15 March, 2015

Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy [Erika, Central City Library]

Three children went into the woods at Berwick Waters, but only two came out again. Jennifer Jones became instantly famous as the child who killed, a media sensation for all the wrong reasons. As her release date looms the press starts up again, feeding the frenzy of interest. 

 Alice Tully reads every article with intense interest, trying to absorb everything the media has to say about this child killer who is about to be set free. It is not a morbid fascination with a killer though, it is her way of keeping up to date about what the media knows about Jennifer Jones - because Alice Tully is Jennifer Jones. 

Alice has not forgotten what happened, even as she struggles to find her way in the world, she can't help but remember what happened in the lead up to that horrible day. 

Under the terms of her release Jennifer has a fresh start as Alice, and a chance for a bright future under her new identity - but that future is threatened when a private investigator comes to town and starts looking for her. As her future becomes more uncertain, the memories of her past and that day grow stronger. She may be free on the outside, but will she ever be truly free on the inside?

Looking for JJ is a provocative and confronting book that may be a very uncomfortable for some readers. Jennifer/Alice is not pure villain; she is portrayed in a realistic and sympathetic light, not only because the murder wasn't intentional, but also because of her struggles to rejoin the society that no longer wants her. This is the 10th anniversary edition, and it has lost none of its power in the past decade.  

If you enjoy Looking for JJ then try reading the sequel Finding Jennifer Jones.

Recommended for ages 14+. 

Title: Looking for JJ
Author: Anne Cassidy
ISBN: 9781596439382

Published: 2004 (2014)
Publisher: Scholastic

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