Quick Book Review: Just in Case by Meg Rosoff

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

For the A-Z challenge, I needed a book with the title starting with a J. Not easy! Then I came across this book in the library. Maybe not a book I would have chosen otherwise, but isn’t a challenge for trying something different?

So, I read it and I liked it… a bit.

The story is about David Case who is fifteen years old and has a small baby brother. When he stops his brother from falling out of the window, he realises that one day, things may happen that he cannot control. He decides that Fate should not be able to get hold of him and so he changes he name (to Justin) and also his clothing and behaviour.

A girl he meets in a charity shop, Agnes, helps him dress differently (not like David, but like the new Justin) and takes pictures of him. She’s nineteen and he falls in love with her.

As Justin, David’s life becomes more interesting, but he realises that he still can’t escape Fate.

Fate has a role in the book, too. It talks with bold type face. Sometimes with Justin, sometimes to itself (or to the reader). It plays with Justin, trying to get him killed. But that is not so easy!

I liked the idea of the book: a boy changing his name and way of life to avoid Fate. However, it becomes unrealistic when he moves in with Agnes and his parents not minding at all. In fact, like in many children’s books, the parents are rather absent. They don’t play a large role in Justin’s life.

On the other hand, the whole idea of Fate having a (talking) role in a book is of course pure fantasy, so some allowances have to be made for the realism of the book. Even so, it went a little too far for me. And the book didn’t really keep my interest all the way through. At points, I had to plough through a few chapters, before I found the story interesting again.

But I liked it that in his new character, Justin was able to achieve things that David had never even tried.

I think there is the moral of the story: you can re-define yourself if you want, but you cannot escape Fate.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I got this book: from the library

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 234

First published: 2006

Genre: fantasy, contemporary fiction, children’s fiction, YA

A-Z Books Challenge

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com and bookhelpline.nl. We edit books and articles for independent writers.

11 Responses to Quick Book Review: Just in Case by Meg Rosoff

  1. Tesney Ap says:

    What a fun review, Judith! How determinant are you to plow through the story that didn’t interest you at first. Well done with the challenge 🙂

  2. Perhaps the moral of the story was more important than the story in itself… I mean, that everything had to serve the main purpose, and so the story was a little bended at times to fit the purpose?
    I don’t know.. It was just an idea.
    Thanks for the review, Judith.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Not quite, Nadine, but maybe to some extend. There were just some chapters that I found boring because of what Justin did or didn’t do. But they could have been the more philosophical chapters, now that I come to think of it…

  3. I love how you picked this book, to meet the J criteria! Even better that you enjoyed it.

    I have never thought about the beginning letter of a title but I bet I read a lot that begin with ‘the’. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Mari, *the* and *a* and other frequent words can be omitted when choosing a book for the A-Z challenge. Luckily. Otherwise it would be even more difficult!

  4. bibliosue says:

    I like the way you selected this book — my friend and I used to do that at the library as well, just randomly select a book off of the shelf. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. This one sounds like it had an interesting premise, though.

  5. Katrien says:

    This is a tricky one: you like or you don’t. I found it rather special, but I can say I enjoyed it though. I have read all her childrens books, but I like How I live now the most.

  6. Carol says:

    Maybe not a book I would read, but I’m glad you enjoyed for the most part.

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