Sunday, 18 April 2010

When I Was Joe by Keren David - * * * *


Tyler witnesses a stabbing incident involving his best friend and the police feel he and his family should be taken into witness protection until he can give evidence. He's moved to a new town and new school, given a make-over and a new life to lead - as Joe.
Things aren't that easy, though. Despite being told not to draw attention to himself, every way Ty turns, he does and soon he is tracked down by people wanting to silence him.
If you've read this blog before, you'll know that, due to a number of factors, I've read Keren David's two books in reverse order. So, did reading the sequel first affect my reading and enjoyment of When I Was Joe? Not as much as you might think. Almost True DID give away a lot of the plot outline to When I Was Joe - I knew, for example, which girl Joe would end up with and the plot twist about the stabbing incident - but a book depends on how the plot develops as much as how it ends. This is another exciting, page-turning book that I didn't want to put down till I'd finished it.
So, why only 4 stars for this? Somehow Ty/Joe's teenaged angst didn't quite grip me, the dialogue particularly of Almost True is better - and funnier at times - and the ending would have been extraordinarily frustrating if I'd started with When I Was Joe. Maybe it does come down to the order in which I've read the two books but I do think Almost True is the better book.

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