After fathering a baby, a teenager moves in with his karate-loving uncle and tries to come to terms with his guilt — and find a way to forgive.
This isn’t how Josh expected to spend senior year. He thought he’d be hanging out with his best friends, Dave and Caleb, driving around, partying, just like always. But here he is, miles from home — new school, new life, living with his Jackie-Chan-obsessed uncle, Larry, and trying to forget. But Josh can’t forget. So many things bring back memories of last year and the night that changed everything. Every day the pain, the shame, and the just not knowing are never far from his thoughts. Why is he such a loser? How could he have done what he did? He finds some moments of peace when he practices karate with Stella, the girl upstairs and his one real friend. As they move together through the katas, Josh feels connected in a way he has never felt before. He wonders if they could be more than friends, but Stella’s jealous boyfriend will make sure that doesn’t happen. And maybe it doesn’t matter. If Stella knew the truth, would she still think he was a True Karate Man? Readers first met Josh in Jumping Off Swings which told the story of four high school students and how one pregnancy changed all of their lives. In thiscompanion book, they follow Josh as he tries to come to terms with what happened, and find a way to forgive.
About the Author
Jo Knowles is the author of Lessons from a Dead Girl, Jumping Off Swings, and See You at Harry’s. She lives in Vermont with her family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Living with Jackie Chan was an emotional read. From the beginning when Josh was first introduced in Jumping Off Swings to the very ending of Living with Jackie Chan, Each and every character showed a different emotion towards Josh when he needed it the most, and knew the right words to say to help him. With each character living with their own issues, they all join together to have each other's backs and to create an environment that will bring Josh out of his misery. Throughout the novel Josh transforms right before our eyes, for the best of course, into someone he never thought he would be a year ago.
I don't really remember much about Jumping off of Swings besides I liked it, and was a little nervous because of that going into this one since it is a companion novel. But I worried for nothing because I connected with Josh and though I didn't remember small details, we get the big picture from being in his head. I really enjoyed Uncle Larry, he is happy, perky, supportive and a little strange, quirky, but still awesome. He really cares for others especially Josh, and I got really confused because he called him Sam all the time because of a childhood joke, but it became natural before too long and got used to it especially since his friend Stella picks up on it. I really appreciated extended family and the close and supportive relationship in this one. Although Josh's relationship with his parents is strained, I appreciate the efforts on both sides, and even acknowledging that things were rough for a while and nothing will be fixed over night. The other secondary characters especially Stella bring so much to the story. She has a heap of her own issues with a possessive boyfriend. And as she becomes close with Josh, their friendship has to remain on the down low. But I enjoyed the easy nature and banter between them and the conversations that make them closer. Although I am in no way a fan of cheating, I so wanted them to be together because they are so good for each other. Karate also plays a big role in this one and I was surprised how well it was tied in and made nature. As a fellow martial artist (well, at least I was before I had kids) I totally connected to those parts and understood how he liked to be a part of the group all doing the same thing at the same time and the power that can draw. Bottom Line: Quick but emotional journey to forgiving yourself and finding acceptance with others.
Kind of freaks me out it looks like it would be about mr.chan being all alone with emotional problems and the omnly friend he has is a cat thats lame by its self.