Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 30th January 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, UKYA
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"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…"
Jessie is a teenage wild child who’s been acting out ever since her mum’s unexpected death on Jessie’s fifteenth birthday. I have to be honest and say that Jessie didn’t make a good first impression with me – in fact I thought she was a bit of a brat with the way she treated people. But my advice is to stick with her folks! It soon becomes apparent that it’s all just a tough girl act to mask the pain and guilt she feels over her mum’s death and the fear that she doesn’t really belong to any one now that it’s just her and her stepdad Stu. Paige Toon did a fantastic job of capturing a young girl’s grief and those weaker moments with Jessie when her mask would slip and she’d let us in were some of my favourite moments in this book.
With Jessie’s behaviour spiralling out of control stepdad Stu thinks it would do her good to learn the truth about her real father who is none other than famous rock god Johnny Jefferson. When Jessie flies out to LA to get to know Johnny and her new family is where the fun really begins. There are A-list parties, designer clothes shopping, and yes, a cute boy. Whilst all this is really fun and glamorous to read about there are also some really touching moments as Jessie starts to bond with her family.
My favourite thing about The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson was how every character felt realistic. I could understand every characters thoughts and feelings over this big change in their lives and I loved that this book wasn’t all fun and smooth sailing in Jessie’s new life. Seeing how everyday things would trigger Jessie’s memories of her mum brought a tear to my eye on several occasions. And Jessie’s gradual character development was spot on to the point where I closed the book feeling really proud of how far she’d come.
Overall The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson was a lot of fun and had a lot of heart. I’ll definitely be continuing on with this series to see what happens to Jessie and her family next and I also want to pick up ‘Johnny Be Good’ Paige’s adult series to find out how Johnny and Meg’s story all began!