The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon, published by Simon and Schuster on 30th January 2014
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.
This is the first YA novel by author Paige Toon, who already has a successful adult following. I haven't read any of her previous books, but many of the characters pop-up in the story which centres around Jessie Jefferson, daughter of the rock star Johnny Jefferson.
Jessie is fifteen years old and her whole life changes when her mother dies and she discovers that her biological father is a famous musician. I'll admit that I wasn't too sure about her character at the start, as she seemed quite immature and childish but she definitely grew on me throughout the story and I could eventually see that underneath her tough exterior she just wants to fit in and be part of a family. Life hasn't always been kind to her but when she flies out to Los Angeles to meet Johnny and her half-siblings, she has a chance at building new relationships and making new friends. It was nice to see Jessie gradually getting to know her Dad and I thought her new little brothers were very sweet.
Both Johnny and his wife Meg have featured in Paige's other books so I didn't know about some of their history together. This really didn't matter as many of the gaps were filled in but it has made me want to go and read some of her earlier titles about the couple now.
'The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson' was a quick and easy read which swept me away to sunnier climes. It's the perfect book to cheer you up during a dark and dismal winter and although I thought it was a bit predictable at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about Jessie in the next in the series which will be published during spring 2015.