Sunday, 7 June 2015

Book Review - The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

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Title:  The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
Author: Paige Toon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Publication Date: 30th January 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

Jessie has always wanted to find her real dad. But when her mum dies in a tragic accident, she thinks any hope of discovering the truth is gone too.

It isn't until Jessie goes off the rails, that her stepdad makes a shocking announcement: her father is legendary rock star and former hell-raiser, Johnny Jefferson. Suddenly finding herself the daughter of a global superstar, Jessie is soon sucked into the LA lifestyle - paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included!

But despite the excitement, Jessie's still reeling from her mother's death and the revelation about Johnny. Can he live up to her expectations and help her move on? One thing's for sure, Jessie's tiny little world has just got a whole lot bigger…

I was a bit apprehensive about starting this book as I don't tend to read Young Adult books, however since I absolutely love Paige Toon's adult books and enjoyed all the books so far that have featured Johnny Jefferson, I knew sooner or later I would read this.  And having heard that there is a sequel to this due out later this year, I decided to make sure I had read this.

So glad that I did, as this book provides all of Paige Toon's trademark warmth and humour, and turns them into an incredibly easy to read story, that was highly enjoyable. 

Jessie has gone off the rails a bit recently. She is reeling from her mum's tragic death, and is suddenly playing up to the troubled teen stereotype. She is living with her step dad Stuart (who is also a teacher at her school), and her mum had always refused to reveal the name of Jessie's "real dad". 

After asking her stepdad if he knows who her father is, she is told the whole story, and it turns out to be mega rock star Johnny Jefferson. Johnny is currently living in LA, and invites Jessie over for a week to get to know the family.

I loved all of Jessie's story, from the troubled teen, just trying to make sense of a world where her beloved mother dies in a freak accident, to what she gets up to in LA. During the book, she tests boundaries, and does start to mature a bit. 

The interactions between Jessie and Johnny, are as you may expect stilted at first, and then they blossom, especially once Johnny explains his version of the romance between himself and Jessie's mother. 

It has been years since I read a book about teens for teens, and it has made me remember my younger days of reading, when I would have loved this book and probably shared it around my class at school. As is often the case I was reading this on my commute, and I was blissfully unaware of many of the stops as I was enjoying the story so much.

This book shows that Paige can turn her hand to young adult books just as brilliantly as adult books. I am very much looking forward to her upcoming releases this year. 

I Knew You Were Trouble: A Jessie Jefferson Novel is out on the 30th July 2015. 

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