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Looking For JJ (2007)

Looking for JJ (2007)

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3.2 of 5 Votes: 5
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0152061908 (ISBN13: 9780152061906)
hmh books for young readers

About book Looking For JJ (2007)

Really very interesting. Quite tense and very dark!Looking For JJ by Anne Cassidy was first published in 2004. But for a book more than 10 years old, I felt like Looking For JJ felt very much important and relevant to the events today. It was thought-provoking and gripping and I felt like it had some very interesting things to say about the media and about guilt.This book is told in several parts about one girl. A girl who at the age of 10 went out into the woods with two of her friends. And on that day, only two of the three girls came back. Since that day, our main character has spent six years in prison because of her involvement in the death of her friend and now, she has been released, has changed her name to Alice Tully and is living in secret with her social worker trying to lead a normal life. Only she has been written about constantly in the papers and feels constantly uncertain about her freedom and privacy based on how much interest the public and media has taken in her.I think the portrayal of the media representation is one of the most interesting aspects of this book. The main character of Looking For JJ was once known as Jennifer Jones and has been written about in the papers for years. Everyone thinks they know everything about JJ, the child murderer, and everyone has an opinion on whether or not she should be free and about what she should be doing and it feels as though through the media portrayal of this crime, the public feel they have this right to know every detail about JJ and what has become of her while at the same time assuming they know the true story when they really don't. I think that aspect of the story is the most interesting. The other part of this story is getting into the head of Alice Tully and seeing how she reacts to her freedom and everything on the outside. How she struggles with her relationship with her mother after all these years. How she's found a boyfriend and a job and a place to belong but also feels like she doesn't deserve happiness or the right to go on living after having taken the life of her friend. There's also this awful feeling of having a new life and this new identity and the prospect of happy times ahead at university but also knowing that if the media find out about her new name all of that could be taken from her again. Looking For JJ goes to a very dark place. Which shouldn't have been surprising at all considering it is the story of a child murderer. But I was very surprised to see the darkness and intense turns in JJ's childhood story. JJ, as a child, has a very unstable relationship with her mother. A relationship that involves neglect and throughout the story goes increasingly to places that felt very disturbing and uncomfortable. And at the same time, JJ's friendship mirrored some of these complicated feelings as with JJ and her mother. It was all a mess. I found Looking For JJ to be a really fascinating and surprising read. It really made me think and feel and I highly recommend that you pick this book up soon if you too have not yet read it.

Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.comHow well do you know the people around you? How do you know they are not hiding a huge secret like their past? This is the second book I've read recently that casts light on how murderers who are children fit into society after serving time for their crime. Anne Cassidy's new book, LOOKING FOR JJ, will keep your interest until the very end. Not only does the author give details about what happened but she lays the framework as to possible causes of why it happened -- because that is just as important. I actually found myself feeling sorry for Jennifer, the girl who committed the crime, wishing it hadn't happened to her. Michele Livingstone is dead. She died six years ago at the hands of her friend, JJ. Jennifer Jones has paid for what happened to Michele. There is no denying that Jennifer is responsible for Michele's death, but while reading the book I came to the conclusion that she wasn't the only one to blame. Is there one thing that controls when and how aggressive someone becomes? I really believe that genetic factors may contribute to behavior, but if a child is engaging in delinquent behavior it is probably due to peer influences and lapses in parenting. Jen's home life while growing up wasn't exactly the "Leave it to Beaver" atmosphere. Her mom certainly wouldn't win any parenting awards and from an early age Jen learned how to get by on her own, alone. Craving love, it is understandable that Jennifer had anger issues. The question is can people change? Can violent deeds of the past be forgiven with the passage of time? Jennifer is about to be released from jail and the press has made it front page news once again. Is JJ still a danger to other children? Where is she going to live now? Will the family of the dead girl try to get revenge? Alice Tully, like everyone else, follows the stories in the paper with keen interest. The only thing is that Alice knows something no one else does. She knows where Jennifer Jones is. Only three other people know her whereabouts. What is the connection between Alice Tully and Jennifer Jones? Why does Alice live in constant fear? Who is Alice Tully exactly? Read the book to find out.....

Do You like book Looking For JJ (2007)?

I absolutely love this book. I read this when I was 15 and just coming up to doing my GCSE's. Looking for JJ is undoubtedly, to this day, one of my favourite all time books. It is a book that no matter how many times I read it, I can always go back and read it again at some point.During year 10, in my Drama class, we were given as assignment for our mock exams to choose a play or a book or anything we wanted and to make a short piece of drama for it. Instinctively I chose looking for JJ; I already knew that it was a play, but I wanted to do an adaption of the book. So there I was, in my free time, looking through the book, picking out different keys aspects and writing down dialogue and lighting for different scenes; costumes for each character and the parts of the book that weren't already speech I made into narration. I worked out the staging and the way everything would be said and when; I happily did all of it. To this day, acting out looking for JJ is my fondest memory of school and of Performing as a whole. If I could do it again and perform it for free everywhere I would, because I enjoyed it so much.Looking for JJ is an amazing book and Anne Cassidy is a brilliant writer. I loved that when reading it, you had to connect the dots between everything and had to figure out what happened. I loved the whole aspect of the book and how Anne Cassidy managed to make the readers feel sorry for Alice, when under usual circumstances you wouldn't feel sorry for a murderer. If I could give this book ten stars I would!
—Emily Collins

'Looking for JJ' is another book I have recently read for the first time with a class and I have to say that it is gripping. Anne Cassidy tells the story of Alice Tully ( formerly Jennifer Jones: child killer) with such subtlety and sensitivity that even though you know you can't condone her past actions, you still kind of want to. The truths that emerge over the course of the novel go a long way, not to justifying her actions, but to explaining them. With what she struggles to deal with at far too young an age, we can see that it is not so easy as calling someone good or evil. The students in my class all said that they understood how she had gotten there and that they didn't fully blame her. The story is so well crafted, moving between Alice's present struggles and memories of her childhood. The event itself is saved for the last 1/3 of the book, and even holds one final, devastating twist that changes everything again for when you least expect it. This book definitely deserves the accolades it has collected. I will absolutely be exploring this book again with future classes... And reading the sequel.
—Lyndsey Steed

I've been a fan of Anne Cassidy for years and this is my favourite of her books. It's a book that shocks you, firstly at it's content, but secondly and most importantly at the way it makes you feel about the protagonist: JJ. Jennifer Jones. Child murderer.You are taken into the story through JJ's eyes, you do feel anger for what she did but you feel sorrow too. JJ is a person, fragile like everyone else and living with the burden of her past. She has been forced to start a new life under a new name, but just as she begins to get her new life going, the reporters show up, the secret investigators, people sent to search for someone who no longer exists: JJ.The life she has tried to build is turned upside down and if she isn't careful she could lose everything, the boyfriend she loves, the friends she's made, even the identity that she's created for herself out of a past that doesn't seem to want to let her go.A sad novel about redemption and forgiveness. How the good and bad guys are not so clearly defined in real life situations.
—Emily May

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