The Jump | Brittney Morris


Published March 7th, 2023 from Simon & Schuster; 246 pages

Content Warning: Racism, violence, police brutality

About the Author: “Brittney Morris is the bestselling author of SLAY, The Cost of Knowing, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury, and The Jump. She also writes video games and has contributed to projects such as The Lost Legends of Redwall, Subnautica: Below Zero, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Marvel’s Wolverine. Brittney is an NAACP Image Award nominee, an ALA Black Caucus Youth Literary Award winner, and an Ignite Award Finalist. She has an economics degree from Boston University and spends her spare time reading, playing video games, and not doing enough yoga. She lives in Philadelphia” (Bio from author’s website).

Find Brittney Morris on the following platforms:

“And ‘Be the Change,’ a phrase Jax has told me he hates viciously, since it’s often what people tell you when they want to pass the onus back onto you for enacting the change you want to see, so they don’t have to examine their own bias and dismantle the structures in place that uphold their privilege.”

Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han are four competitive teens that make up team JERICHO, one of the best puzzle-solving groups in Seattle. Each of these teens have their own talents to contribute to the team’s success, skills which come in handy when JERICHO receives an invite to join a scavenger hunt organized by the Order, a cryptic vigilante organization. The prize for this new competition is supposedly lasting power and influence. With their families facing threats from the dominant oil corporation, Roundworld, that is slowly taking over their community, Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han each have their own reasons for wanting more power. However, a rival scavenger hunting team, institutions of power like Roundworld and the Seattle Police Department, and their own internal conflicts present obstacles to JERICHO’s mission to save the things and people they love. 

In a style reminiscent of Ready Player One, the scavenger hunt that drives this story keeps both the characters and the readers on their toes. The high stakes of this novel make the storyline all the more enthralling; you can’t help but root for (and at times intensely worry about) the four protagonists at the center of this piece. Each has their own reasons for wanting the influence that the Order promises them in order to save the city and the people that they love, and these separate motivations at times come into conflict and demonstrate the nuance of the issues that the teens face. Topics like gentrification, racism, climate justice, and more are navigated with grace and care throughout the novel, and I appreciate that Morris addressed the complexities of each of these subjects. For instance, the issue of Roundworld’s presence in the novel isn’t black and white. On every side there exist people with deep personal stakes. Readers root for team JERICHO, but are also shown the personal consequences of the oil company’s removal from the city through the storylines of Han and Sigge. In this respect, I wish the readers had been given more of a resolution for some of these characters; I was left wondering what would happen to Sigge’s brother, how Karim would be impacted at the novel’s conclusion, and how Han’s family was faring, among other things. With that being said, I loved that these teens, despite having no supernatural abilities, were able to use their unique skills to gain agency and become superheroes in their own right. 

The empowering nature of this book makes it a great read for people of all ages and backgrounds, inspiring them to believe in their own power to make positive change in their lives and communities. 

Pine Reads Review would like to thank Simon & Schuster, SparkPoint Studio, & NetGalley for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Sam Parker, Pine Reads Review Writer