Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just In Case - Meg Rosoff


Genre :
Young Adults - Fiction

English publisher : Penguin books : 6,99£

American publisher : Plume : 14$

Synopsis :
David Case is 15, and on the day when he prevents his little 18-year-old brother to jumps through the window, everything becomes different for him. David is suddenly aware of all the possibilities Death has to come to him or his close relatives : bombs, diseases, falls... He's convinced that Fate is after him, and decides to escape Him. For this, he changes his name, now he'll be Justin Case (Just In Case), he enters the running team at school, and adopts an imaginary dog, Boy. Then, to really look like Justin, he buys new clothes, and that's when he meets Agnes, a few years older than him, and he falls in love. He thinks Agnes can help him , can save him. But the more Justin goes this way, the more he locks himself in his fear of Fate. This fate that makes planes crash just at exact point he was standing a second before. This fate that contaminates hims with meningitis and put him in a coma, from which he's the only one who can decide to come out or not...The question is not : Can we escape Fate? But : What is relly Fate?

An extract :

"Don't get sniffy with me. I get no particular pleasure from tragedy.
Some days nothing but good deed will do. Who do you think brings lovers together, reunites long-lost siblings, effects miracle cures? Who makes cripples dance, halfwits think? Survivors survive."

What I Think :
I liked this novel a lot. First the writing is very simple, and so it takes us in a certain rhythm to the end. Then, I found interesting this alternance between the points of view of Justin and of Fate, to know what Fate thinks of Justin's case (eh eh, what a pun, it doesn't sound the same in french;o)). Because, in the beginning we can think that Justin rambles, that he's just going through a teenage crisis, but once Fate talks by himself, then we really know that Justin is not making up, he's right, and he takes us with him in his escape. Justin is really going through a crisis, and we've all been through that one day or will be : "Life is against me, nothing good ever happens to me, blablabla"
Justin's problem is that he thinks of Fate as if it was kind of Death in Meet Joe Black. Talking of films, Just In Case made me think a lot of the Final Destination series : ' I can't escape me, I will have you in the end'. In fact, he only sees the bad things that happen to him, most of us have the same problem. But finally we need to look at the whole picture, not only the little piece that stands before our nose. Justin will have to go through a lot of hard times before understanding that our Fate is others, the people we know, the people we love, our parents, our friends. And it works the other way around, WE are their Fate. There are not only bad things, are there?

In a few words, Just In Case is a big reflexion on the purpose of life.

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