Cover design by Kate Gartner
Cover illustration by Pete Ryan
It’s bad enough that Nick’s sister is dead and, in some bizarre attempt to force him to confront his grief, his parents are shipping him off to Jesus Camp. But he’s also being haunted by the ghost of Jack Kerouac―who’s surprisingly annoying, for a genius.
And if arguing with a dead beat poet weren’t enough to qualify Nick for antipsychotics, he’s pretty sure Eden Springs Church Camp is going to drive him insane. The campers ride donkeys into the desert campsite; a retired magician dressed as Jesus seems obsessed with converting him; and Nick’s practically shunned for uttering the words “Harry Potter.”
Worst of all is the PC Box, into which every camper is required to place a nightly prayer or confession. In hopes of getting Jack to stop nagging him about it, Nick scribbles down his darkest secret―a secret about his sister’s death―and drops it in the box.
But then the box is stolen, with Nick’s secret inside of it. When campers’ confessions start appearing around the camp, Nick is desperate to get the box back―before the world learns the truth about what he did. The truth he can’t even face, himself.
Snarky, surreal, and insightful, Jacked Up is an astonishing debut about the strangeness of life, death, and grief, and the even stranger things we do to cope.