How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
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.
I have read a few books by Anne Cassidy, so I was excited when we picked this book for our Kid-Lit challenge. When discussing the age range with Beth, we weren’t totally sure what age we’d class ‘kid’ as. This book is definitely directed towards the older teen though as it is quite a dark read and it does have some sexual content. I was absolutely gripped by Looking for JJ. It didn’t take me long to devour at all and I’m left wanting to read the next book Finding Jessica Jones. I had definitely heard about Looking For JJ before reading it and after reading it I’m not surprised. I think this book will stay with me for a long time. Even though it is over 10 years old, it feels incredibly relevant.
Looking For JJ is told in a few parts about the same girl. JJ- Jessica Jones- at the age of 10 went out into the woods with two of her friends. Later that day, only two girls returned. Our main character has spent six year in prison due to her involvement in the death of her friend. She has been released from prison and has been given a new identity (Alice Tully) and is now secretly living with her social worker attempting to live a normal life. Alice has a job, a boyfriend and a place at university. JJ is still continually being written about in the papers. The public is still interested in where JJ is. Alice isn’t sure how long her freedom and privacy will last.
It was so interesting to read about the media’s representation of the crime. Everyone and anyone had an opinion about whether JJ should be released from prison and whether a person could really change. The public believe they have a right to know where she is. They assume they know the true story.
I really enjoyed getting to know Alice and watching her adapt to her new freedom. It is clear that Alice still carries guilt from the event. She struggles with having a nice life after what happened to her best friend. She feels like she doesn’t deserve happiness. She was a really interesting character and I feel the way in which Anne Cassidy portrayed her, made me feel empathetic for Alice, despite the terrible things she had done. I didn’t expect to feel that way.
Looking For JJ is a very dark story. It doesn’t hold anything back. It explores JJ’s life and how she was treated by her mother. This doesn’t excuse what she did, but we as a reader, know that JJ’s life was incredibly unstable from a young age. Her relationship with her mother was utterly disturbing.
I highly recommend Looking For JJ. It’s fascinating, gripping and so well written.
For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her blog HERE.
Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!
Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (September):
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase-Joan Aiken