BookBrowse Reviews Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

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Just In Case

by Meg Rosoff

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff X
Just In Case by Meg Rosoff
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 256 pages

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From the author of How I Live Now - a novel that is funny, ironic and magically real. Ages 15+

Justin (née David) takes life terribly serious - already teetering on the edge of acute anxiety, he is pushed over the edge when he saves his baby brother from "flying" out the window and becomes determined to escape the hand of fate and change his destiny. One might be tempted to write off his fears as simple paranoia if it wasn't for the fact that the world Justin inhabits is clearly just a little off kilter - adults in general, in particular his parents, are clearly out of touch, only the youngest children seem to be able to understand what Justin is going through; added to which, Fate interjects his own omnisciently sinister commentary from time to time, in a style not dissimilar to The Book Thief.

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.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in August 2006, and has been updated for the February 2008 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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