Looking for JJ/Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy

This is an excellent two book series which gives he reader plenty to think about and is a fantastic starting point for discussions about punishment and guilt and atonement.

Looking for JJ

Jennifer Jones killed her best friend when she was ten. Over six years have passed and she has served her time in prison and is now out in the world, trying to start her new life. Not everybody thinks she has the right to live a normal life: some want to make money out of her, some want to understand her and others just think she hasn’t been punished enough.

An unusual and interesting book. The story is told by Jennifer herself, who comes across as a teenager who wants to do her best and is keen to find love and happiness. However, even Jennifer questions whether she is entitled to this; because Jennifer is unable to turn her back on her past and to ignore what she did to her best friend. It is hard not to like Jennifer and this is where the book is so strong – as you grow to like her, to feel for her and the childhood she had, your preconceptions about criminals and punishment are challenged. A book that is both enjoyable and thought provoking.

Finding Jennifer Jones

Jennifer has spent two and a half years living a normal life. Or as normal a life as she can have, given that she killed her best friend when she was ten. Jennifer can’t forget what she did and neither can the world. When events in Exmouth lead to her being questioned by the police, she begins to question whether she can ever have a normal life, and even if she is entitled to one.

Jennifer has become a more complex character as she tries to cope with living a normal life: normal only because she lives with a false identity. The strain of never being able to be honest about her past, of always wondering if people suspect the truth about her, of waiting for her cover to be blown start to bring her down. It is easy to think that Jennifer has paid the price for her crime and should be able to move on, but the story brings us face to face with a range of characters who see things in different ways, making us question what should happen to people like Jennifer. An excellent sequel which does not disappoint.

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