Just In Case. Meg Rosoff. 2006. Random House. 250 pages.
David Case's baby brother had recently learned to walk but he wasn't what you'd call an expert.
David Case has been coming undone bit by bit since the birth of his baby brother. Not that his parents have noticed. But when his baby brother nearly falls out of a window, David loses it completely. Instead of realizing that he's lucky. Lucky to have been there. Lucky to have noticed. Lucky to have stopped this tragedy in the making. He feels doomed. Hopelessly doomed. Like Fate has it in for him. Like it's just a matter of time until something horrible happens. Haunted by Fate, David Case reimagines himself. Creates a new identity. Justin Case. Maybe by "being" someone else, dressing like someone else, acting like someone else, he can outwit Fate. For example, David Case is not athletic. At all. But Justin Case? Well, he just went out for the track team. He's learning that he can be good at it too. The running. It may just enable him to run away from Fate all together. (Or can it?!)
Our narrator is very strange. And yet for some reason I found Just In Case to be a compelling read. (You can find a sample chapter here.) It's a strange book, and you might have to appreciate the strange in order to like it. But I think this one works for the right kind of reader.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews