Monday, 21 September 2015

Review of The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

The bit on the back…

Meet Jessie, small-town girl turned wild child . . .

Jessie has never known her real dad, and when her mum dies she thinks any hope of finding him is gone. As she goes goes off the rails, her stepdad announces that her father is Johnny Jefferson - legendary rockstar and former hell-raiser.

Still dealing with her loss, and now the daughter of a superstar, Jessie is sucked into the LA lifestyle - paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included.

But is Johnny up to the job? And, more importantly, is Jessie?

Let me start this review by stating now that I was so conflicted about this book! As a fan of Paige’s chick-it books I was in no doubt that I’d read her new YA release. I just didn’t know when I’d actually get around to reading it. I absolutely love Johnny Jefferson. I’ve read Johnny and Meg’s story countless time and I could probably recite parts of the story. One thing Paige delivers in every single book is allllll the feels and Johnny and Meg have more than their fair share of emotions to deal with. That being said I think Paige has hit the nail on the head with this YA series from the cover to the story. I enjoyed it as an adult fan of Paige but I also wish I could read it as a teenager too!

It’s taken me quite a while to get round to starting this story but it was so worth the wait! This story is all about Jessie Jefferson. Jessie was just an average teenager until her mum died and she started to rebel, hang out with the wrong crowd and she’s started to lose herself. When her stepdad drops the biological dad bomb everything changes.

Jessie is easy to identify with at the beginning of the story. A lot of teenagers will be able to relate to her everyday school and teenage struggles but some will also be able to relate to her family situation too. What not many people will be able to relate to is the fact that her dad, who she’s never met, is a massive rockstar who all her friends fancy. During the initial stages of reaching out to Johnny I could feel the emotions building and I was really hoping Johnny was going to come through for her.

Jessie’s life changes basically overnight and Paige takes you on this journey with her to LA – glamorous and exciting already – and plants her into Johnny’s life. I felt like the tension and awkwardness was rolling off the pages as both Jessie and Johnny’s family tried to adjust to this new situation. I was on the verge of tears many times as I read the book and just kept hoping for everything to work out.

While Jessie is in LA she makes some friends of her own and gets a taste of what her life could be like. I loved this part of the book because it’s complete escapism in that Jessie is going to Hollywood parties and listening to live bands whose lead singer she’s had a little flirt with. I feel like Paige has pitched this perfectly for YA readers and I loved learning about Jessie and seeing her with her friends in LA which got me out of that “I already know Johnny” feeling. If you’ve read and enjoyed this I would recommend All American Girl by Meg Cabot.

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