on 12 February 2014
I have enjoyed all of the books that Anne Cassidy has written for teenage/young adult readers, but my favourite has always been “Looking for JJ”. It was also a great favourite in the school library, where it provoked many interesting discussions, but readers constantly asked “But what happened to her afterwards?” Well, now we know!
In this new story Jennifer has moved on. She has a new name (Kate) and is now at university, carefully hiding her true identity from those around her. She hopes to be able to continue with her studies and live the life of a student without her past being revealed yet again. But even if Jennifer/Kate can evade public and media attention she cannot escape the guilt she carries inside her and so she has huge decisions to make about her future. You don’t have to have read the original book to enjoy this sequel as all the information you need about Jennifer’s childhood, and her crime, is included. I have waited a long time to find out what happened to JJ and I have not been disappointed.
on 9 March 2014
It's a long time since I read Looking for JJ (which I loved) and I really ought to have re-read it before I read this. I felt disappointed.
If you can't remember all the story, don't worry there's a rehash part way through, done as a sort of flashback. This is set 9 years after the murder, and JJ has had several changes of name along the way. Just as she's getting her life back together, once again she's pulled in for questioning when another young girl is found murdered. She tries to escape by going to London and changing her own name but she makes the mistake of meeting up with Lucy Bussell from the first book and so the papers catch up with her again. Will it ever end - then she decides life can't go on in this way and makes a drastic decision. The book is left open for further books to follow. I hope she leaves it there.
I didn't feel this quite worked somehow, especially the ending, but it's readable.
on 6 June 2016
I was super excited when I first heard about this sequel to the wonderful Looking for JJ, which was a favourite book of mine as a teen. However, when I thought about it a bit more, the doubts started creeping in. Looking for JJ was an amazing stand alone book in my head for ten years and I’d never really thought it needed a sequel. What if the new book was surplus and it tainted the original for me?
Luckily, this wasn’t the case. Finding Jennifer Jones had plenty of new and interesting material to cover, both in Jennifer’s past and her present.
When we last left Jennifer Jones, she was starting a new life as Kate Rickman. We join her a couple of years later to find out how her life is progressing now. She’s changed from when she was shy, quiet Alice. This grown up version gets drunk and goes back to houses with random guys and skips out on her probation appointments. She’s tired of a life of being checked up on and feeling like she’s always looking over her shoulder. And when a young girl is murdered in the area and can be linked to her, things only get worse.
I liked this grown up Jennifer, though I did question some of the choices that she made. It’s such an impossible situation for her though: yes, she’s done her time and has technically been released to live her life, but she still did a terrible wrong and has to report in to various people. While she still feels guilty about what she did, she wants to be left alone to live in peace. But she also questions if she deserves that. It’s a really complex situation, and I couldn’t really decide my view on it. While I always feel on her side, as a protagonist I’m fond of, it doesn’t erase the fact that she took the life of a child.
There’s a lot more revealed about Jennifer’s life after the act she committed. I’d been curious about what went on afterwards, and it was great to read more about the trial and her life in a secure unit. We also see some familiar faces and find out about the wider effects of her act, as it changed the lives of more than just her and Michelle’s parents.
This was another fascinating book and I’m so glad I read it. It’s great to revisit a character that I loved so long ago, and I hope the sequel will encourage a new generation of teens to read the original too.
An excellent continuation from Looking for JJ. In its predecessor, the plot revolved around the release from custody of 'child killer' Jennifer Jones and the furore this sparked. Now settled at University with a new identity, this instalment is more about her finding her own identity and what she is going to do with the rest of her life, living with her guilt and the consequence of acts done when she was just 10.
The sections that most interested me were the continuing flashbacks that pick up from the first book, at the time when Jennifer's friend's body is discovered, and what happens to Jennifer following this. Seeing how a child is treated and the sentencing process was fascinating, though I'd have liked even more detail.
Jennifer (now Kate) is fairly sympathetic in her student incarnation. She's trying to build a life, she's not forgotten her past (and a current missing child investigation brings it back home to her very suddenly), she's not off the rails but struggling to cope in many ways. Her own feelings for her mother and the hidden lies of the past that protected her mother are still present, and really frustrated me - I really needed Kate to see the truth about her mother and how it affected her own actions and also affected her sentencing. Even at the end of the book, I hadn't seen enough of this plot or Kate/Jennifer's mother - I want this storyline to be picked up on as it hasn't been finished, to my mind. No confrontation as yet.
Kate takes some actions I didn't like, but she does face up to her actions and knows she must continue to pay the price for what she did, no matter why it happened and how young she was. You have to admire her for that.
I found myself whizzing through the book. Though I must say, just as with the first book, the male 'love interest' I didn't find particularly stood out as a character and didn't really have an impact on me, just seemed like one of many.
I hope there is a continuation still, even if it's a novella. There is more of Jennifer's story to tell.
on 2 June 2014
A must for a Harry Potter fan.
I have enjoyed other books by Anne Cassidy but this has been my favourite so far. I advise reading the 1st book "Looking for JJ" because you will then understand this book better but you don't have to. I sat down and for about 3hours and read this book in one go it was such a thrilling tale with a mysterious storyline that you just needed to know what happened. The characters all had different personalitys and they were so beleivable that you felt they were alive. I am 12 but anyone from my age and above could read and enjoy this book.
Finding Jennifer Jones is about a teenager who murdered her friend at the age of ten and went to prison for six years. Jennifer is then realised with a new identity Alice Tully but this is discovered and she is rushed away with a new identity Kate Rickman, this book is about kate Rickman and her at university trying to forget about her past but the press are dying to find out more and when she meets people involed in the crime her past starts to leak out. The book has flashbacks to her 10 year old self so you can find out more about the crime.
I would definatly recommend reading this book as it is FANTASTIC!!