Book: What Janie Found

"What Janie Found" by Caroline B. CooneyJanie Johnson’s two families appear to have made peace. Life seems almost normal. Janie has even decided to speak to her former boyfriend, Reeve, again. But then Janie’s Connecticut father suffers a stroke, and the tragedy leaves her mother reeling. Janie must step in to manage the family’s finances and to support her mother emotionally.

While handling her father’s business matters, Janie discovers the one undeniable fact that could destroy both of her beloved families. And she alone must decide what to do.

I’ve been sitting on this book for over a week before I could muster enough will power to actually write my thoughts down here.

It’s not that I thought the book was rubbish. And it’s not that I hated it. The problem was–I had become indifferent to the book, and the whole series. Which is kind of sad, considering how invested I was when I read the first book. Heck, I had Fully Booked scour their branches for the other three books. Ending with this feeling is kind of saddening, and disappointing.

Sure, I did end up liking this book more than I did the second and the third. But I really dislike the way the author, Caroline Cooney, would transfer the point of view from one person to another. Aside from the fact that it’s very jarring how we would be inside Janie’s mind one second and in another character’s the next; it also felt as if the author was copping out. There were times when you could feel the tension rise as the characters are given dilemmas–and then we cut to a different character with a made-up mind who makes the choice for the character we were following before.

Now, as it’s already been more than a week since I finished reading the book, I could be remembering this wrong. This could have happened just one in the whole book. But it’s the impression I’m left with, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

Aside from the way the story is told, I don’t actually have a problem with this last book. The thing is, I thought that this was the most mature of all four Janie books, as it forces our characters to face their mistakes and their shortcomings. Story-wise, the book was brilliant. But even when you have a great story, if you have a less-than-stellar storyteller (or way of story-telling), it’s still going to end up sounding sub par.

Which What Janie Found was. It was just sub par.

At this point, I’m wishing I could go back in time and just stuck with having read the first book and never knowing that there were three other books. Even with it’s cliffhanger ending, The Face on the Milk Carton is way better than any of the books that followed it.

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