Monday, 26 July 2010

Just in Case I Die...(or 'Moar bookreviews!)

As promised here are the book reviews for the last of my stash from the library. I'm returnign them today and will probably get out a bunch of new books while I'm in. So without further ado...

Just in Case by Meg Rosoff

This was an interesting one. Here is a picture of the cover:

Now, it's worth noting that there are a few different versions of this cover but this is the one I'm currently holding. Is it just me or does it look a tad... girly? With it's pastel shade and the flowers. This book is not girly. This book confused me totally. It's about a boy caled David Case, except he's decided he's called Justin (yup, Justin Case) and he has a dog, except only he and his new friend Peter and his sisters can see it. Oh and most of the deep philosphy in the book comes from the inner voice of David/Justin's baby brother. Confused yet? Let me add that the book is about David/Justin trying to run away from Fate and it might make more sense.
I found this a thoroughly odd book David/Justin seems to go out of his way to be an unlike-able character and some of his supporting characters I found rather unlike-able as well. And yet there is something compelling about the whole thing. David/Justin honestly believes Fate is out to get him and he honestly believes he can trick Fate into letting him live.
If you have time to ponder the complexities of the human mind and fancy reading something with a bit of quirky depth to it give this a go. If you do read it though I have a request... could you tell me whether or not Alice is real? I got really confused at that part.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
This one seems to follow on with the death and rebellion themes of Twenty Boy Summer but in a whole different way. And yes, this one made me cry. Here is what the Sunday Times said about this book:

"Novels for young teenagers do not usually feature drugs and casual sex
within the first 20-odd pages. But most books for teenagers will not leave
an adult reader's eyes so blurry with tears that it's hard to see the final chapters. Jenny Downham's extraordinary first novel does both."

That pretty much sums it up. Go read it.
You want more? Okay. This is about Tessa who is dieing of cancer and writes a list of things she wants to do before she dies. Her list includes sex, drugs, being famous, getting her parents back together, travelling the world. It does not include falling in love or her best friend getting pregnant though Tessa doesn't really seem to mind either. It's an emotional roller coaster of a book that makes you hate Tessa in one chapter and really want things to work out for her in the next. It's brilliant. Now go read it.


  1. I agree before I die is brilliant :) And I havent read Just in case. I've read two of Meg Rosoff's books and liked How I live now the best :)

  2. Okay, I want to read "Just In Case" now. Really do. Great reviews!

  3. Great reviews. I've heard of the second but not the first. Adding them to my list of possibilities!!

  4. Before I Die is the book I really wish I'd written. It's just effing awesome!
    I have yet to read Just In Case (loved her How I Live Now) =)