Review – The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

JJThe Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books (30th Jan 2014)

Blurb:
Jessie has always wanted to find her real dad. But when her mum dies in a tragic accident, she thinks any hope of discovering the truth is gone too.

It isn’t until Jessie goes off the rails, that her stepdad makes a shocking announcement: her father is legendary rock star and former hell-raiser, Johnny Jefferson. Suddenly finding herself the daughter of a global superstar, Jessie is soon sucked into the LA lifestyle – paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included!

But despite the excitement, Jessie’s still reeling from her mother’s death and the revelation about Johnny. Can he live up to her expectations and help her move on? One thing’s for sure, Jessie’s tiny little world has just got a whole lot bigger…

As you know, Paige Toon is known for her string of best-sellers. Well, those are her fabulous adult novels. The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is Paige Toon’s first (and thank God, not last) YA novel and it centres on the life of Jessie, the illegitimate daughter of the sexy rock god Johnny Jefferson (from her adult novels Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine). Can I get an amen from all of you? I mean, come through! Paige Toon wrote a YA novel and as if that isn’t a treat enough, she’s written the sequel, I Knew You Were Trouble which will be out later this month and I am beside myself with excitement.

Jessie Jefferson is your average fifteen-year-old young adult whose mother had died and she’s gone cray cray (think Miley Cyrus during the 2013 VMAs). OK, that was mean. No, I believe everyone has different ways to cope and accept loss and for Jessie, it’s to drown her sorrows with alcohol and having a good time with her mates. The book explores the typical teen angsts: such as rebellion, acting out and conforming to social norms.

Initially, I couldn’t, for the life of me, warm up to Jessie but eventually, I did. I guess with what has happened, I will give her the pass for being a total cow to her stepfather. Even though there were some parts in the book that made me roll my eyes, I had to reflect on my fifteen-year-old self and realise that I was quite immature and silly and impulsive so that shut the judgemental cow in me up. There were moments in the book that really made it worthwhile, especially the character development in Jessie. Towards the end of the book, I feel that Jessie has changed for the better and she’s begun to mature and that’s a winning point for me. Nothing like a flawed character who turns over a new leaf and becomes a better person. Kev approves. You go, Jessie girl! Yasss, hunty! Yasss!

It was pretty awesome to reconnect with Johnny and his lovely family. It was like a really sweet walk down memory lane, except it’s through the eyes of Jessie and not Meg. Oh, I’ve missed Nutmeg. I might even have to reread Johnny Be Good now. And Baby Be Mine. Sorry, major Paige Toon fanboy. Bite me. So please excuse me while I fall in love with Johnny Jefferson again.

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is out on paperback and eBook now and its sequel, I Knew You Were Trouble is out on 30th Jul 2015 on paperback and eBook as well.

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