Book: Title Looking for JJ
Author: Anne Cassidy
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 2004
Seventeen year-old Alice Tully has an obsession with anything and everything to do with Jennifer Jones, a child who made headlines when she murdered another child, her best friend, by ultimately burying her alive. The reason behind this obsession – Alice Tully is Jennifer Jones. Alice Tully is trying to start a new life but it seems that her past keeps trying to catch up with her. How can she start a new life with the ever looming shadow of her past and the threat of it all being exposed? Over the course of this novel Jennifer Jones tries to make her transition into Alice Tully but everything keeps coming back to Jennifer Jones sooner or later. Will Alice Tully ever get a normal life? Will Jennifer Jones be discovered and exposed to the media? The insight into this character’s past and mind will leave the reader haunted.
One of the strengths of this novel is the unique insight into the character of Jennifer Jones/Alice Tully. This is the first time I read a novel where not only does the story pick-up after the killer has been ‘captured’ and served their time but is also told from their point of view. This led to some interesting insight and some very thought provoking ideas about what drives someone to kill and what makes them a killer. However, there are some issues that I had with this novel as well. One of the issues I had with this novel is that, while I had my suspicions, it was not revealed until chapter five, which is about forty pages into the novel, that the setting takes places in England. While this is not important to the overall plot of the novel this revelation did make some of the minor details less distracting and more understandable. Also, I was a bit shocked with some of the content of the novel. I felt that there were some very ‘adult’ themes throughout and was not expecting such from a novel that was listed as Young Adult. Due to this fact I would probably suggest that this novel only be recommended to more mature readers because even I struggled with some of the content. The overall plot and themes of the novel are not to be taken lightly.