Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

Just in Case is the story of a boy who wants desperately to escape fate. He runs and runs from fate, but can’t ever seem to go quick enough to escape. First he changes his name from David to Justin, with the mentality that he can trick fate into forgetting his existence. He changes his physical state, his wardrobe, even his friends, but all in vain. Fate is not so easily fooled. As the book progresses Justin’s fate plays out in many unexpected and refreshingly peculiar ways.

Reading the first couple chapters of Just in Case, I thought it would have a predictable teenage book plot: guy has problem then guy meets girl, they date and his problem is fixed, leaving him a changed man. No big deal, nothing new. I was so wrong. After further reading I was pleasantly surprised by many unexpected plot twists. As in her first novel, Ms. Rosoff plays with the strand of character relationships until it becomes a delicate and complex web. This works well for the most part, however, it becomes a bit confusing when Fate is given a voice in the novel. The way the book is written, Fate speaks as an ominous entity, seeing all that the characters do. The position of Fate is at times a tad confusing and hard to understand as relevant to the story, but in the end Fate adds to the perplexity of the story line. Although the book begins rather slowly, it picks up shortly and is refreshing because of its ending and intricacy of character relations.

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