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.
David Cases baby brother had recently learned to walk but he wasnt what youd
call an expert. He toddled past his brother to the large open window of the
older boys 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
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 childs.
Why not fly? suggested the bird, and the boys 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 ...
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).
Full Review (687 words).
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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