Thursday, 26 December 2013

Brianna Reviews - Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Published -  18th February 2005
Publisher - Scholastic
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. . . . Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it's still hard for her to believe it. She'll never be able to forget, even though she's trying to lead a normal life--she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice's past is dangerous, and violent, and sad . . . and it's about to rip her new life apart.

So Looking for JJ is a book that I had picked up years ago to read, and for some unknown reason I never read past the first chapter. I had originally picked this book up because I had read and loved The Story of My Life by the same author. Recently I found a collection of 6 Anne Cassidy books for a fairly reasonable price which included Looking for JJ and Story of My Life which Caragh reviewed here.
The book was more or less how I remembered it being. It was every bit as thought provoking as I remembered/thought it would be. Looking for JJ starts around the time that convicted murderer Jennifer Jones (JJ) is released from Prison. JJ is guilty of murdering a friend when they were both 10 years old. The Media obviously is focused of finding JJ: Where exactly is the newly released teen that killed a girl? And are the public safe? Alice Tully also has an interest in where JJ is and whether the media find the answer.  Over the course of  Looking for JJ the book takes you very close to the moral divide and gets you questioning right and wrong. And more importantly what is fair.
This book is told in 4 parts. The narrative coming from the points of view of Alice, JJ and Kate, and the majority of the book being told by Alice and JJ. Alice is quite a shy girl who just wants to study history at Uni next year, sort out her relationship with her boyfriend who thinks she spends too much time at her job in a local coffee shop. Why does she offer to work extra hours when she could be spending the time with her? JJ is a ten year old girl who is proud that her mother is a model, but what she really wants is to spend time with her mum, she want friends and security. Kate has just moved to Uni she has just left everything behind for a little bare room in university halls.
I like the way this story was told, I also liked how relatable the characters were which in itself is one of the things that makes you question your moral standing. What is a fair punishment for JJ and does she deserve a second chance? The only thing I disliked about Looking for JJ is that I would have liked a bit more from Kate, I want to know how she faired settling into Uni. There is a sequel called Finding Jennifer Jones due out in Feb 2014 so maybe that will hold the answers that I want. I am also not sure what to think of Alice’s boyfriend I think he is a little too pushy and far too moody, but he has his moments of sweetness but that is all they really are moments, and the rest of the time I don’t see why she is with him.
Overall I really enjoyed reading Looking for JJ. I’m not sure if I will read the sequel because even though I wanted more I am worried that getting my answers might spoil the story slightly, perhaps not knowing makes it better. I would definitely recommend Looking for JJ (in fact I already have to Caragh)

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