Picks and Pans Review: Just in Case

UPDATED 08/14/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/14/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Meg Rosoff

Here's another powerful blurring of the lines between young adult and mainstream fiction from Rosoff, the author of How I Live Now. After snatching his baby brother off a window sill as he's about to fall, 15-year-old David Case becomes obsessed with avoiding Fate. Renaming himself Justin, he strikes out on his own, falls in love with an "older" woman, makes his first real friend and witnesses death and betrayal. Though he pulls it together, he's seriously troubled, and Rosoff's treatment of his mental problems is unsettlingly ambiguous. Parents who find the book riveting, despite its patches of talky philosophy, may want to think twice before handing it to sensitive teens.

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