. As she and her group of friends struggle with addiction, they happen upon a portal that lets ancient creatures and negative energy into the human world. The prime target of these creatures is teenagers due to their lowered vulnerabilities. It’s up to Jo to tap into her destiny and put it to use for the sake of herself and her friends.
I liked how this book was inclusive of ethnicities, genders, and sexualities, most notably with the character Rey. Rey uses they/them pronouns, which I don’t see often in literature. The author is consistent with both that and illustrating Rey’s conflict with their inner and outer images. As for Jo, she has an interesting origin story considering her family curses and out of body experiences. Another thing about the book I found helpful at times was the explanation of spiritual terms and magic.
However, I think the author went too in depth on some explanations and there needs to be more room for the reader to figure things out on their own at some points. There’s more telling than showing through the characters, especially at the beginning. Overall, it wasn’t a bad read and captured teen angst and that experience of searching or growing into identity in a unique way.
>>>Link to Amazon book & review<<<
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