Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 10:04:11 PM
I would like to start off by introducing myself as a girl with a background of anxiety. Anxiety runs deep in my family blood-line, on my father's side. When I had my first panic attack, I was extremely freaked out and had a very similar reaction to that of Jade, the main character of the beautifully crafted novel "The Nature of Jade". I felt crowded and just overall trapped; like my world was coming to an end right in front of my eyes. I always wondered what set off my attack and after that first one, I became very nervous and standoffish around people, worried that I would have another one and that everyone would see how much of a freak I was. "The Nature of Jade" honestly helped me immensely in dealing with my fears and frustrations. I noticed Jade's character was very determined, loving, affectionate- things that I yearned to be, but felt like I couldn't be because I could not bear to let myself get too attached to someone and then something happen and loose them from my life. She was determined to do exceptional in school so that she could excel in every aspect of her life. She studied hard, got scholarship-worthy grades, and still made time to balance everything else in her life. I have always had a problem with balance. I used to put my social life before my academic life, allowing my grades to drop to an all time low of C's and D's. Jade was loving and affectionate to not only her elephant pal's at the zoo where she volunteered consistently in addition to her schooling, but to her newly found love, Sebastien, who brought along Bo, who could have been a burden on their relationship, but instead brought even more sentiment. Within the weeks after reading "The Nature of Jade", others began to notice a distinct change in my actions and overall demeanor and they brought it to my attention. Once I noticed the difference, I realized how much more free and happy I felt. I had developed some of the characteristics of Jade. I had become easier to be around, according to my mother and father. I was not sour around people, I was less anxious and jumpy, I even opened up to going back to school after being home-schooled for two years. I felt rejuvenated, new; like one of those bears who had just come out of hibernation.
It has now been a year since I read "The Nature of Jade" the first time. I read this book at least once a month, a reminder to be "good" because what I was before was not healthy. I was destructive to my mental state, being all cooped up and mean. I needed a breath of fresh air and I sure got it when I read this book. Thank you Deb Caletti, for writing such an incredible book. You have no idea what it has done for me.