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Summary and book reviews of Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

Just In Case

by Meg Rosoff

Just In Case
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 256 pages

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Book Summary

After his younger brother narrowly avoids a serious fall, fifteen-year-old David Case realizes the fragility of life and senses impending doom. He changes his name, assumes a new identity, new clothing and new friends, and dares to fall in love.

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 Review

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.

Kirkus Reviews

Funny, ironic, magically real; stunning.

KLIATT - Claire Rosser

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

Reader Reviews

Ari

justin case
I liked it a lot, I would always end up thinking about the book after I finished reading it for the time, it got sort of confusing but hey what 16 year old boy doesn't get confused. well I liked reading a book from a boys point of view. being a woman...   Read More

RBD

Just in case
I love it... im a teenager and i think every teenager is trying to find a way to survive life!! And this story is amazingly real!!

thea

mmm...
I'm 19 and i work in a kids bookshop. i don't say that to get me extra cred, but just to say that i have been reading quite a bit of teen fiction lately. But it is only Just in Case that has me 'googling' to find out more about its author. This is a ...   Read More

Soraka&APYi Combo

Very interesting
I have not completed this book but i am finding it interesting. This has very a very strange story and the main character is very strange and has a very dirty mind. A lot of the time he thinks of sex and thinks of things in sexual ways. For example ...   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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