Summary and book reviews of Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

Just In Case

By Meg Rosoff

Just In Case
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2006,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2008,
    256 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

Justin Case is convinced fate has in for him.

And he's right.

After finding his younger brother teetering on the edge of his balcony, fifteen-year-old David Case realizes the fragility of life and senses impending doom. Without looking back, he changes his name to Justin and assumes a new identity, new clothing and new friends, and dares to fall in love with the seductive Agnes Day. With his imaginary dog Boy in tow, Justin struggles to fit into his new role and above all, to survive in a world where tragedy is around every corner. He's got to be prepared, just in case.

The view is fine up here. I can look out across the world and see everything. For instance, I can see a fifteen-year-old boy and his brother.

1

David Case’s baby brother had recently learned to walk but he wasn’t what you’d call an expert. He toddled past his brother to the large open window of the older boy’s room. There, with a great deal of effort, he pulled himself onto the windowsill, scrunched up like a caterpillar, pushed into a crouch, and stood, teetering precariously, his gaze fixed solemnly on the church tower a quarter mile away.

He tipped forward slightly towards the void just as a large black bird swooped past. It paused and turned an intelligent red eye to meet the child’s.

“Why not fly?” suggested the bird, and the boy’s eyes widened in delight.

Below them on the street, a greyhound stood motionless, his elegant pale head turned in the direction of the incipient catastrophe. Calmly the dog shifted ...

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Introduction

David Case is a fifteen-year-old boy on the verge of adulthood—and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. After his younger brother nearly falls from an open window, David becomes acutely aware of his own mortality and the haphazard nature of fate.

Certain that fate has something truly horrible in store for him, David goes about changing his identity in an attempt to trick fate, and avoid the suffering and unhappiness that is his destiny. He changes his name to Justin, buys an outlandish new wardrobe, and takes up a new hobby in his attempt to escape the doom or fortune of David Case. What David doesn't realize, however, is that Justin Case comes with his own set of predicaments and freak happenings.

...
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Reviews

BookBrowse

Like Rosoff's first book (How I Live Now) Just In Case is ostensibly a book for older teens, but it would be a great pity if this was the only audience to discover it. Reading Just In Case made me a little nostalgic for my younger self - not for those hideous teenage years in themselves that I'm happy to have put behind me by a few decades, but to a time when the ingredients of what was to become the adult "me" were still being mixed, and the ideas in a book had the ability to shape my thinking by dint of their very newness. Just In Case is the sort of book that in the right hands at the right time could do this, offering an ironic metaphysical and philosophical meditation on life's big topics - love and sex, faith and free will, illusion and reality, packaged into a short and genuinely sweet coming-of-age story.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Booklist

Balancing ruminations on the connections between everything are the solid friendships...readers will want to ponder the provocative questions that wrap around their own hopes and terrors.

Publishers Weekly

Intriguing...geared to mature readers with a philosophical bent and an appreciation of irony, the novel shows....the gifts fate has to offer: namely, survival, love and friendship.

KLIATT - Claire Rosser

Exceptional book, recommended for senior high schoolstudents, advanced students, and adults.

Kirkus Reviews

Funny, ironic, magically real; stunning.

Reader Reviews
Banana In Pyjamas

Alright Book
The book "Just In Case" can be an interesting, humorous and confusing book. The book gets interesting because of everything that he does captures your attention. It can get a bit humorous when the story gets to a sexual scene. The storyline...   Read More

Oscar Dylan Judd 3 votes

In the middle
In the first chapter I was really confused about what was going on and why David had such an over-reaction over an accident that didn't even happen to him. I did not like this book because I didn't like the character of Justin Case. I didn't ...   Read More

coolkid

not my cup of tea
When i first had to read this novel for school a lot of people had been telling me that it is a horrible book, but during the first couple of chapters of the novel it was interesting. But then when I reached chapter 10 it started to go down from ...   Read More

Rabbid Dwarf

On the Fence
When I first saw the book I thought that it looked very interesting and was looking forward to reading it so yes I did judge the book by its cover. A few chapters into the book and my mind started changing, I got into it quite a lot and was ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, in 1956, the second of four sisters, grew up in the Boston suburbs, went to "ordinary suburban schools" and then to Harvard. After three years of thinking ‘I've got to get out of here', she packed a bag and got on a plane for London where she applied and was accepted to art college to study sculpture. She says that art school was a disaster, "I was obviously a writer not a sculptor, but I didn't know that then .... but the rest of the year was a revelation. There was an unbelievable amount of fun to be had in London in 1977-78. ...

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