Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald | Teen Ink

Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald

March 8, 2008
By Bapalapa2 ELITE, Brooklyn, New York
Bapalapa2 ELITE, Brooklyn, New York
1044 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald is a suspenseful book about a tragic accident that set off a chain of events that would change the small town of Briarwood forever. Michael Mackenzie fired off his Winchester Rifle on July 4th, showing it off to his best friends. Little did he know that he had taken the life of a man, and this act would create horrible repercussions.

There are 2 main characters within this book; Michael Mackenzie, the accidental killer and Jenna Ward, the daughter of the deceased father. After Michael finds out about the event, his best friend Joe, tells him to keep it covert because he could be imprisoned for it. But throughout the book Michael is plagued by guilt from his conscience as more and more people are becoming involved and getting hurt. During the course of the book Michael is going through a lot of emotional struggle, and is thinking on deeper and entirely new levels.

Meanwhile Jenna is just beleaguered with thoughts of “what if” she had done something different he wouldn't have been killed, and dealing with the “innocent's guilt”. At first she had wanted revenge for whoever did this, so she could fill the emptiness inside her, but later realized that she just wanted it to end. Jenna realized she had to come to terms with herself before she could truly accept her father's death.

The death of her father mixes with her personal life when she begins to have panic attacks around her boyfriend. Michael's personal life becomes complicated as he can not see a definite right or wrong answer, for the word is not black and white, it is gray. Both Jenna and Michael's private lives turn in to turmoil with misunderstanding, break ups, new friends and broken trust. All of this mixed in with the normal anxiety of a teenager.

A truly great book filled with power, and an emotional thriller .This is a must read for all genres of readers, for it is filled with suspense, fast paced , and an intricate plot terrifyingly truthful of how one event can change a life, or the lives of many in one foul stroke.

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This article has 98 comments.

Chav B said...
on Nov. 22 2011 at 9:37 am
True i totaly agree

Chav B said...
on Nov. 22 2011 at 9:34 am
The book was good. I liked how they had jenna and micheal parts. In the book it claims the Micheal shot Jenna dad Charlie Ward. Throughout the whole book it was lack of Honesty, because Micheal and his friend Joe did not keep it real. I like book because of the things that happened. It keep me wanting more. Then i like how Jenna and Micheal finally at the end. The only part i hate was at the end they didnt tell what the convorsation was.

richyy said...
on Nov. 22 2011 at 9:25 am
bad ending but i think  it was okeyy

on Nov. 16 2011 at 1:06 pm
I too think that the book had a very frusterating ending, but think that the overall message of being honest and doing the right thing outweighs the dissapointing ending.

Fluffy PNDA said...
on Nov. 9 2011 at 11:16 am
Sup people

on Nov. 2 2011 at 2:16 pm
It was a stupid ending!!! I read it and was like "What the...." HahaxD and then I kept asking people if there was a sequeal and...theres not:(

hailey said...
on Oct. 3 2011 at 7:12 pm
i would so to! and nice name!(: love it!

ashapee said...
on Oct. 3 2011 at 7:10 pm
swallowing stons is amazing i havent read the end yet but its great details and i really like it--so far.... i would reccomend this book to anyone!

lovelife95 said...
on Jul. 19 2011 at 2:38 pm
this book is one of the greatest out there besides house of night. this book really opened my eyes about the desions you should really make what is right from wrong. also if you find the one person dont judge on what they look like it is that simple love your life dont do bad things and that is what this book really teaches people at the young age and sometimes the old need to be remined of that as well

ashhhd said...
on Apr. 28 2011 at 11:39 am
im doing a journal right now, can someone help me with the question how do rumors effect the people in the story, state 2 characters rumors effect..

Softball7 said...
on Mar. 27 2011 at 4:03 pm
What is the setting of Swallowing Stones? I know it is in the city of briarwood, but does anyone know any more details?

Softball3 said...
on Mar. 27 2011 at 4:01 pm
True dat meg1245!

softball3 said...
on Mar. 27 2011 at 3:59 pm
I tihink it was more of just a gut feeling. As soon as Michel heard that reporter on the radio, he knew it was him.

meg1245 said...
on Mar. 3 2011 at 9:18 am
The father died because of Michael. Michael and his friends were shooting off guns in the air on 4th of July and the bullet hit Jenna's father in the head when he was fixing the roof.

on Feb. 14 2011 at 11:25 pm
How did the micheal know's that he killed jenna's father. What if somebody shot it

ponypony said...
on Oct. 30 2010 at 1:16 pm

on Oct. 24 2010 at 1:52 pm
how did the father die and was it because of michael

Diana101 GOLD said...
on Aug. 23 2010 at 7:39 pm
Diana101 GOLD, Grove City, Ohio
13 articles 0 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
"God's delays are not God's denials"

I love this book!!!!