The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 love Paige Toon, as soon as I discovered her I knew that she was going to quickly become one of my favourite authors. On hearing that she was going to be writing YA I was excited but also a tad nervous, she writes chick lit so wonderfully and I was worried that I was going to be disappointed with this.
Paige Toon began by really interesting me with this story line, it was a continuation from one of her adult novels, this is something that I think really makes Toon stand out as an author, she manages to like her characters in certain ways. This makes the reader really believe they are with the characters in the book, as they are so familiar. If you haven't read Johnny Be Good, do not panic, you can read this as a stand a lone but reading this will enhance your reading experience.
The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson follows Jessie, a down to earth teenager, who has just lost her mum in a tragic freak accident. Jessie has always lived with her mum and stepdad Stu, however much she has wanted to know who her real father is, her mother would never discuss it. Stu believes that it is important that Jessie does know, so even though he could potentially lose her, he tells her.
I really love Stu in this, I feel for him, what he is going through and it is clear how much he cares for Jessie even though she is not his own. I had a real issue with Jessie as a character to begin with. Unfortunately I just could not warm to her, she behaved dreadfully to Stu and not a lot better to Johnny at parts in the book. I didn't like her attitude for most of the novel and I didn't like the way she tried to come across as an adult and demanded to know things, but then went around and acted like a spoilt brat. (Maybe I am now showing my age and shows that maybe I am not the intentional age range for this book!)
There were parts in the story that I felt not a lot was happening, normally when Jessie was meeting people in the States at parties etc, however this was made up towards the end when it picked up and almost felt like the ending was coming to an abrupt ending! - Thank goodness I can continue with the series straight away!
So although I did have a few issues with this book, I also really enjoyed it and I feel Paige has done really well with her debut in YA, what I loved about it was there was no main story within the book that was depressing. Yes I know her mum had dies, however this happened before we met the characters. The story is upbeat, nobody having a dreadful illness, no bullying, no teen pregnancy, just a really easy going light read.
I am really looking forward to reading the next in the sequel, well done Paige!