- Title: Just In Case
- Author: Meg Rosoff
- Publisher: Penguin
- ISBN: 9780141318066
When fifteen-year-old David Case stops his baby brother from falling out of his bedroom window, he has little idea how much it is going to effect his life for the next few months.
He starts to fixate on fate, and soon comes to believe, it has it in for him (and he may well be right). He starts on a course of action, he believes will outwit and outrun fate.
Changing both his appearance and his name to Justin (come on, make the connection to the punnish title!) is only the start.
He meets Agnes Day a young woman (although noticeably older than Justin/David) who works in the charity shop where he buys his new clothes, and is hoping to make it as a photographer).
The more he tries to run, the more obsessed he becomes, the more obsessed be becomes the harder he tries to run… All the while his mental state becomes more and more fragile.
Things aren’t helped by the fact it would appear fate, really does have it in for him, and Justin/David suffers a number of near death experiences.
As his friendship with Agnes deepens, moving in with her, after one of his near death experiences, he falls in love with her, and mis-reads the fact that Agnes loves him, for her being in live with him.
He does eventually come to understand that this was an unhealthy relationship for many reasons.
Told partly though Justin/David’s deteriorating mental state where we are witness to an occasionally surreal element (his pet greyhound for instance, which is a figment of his imagination, but yet which can be seen my a number of his new friends…) And a number of interjections and commentaries from Fate herself…
This is my second Rosoff and it is clear even now, that she doesn’t write plain, normal, prose, she likes to tell each story in a unique way, and I can understand why some, just don’t enjoy it. But so far, I’ve enjoyed both the books I’ve read, and I like the fact she attempts to do something different each time.
It’s never quite clear in this one, how much of what David experiences is ‘real’ and how much of it is a figment of his imagination. Again I like this ambiguity, it suits the story very well.
I’ll certainly be reading some more of the authors work.