Just in Case

Just in Case

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Meg Rosoff

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  • Publisher: PLUME
  • Format: Paperback | 246 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 16mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0452289378
  • ISBN 13: 9780452289376
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 780,994

Product description

David Case never questions his ordinary suburban life -- until one fateful day, a brush with death brings him face to face with his own mortality. Suddenly, everywhere he looks he sees catastrophe, disaster, the ruin of the human race, the demise of the planet...not to mention (to pinpoint the exact source of his anxiety) possible pain and suffering for himself. So he changes his name, reinvents his appearance, and falls in love with the seductive Agnes Bee -- in the hope that he?ll become unrecognizable to Fate and saved from his own doom. With his imaginary greyhound in tow, Justin Case struggles to maintain his new image and above all, to survive in a world where twists of fate wait for him around every corner.

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Author information

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, USA. She has worked in publishing, public relations and most recently advertising, but thinks the best job in the world would be head gardener for Regents Park. Meg lives in Highbury, North London. She is the author of "Just in Case, What I Was" and "How I Live Now."

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 23 Sep 2010 5

Now that I've finished reading JUST IN CASE and it's time for me to write my review, I'm having a hard time thinking of how to describe it. I've had the pleasure of reading HOW I LIVE NOW, Ms. Rosoff's Michael L. Printz award-winning book, so I began reading JUST IN CASE with high expectations. I wasn't disappointed, not in the least, and have high hopes for the awards this book will garner over the coming year. It's just that, now that I need to put it in words, it's difficult to describe just who, exactly, the main character in this story is--David Case, now known as Justin, or Fate? I guess the book could be summed up, quite easily, by the words (actually, by the alphabet blocks) of eighteen-month-old Charlie Case: "JUST IN CASE WHAT?" Or, possibly, by the photograph of Agnes, the style-maven with the pink hair, entitled "ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH."

Regardless of how you describe the story, you'll find yourself quickly immersed in the life and times of Justin Case. A teen on the verge of sixteen, David Case is irrevocably changed on the day he saves his baby brother from falling out of an open window. For those of us who are privy to his story, we would see two lucky brothers, one narrowly avoiding a long fall to his death, and one heroic for his quick thinking. For David, though, this break isn't a lucky one. No, this is just one more example of how Fate has it in for him. How can he get away, escape, allude Fate, trick it? He begins by changing his name to Justin, follows it up by becoming even more quiet and withdrawn than he originally was, and finishes it up with a new way of dressing, walking, and talking.

When Justin meets Agnes, she immediately takes him under her wing--and uses him for her own purposes, although Justin doesn't realize it at first. Justin is too busy dodging Fate, avoiding certain death, worrying about the ways that Fate can trick him into an early grave. As Justin survives day to day, with the help of Boy, his imaginary dog, and Peter, his not imaginary friend and fellow runner, Justin is unable to see that Fate is still following him, hot on his heels.

JUST IN CASE is the story of David, who becomes Justin, who melds into a boy that simply wants to make his own choices in life, rather than having it mapped out for him in advance. It's the story of Agnes, who wants to fix Justin, but in the end doesn't even truly understand the ways in which he's broken. It's the story of Charlie, an abnormally bright child who wishes his brother could forgive himself. It is, most of all, the story of Fate, and Fate's wicked sense of humor.

Although it's hard to put JUST IN CASE neatly into a category, I can highly recommend it nevertheless. Once I started this story, I was unable to put it down until the very last word--and even then I was still entranced by Justin Case and his battle with Fate. This book is definitely one worth reading.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

Review quote

Extraordinary and original . . . this sophisticated meditation on death, madness and sexuality is powerful and tenaciously haunting. "Sunday Times of London" Meg Rosoff is the Queen of Weird. "Los Angeles Times" A modern "Catcher in the Rye," "The Times of London"