Title: Looking for JJ
Author: Anne Cassidy
Genre: YA thriller
Length: 336 pages
Published by: HotKeyBooks
Source: borrowed from the school library
Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. . . . Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life–she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad . . . and it’s about to rip her new life apart.
Okay so, even though I’m giving this book 3.5 stars, you should still totally read it. Why? Here are some reasons.
1) Presents people as complex
People are WEIRD, you know. We do strange stuff.
The humanity of the killer is portrayed so well here – it was complex, and not black-or-white, and it made me go through lots of confronting feelings. I never thought I could empathise with a murderer, but I did, and it kind of made me realise that though the media likes to present us with good/evil, binary opposition stories, the reality is a lot different. That really came through strongly.
2) It’s a thriller.
I think I like thrillers. I mean I’m not sure, because I haven’t read that many, but I’m morbidly interested in weird/creepy things. As long as they’re not movies. I hate scary movies. But scary books are A+++.
3) Moral question without being preach-y
I hate preachy books. They make me want to headdesk.
Like, I don’t understand how you can write a YA book while being so condescending to your audience. But that’s another rant entirely. So yeah, it was nice that this book didn’t preach – at all. There was no clearly-defined answer that the author was trying to make you see. It was completely open-ended.
But all the same, I’m giving it 3.5 stars. This was for a few reasons. I didn’t really like the back-and-forth format of the book – there was a LOT of background story, and some of it (I felt) was unnecessary. Let’s get to the murder, come on!!! (said the psycho). I also feel like, even though the subject matter was really interesting, it could have been executed better. I didn’t believe in the explanation for the murder. I don’t know. It just didn’t make a massive impression on me.
That said, I really liked the fact that it introduced some really complex moral questions.
Have you read this book? Would you have forgiven her? If you haven’t read it, here’s another question: if you found out that a friend of yours had done something horrible in their past, could you forgive them?
Rating: 3.5/5 Wonderkitties