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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid and gripping thriller
When I Was Joe is one of the most "unputdownable" novels I have ever read. It is a vivid and gripping story written by an author unafraid to tackle the grittiest of subjects. 14 year old Ty/Joe, the principle character of the book, is in the witness protection programme having witnessed and given evidence on an incident of knife crime. His world has spun out of control...
Published on 28 Mar 2010 by N. Schmidt

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite liked this book
I thought this book was quite good. I think that it should be for 14-16 year old children who like mystery and sport. This boy witnesses a murder and he and his mum have to go into the police's witness protection scheme and he gets a whole new identity and a new name. But being Joe isn't as easy as he thought it would be! He eventually has to move house again, and get...
Published on 2 Oct 2009 by M. Attfield


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid and gripping thriller, 28 Mar 2010
By 
N. Schmidt "Bookhound" (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When I Was Joe (Paperback)
When I Was Joe is one of the most "unputdownable" novels I have ever read. It is a vivid and gripping story written by an author unafraid to tackle the grittiest of subjects. 14 year old Ty/Joe, the principle character of the book, is in the witness protection programme having witnessed and given evidence on an incident of knife crime. His world has spun out of control and as he tries to hold on to some vague semblance of "normal" and his own identity, events and his decisions seem intent on leading him down a dangerous path of destruction.
In Joe, author Keren David had created a powerful and poignant character with a voice which is both strong and full of integrity and credibility. She writes with clarity and tremendous honesty and has a produced a gritty, well-crafted and fearless story which tackles powerful themes.
When I Was Joe is a truly remarkable debut novel and it will spin you along by the seat of your pants, leaving you breathless by the time you reach the end. I can't wait for the sequel, Almost True, to hit the shelves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a GOOD read!, 12 Mar 2011
This review is from: When I Was Joe (Paperback)
After finishing the CHERUB stories by Robert Muchamore i was at a loss for what to read. I found this book in the "Recommended for you section".

I could not put it down! the main thread of the story runs all the way to the end dropping hints but never giving to much away. The story makes you question whether Ty/Joe has any responsibility with the major event. I was wrapped in the plot that is intense and original.

To counter any negative reviews: the writer usually bases the age of their prime character on their intended audience so that they can relate to the character and thus the story. The main character is 14 nearly 15 an so this book is intended for young adults and i would even recommend it for adults as well.

I've just started the sequel "Almost True" and its as good if not better!! I think Keren David is going to be an author to look out for in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read in a long time!, 24 Aug 2010
This review is from: When I Was Joe (Paperback)
My mum picked out this book for me when we were shopping for holiday reads and at first I wasn't too sure. I read the book and it sounded like the sort of books I read. When I got home I decided to read a few pages before the holiday just to see what it was like, I couldn't put it down. I had read about 100 pages instead of the few I thought I would read!

Basically this book is about a boy named Joe who witnesses a crime. He has to go into a witness protection program because there are people who want to 'hurt him' for telling the police. He then moves away and changes his appearance, name, personality... everything. His is now called Ty. He turns into a sporty dude and gains attention from the most popular girl at his new school. However he has problems with other boys in school and gets a bit... bullied. Ty then has move troubles in his life which make the book amazing. Things that you wouldn't expect to happen, happen. So many things in this book make it what it is.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 30 Jan 2010
This review is from: When I Was Joe (Paperback)
When I Was Joe is about knife crime, but it's also about identity. It's about a boy finding out who he is. Ty is fourteen when he's forced to take on a new persona and become Joe, at an age when most of us are still working out who we are. It's a fascinating process, exploring how a new look and an air of mystery sparks a reaction in others that Ty's not used to. And as he goes from being unnoticed sidekick Ty to popular heart-throb Joe, we see how this in turn changes his behaviour and sense of who he is. How far are our choices and opportunities controlled by how others see us? By what we've done in the past, or by who our parents were? And can we take that control back? It's thought-provoking, powerful and eyes-glued-to-the-page fascinating.

As a main character, Ty is as real as they come. I'm don't always feel especially at ease with male protagonists, but from the opening paragraphs I felt as though I was literally inside Ty's head - as though I was him, for those three-hundred-and-something pages. Even after finishing the story, he's lingered with me a little. This isn't the kind of story you'll finish and then instantly move on from. Since we're not sure exactly what happened that night in the part until the very end of the book, this meant that I spent certain parts of the story desperately hoping that he hadn't done anything too awful for me to deal with. It also meant that I winced a little every time he made a mistake, or reverted to his tough-guy persona, or escalated a situation that didn't need to be made worse. I felt this one.

There's also a love story here, and it's of the bittersweet variety. As Joe, Ty has an interest in several girls but finds a connection to one in particular - the shy, troubled Claire. I don't want to give too much away, but I loved the fact that Keren David also explored Ty's reaction to suddenly being noticed by girls, and his deepening understanding of how to relate to them. I think too many times in YA fiction we're expected to invest in a male love interest who actually doesn't treat the female protagonist with respect, and it's heartening to see that kind of behaviour addressed. As a character, Claire has her own secret but again she's portrayed in a completely believable way. It seems natural that she and Ty would find a connection, and it's this connection that leads to some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the book.

The aspect of this book I was initially most cautious about was the treatment of knife crime. I think it's an incredibly complex issue and I feared this would make the novel too heavy or dark to keep me interested. This is without a doubt not the case. In fact, having read When I Was Joe has convinced me that YA fiction needed this book at this time. Keren David somehow manages to pitch her subject matter just right - her writing is honest and never heavy-handed, and she blends a gripping storyline with thought-provoking themes and characters who will find their way into your heart. Like everyone else I know who has read it, I'm now desperately looking forward to the follow up, Almost True, later this year. For now, I would urge all readers to step away from their comfort zones and get themselves a copy of When I Was Joe. It's flawless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 18 Jan 2014
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This review is from: When I Was Joe (Kindle Edition)
Only down side for me was that it could have been longer. It was a great book in all other ways
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read whatever your age, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: When I Was Joe (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed When I was Joe. I stumbled across it by pure chance while reading about Danielle Cable online, and a story about witness protection appealed to me.
I love the easy way it flows, simplistic enough for the teenage audience it is aimed at,
but still a good read for adults alike.
I hope to get my teenage son to read it too. I am now going to invest in the next instalment. I need to know how this captivating story unfolds.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Teen book, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: When I Was Joe (Paperback)
I couldn't put this book down. It is so amazingly well written that it sucks you in right from the turning the front cover over.Looking forward to more books from Keren David
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kindle book, 7 Feb 2013
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This review is from: When I Was Joe (Kindle Edition)
good strong story, will read other stories buy this author. read this book within 5 days. hope kindle have more stories by this person
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: When I Was Joe (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book although I wasn't sure if it was my sort of thing when I ordered it. I read it in one day as I was so drawn into the drama. It outlines the terrible long term consequences of a 'mad moment' for a young teenage boy and the life-changing effect not only on himself, but his friends and family. I found it particularly relevant in the 'gang and knife culture' of the inner city teenager and how easily any young person can become involved, almost against their will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when i was joe, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: When I Was Joe (Kindle Edition)
such an amzing read me and my friend isla did book swap i gace this book to her and she gav me boys dont cry fascinating felt i was in the book definetly read almost true it is gr8
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When I Was Joe
When I Was Joe by Keren David (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
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