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Book Review: The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

The Accidental Life of Jessie JeffersonTitle: The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
Author: Paige Toon
Series:  Jessie Jefferson, #1
Pages:  336
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 30th January, 2014
Source: For review from publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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…

My Thoughts:
The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is Paige Toon's first young adult novel, after many successful adult titles. It is the story of Jessie Jefferson, the daughter of Johnny Jefferson, a world-famous rock star. I didn't really know all that much about Paige Toon when I read this, but I think I'm right in saying that she has written some adult books about Johnny before now, and The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is a YA spin-off. I really, really enjoyed it and even though I hardly ever read adult books, I think I might give Johnny Be Good a read as I'd love to read more about his world and 2015, when the sequel to Jessie Jefferson comes out, is too far away!

I felt that The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson took a little while to get started, but once Jessie was on the plane to LA to meet her real father, I was completely hooked and couldn't stop reading. I absolutely adored reading about LA life - the parties, the dresses, the boys! I don't really follow pop-culture in real life or anything, but I love reading books set in that world as it's so wildly different to my own that all the glitz and glam is very exciting... I want to go to a Hollywood party! It would be so cool. Anyway, I digress. The plot was simple and easy to read (you could quite feasibly read it in one sitting if you have the time!) and paced well - not too slow, not too rushed. It also takes place in lots of different places around the world and that was interesting too.

I liked Jessie. She took a little while to warm to, since at the beginning of the novel she has gone a little off the rails following the death of her mother (which is totally understandable), and is just a little bit bitchy to everyone. However, her character development throughout the novel is really clear and I loved seeing her mature as she came to realise who she really wanted to be. It was great to see that even though she's now found her real biological father in Johnny (and she's getting to know him and his family), she also began to appreciate Stuart, her step dad. Her relationship with him at the beginning of the story was the one that irked me the most - I know I say it ALL THE TIME, but I hate it when families don't get along in books and I think that Jessie Jefferson is more about her family than her love life, so big bonus points for that.

But that's not to say that I didn't enjoy reading about her relationships with Tom and Jack. I guess it's sort of a love triangle, but not in a Twilight kind of way so don't let that put you off at all! Tom is sweet and funny and seems to like her, but he's stuck in England while she flies away to LA, where she meets Jack. Now, I know Jack's a bit of a jerk but I could completely see why Jessie liked him so much. I'm looking forward to seeing where Paige takes Jessie's relationships in the next book as I'm not sure which boy she'll choose (or even which one I think she should choose)!

The cast of supporting characters were also really great. This book is definitely character driven! I really liked Meg, Johnny's wife, because I found her coldness when Jessie arrived and her uncertainty very authentic. Agnes, Jack's sister, was also really great and I hope that she and Jessie continue to be friends in the next book because she's very cool. Yeah.

Overall, I was surprised by how much I liked The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson. I wasn't expecting to like it nearly as much as I did and it's definitely not one to be missed. If you're a fan of light-hearted, fun contemporaries, then definitely check this one out. I've heard that Paige's adult series are also excellent so don't miss those either. I can't wait to read more!


  1. I call this the ‘Self-Worth Model' and it really is as close as we have come to an ‘instruction book' to life.

    ilchi lee education

  2. I love reading Paige Toon novels (and so far I would say I've read them all except the very last one), but it really bores me that it seems like she couldn't write anything beside those damn love triangles. It's in every book she ever wrote. Love triangle, love triangle, love triangle. Yawn! Her books are really good to read, but if you know all of them, you will see some patterns she always uses. Not only that the girl is torn between two boys, the girl also always moves from England to Australia or to the States or vice versa. I kinda hate that I can't stop reading her books :D.


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