Meet Jessie, the daughter of Johnny Jefferson, as featured in Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine… My fifteenth birthday was the worst day of my life, and it’s inconceivable to think that any single day in my future will ever be as bad. My mum was killed in a freak accident on her way to pick up my cake. Even when there was still no sign of her after two hours later, and my friends started to arrive at our house, it never occurred to me that she wouldn’t be coming back. That was six months ago. My mum died without telling me who my real dad was. And for a while I hated her for it. I thought she’s taken the secret of my father’s identity with her forever. But she didn’t. Holy hell, she didn’t. Because three weeks ago I found out the truth. And I’m still reeling from the shock of it. My dad is none other than Johnny Jefferson, mega famous rock star and one-time serial womaniser. And now I’m on my way to LA to meet him and his family. My tiny little world has just got a whole lot bigger…
I can’t write this review without saying a HUGE thank you to the lovely team at Simon & Schuster who kindly sent me Paige’s first YA (young adult for those who didn’t know…), I almost fell down the stairs with excitement when Postman Paul knocked on the door.
As a lot of you know, I’m a big fan of Paige. I discovered her novels in 2013 and read them all back to back. If you’ve never read them before, I highly recommend them because they’re extremely visual and captivating. If I love them, so will you.
There’s something you ought to know before you rush off and purchase your copy… There are three books before The Accidental Life Of Jessie Jefferson and it does help that you read them in order. Not like me here, who read the first and second the wrong way round. Please, don’t make my mistake…
1. Johnny Be Good
2. Baby Be Mine
3. Johnny’s Girl – only available as an eBook
4. The Accidental Life Of Jessie Jefferson
This is more than likely going to be a long review, so I must apologise in advance. Also, I never post spoilers in my reviews so again, I do apologise because there may be some content included from previous books. As most book bloggers have read them, it doesn’t count as a spoiler.
SO, here goes…
The Accidental Life Of Jessie Jefferson is Paige’s first YA novel and it’s been highly anticipated by all her fans for months now. From the first page to the very last, the visuals are strong and Jessie’s fifteen year old personality seeps through the pages. She’s lonely, but wants attention. She’s a rebel but she wishes she had stability. I instantly felt sorry for Jessie as she’s just lost her mum (not a spoiler – it states what happens in the blurb!) and she’s left to live with her step-dad and teacher, Stu. Oh Stu, can I just say how much he got on my nerves at the beginning of the book? He did, he really did. But then by the end of the narrative, I liked him. He’s had to suffer a loss as well but for whatever idiotic reason, I didn’t take his feelings into account as it was all about Jessie and her upside down world.
There is a cheeky cameo which is an aspect of Paige’s books which I absolutely love. I think in each one, she tries and sneaks another character’s name in who has starred in their own narrative. Joseph Strike *major swoon alert* is from One Perfect Summer.
The discovery of who Jessie’s real Dad is isn’t rushed at all. Sometimes in novels, everything happens too quickly and readers are lost with what has happened but with the big reveal, it is shown at a smooth and calming pace. I hoped Jessie would meet him and we do already know that she flies to LA (again, not a spoiler – it’s stated in the blurb!). What I loved the most about the relationship between Johnny and Jessie is that it was uncomfortable to read about. This isn’t supposed to be an enjoyable part but it was, because whatever Jessie was feeling, the readers instantly feel as well. We were beside Jessie at every step of the way.
The flashbacks of memories with her Mum, Candy, are a beautiful addition. Even though Candy was never part of the narrative because she died before the first page, readers are still able to feel her presence especially when Jessie and Johnny are together.
As the narrative progresses, so does Jessie. At the beginning, she was a rebel and full of an attitude (like every teenager is) but by the end, she transformed into a mature fifteen year old but there’s no doubt, that she’ll still sneak out at night.
Some will say that the ending happened to quickly and spoilt the narrative, but not me, I thought it was a brilliant ending and was the perfect way to end it. Now readers are left wondering whether they’ll reunite again and if so – when?
I simply can’t wait for the second Jessie book to be announced.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for Paige’s summer novel, Thirteen Weddings which is out on 22nd May 2014. Come back to my blog tomorrow for a Q&A with the author. But for now, go and order yourself a copy of the book and all of her others – you won’t regret it.