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Why you must read Sean Powell’s Just Jack

Anorexia male novel

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Just Jack is a coming of age story, written from the point of view of a teenager boy, Jack Thorne, who is suffering from anorexia, a disorder that he can’t define, yet it defines him. In the midst of all of Jack’s problems – grief over his fathers death, confusion over his friends disappearance – he meets a girl while in recovery; a mysterious and enigmatic girl named Emily. And thus, a rocky rollar-coaster of love ensues, with many twists and turns, laughs and cries.

What genre is it?
Just Jack is a Young Adult, Coming of Age story, that I feel can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages. It has elements of drama and comedy too.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Just Jack has the potential to appeal to anyone, but most notably young adults. The novel includes and ensemble of characters from all walks of life and all ages. We have a book with adults and teenagers, brothers and sisters, friends and family. If you like books that make you think, that will have a profound effect on you and open your eyes, then Just Jack is for you.

If you like, John Green books or Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ll love my book!

Tell us about Jack.
As I writer, I feel like if you really want to see what your characters are made of, you need to break them. Jack Thorne, the protagonist, is already broken from the first page. The novel is about his journey to recovery, the people he meets along the way, and his first experience with love – life changing, heartbreaking love. Jack is suffering from anorexia for the second time in his life – the first time evolved after his fathers death that he is constantly blamed for. The second time the disorder develops is after his friends disappearance and presumed death. Jack can’t handle or make sense of grief, and that shows by his reaction to death. Jack is a rare character, a boy with a disorder mainly associated with females, and he struggles to define exactly what he has. He is flawed and broken, but he is human and hopeful too.

Though Jack is a complete creation, I feel like there is a lot of me in him, and also in all of the characters. Or at least, I would like to think that. They are a great bunch of kids.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
I’m currently working on my next novel. One that I am keeping under wraps for now. Though, I will say that if you like Divergent and The Hunger Games, you’re going to love my next book – the beginning of a trilogy.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Shaun Powell, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Ireland. I can remember writing from a very young age, but only started to take it seriously when I joined Wattpad in 2010. My first ‘novel’ (it was kind of lame and only had 18 chapters) was a suicide awareness story entitled Do You Know Eva? It was a hit on Wattpad and to date almost has 300’000 online reads and is one of, if not the, first girl/girl stories on Wattpad. I began writing Just Jack when I was 16 and finished it a year later. It took so long because I was still at school at the time. I never wanted or really intended to go to college, which I didn’t after all, and currently work part-time as an extra on TV shows such as Ripper Street on BBC (it films in Ireland.) Writing is my passion though, and I hope to one day do it full-time.

You mentioned Wattpad. How can we follow you there?

What’s next?
Next is the novel, the first of a planned trilogy, that I am 40’000 words into already. It came from a dream that I had, that gave me an idea that I developed for a few months. I then plotted the entire first and second book, with a rough idea of how I want the third one to go and ultimately end. The title is ‘Transcendence’ for the first book, and it’s part dystopian, and has a wicked storyline – though, I am biased. I hope to have the first draft completed by the end of July 2014.

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