How do you follow up on a Printz winner? You return to what made HOW I LIVE NOW a winner even before it was honored by the Printz Committee. You create splendid characters who just get up from the page and take hold of your head and, more importantly, your heart. That she does in her latest book, JUST IN CASE. David Case wants to reinvent himself, not out of some teen angst ridden desire to be different, but to avoid what he sees as an inescapable rendezvous with fate or kismet. So, voila, some new clothes and a new moniker and we have Justin Case (irony intentional), the kid who is mocked for his new avant-garde look and his imaginary greyhound named Boy. Justin runs track; he has fashion flare; he has a dog. His parents are certain this spells some incredible torment in their son’s life. Is he gay? Is he dyslexic? Why the sudden change—perhaps drugs? Justin knows the real reason, one he can admit only to a select few who understand the role of fate. Fate, it seems, likes to dangle unwitting folks like DAVID over a fiery pit. Maybe Justin will avoid this date with kismet.
Rosoff scores again with this story that blends some of the aspects of a coming of age novel with a tad of magical realism, a not inconsiderable dash of the absurd, and a healthy dose of reality when it comes to destiny. Readers will be intrigued with David’s attempt to become Justin Case. They will leave the novel with, perhaps, even more questions than they held when they first met Mr. Case. Surely, THAT is the hallmark of a fine YA (or any other) novel.
Alas, I have no cover to share as neither Amazon or Titlewave has one to download.