Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When I Was Joe by Keren David

Author: Keren David
Release: September, 2010
Pages: 364
Source: Publicist
My {spoiler-free} Summary:
Joe is popular. Joe is an amazing runner. Joe has got everything going for him. Too bad Joe isn't a real person.

Fourteen-year-old Ty witnesses a murder, and does what he thinks is the right thing: tells the police. But now dangerous people are after him and will stop at nothing to keep him from testifying in court, even if it means killing him and anyone who gets in the way.

Now Ty's stuck entering the witness protection program with his mother, Nicki. Ty is gone, and his new identity is Joe. Despite the drastic changes, he's enjoying his new life, especially when he meets a sweet girl who has dark secrets too. But his mom is struggling day to day and can barely keep herself together. Not to mention that any second they could be found, and really be in danger.

Secrets, lies, and danger lurking in every corner....The mysteries all unravel one page at a time in this addictive debut. 
Review: Simply stunning in it's ability to keep a reader dangling with anticipation on every page, When I Was Joe doesn't fail to surprise and end with a bang.

Ty/Joe has a unique voice that truly drew me in, made me laugh, as well as really care for him. His life is just turned upside down because of what he's seen, and it's easy to sympathize with him. The complexities of his new life and the people in it kept me curious about what could possibly happen next. Ty's really going through a coming-of-age time in his life, struggling with his morals and his secrets. The contrast between who Ty was and who he is becoming is intriguing to follow. Even when Ty is screwing up, I'm still rooting for him. The other characters are all dynamic as well, but I would have love more of Claire.

Keren David knows just how to keep a reader hooked, because at the end of every chapter I wanted to keep going. There's action, thrilling edge-of-your-seat moments, social issues, the bonds a family has, and a some budding friendships. This book made me laugh, gasp, happy, upset, angry, and in the end I wanted so much more.

Highlights: David makes Ty/Joe a very authentic character, and he's very easy to sympathize with. I think the biggest compliment I can pay David besides the previous sentence is that she genuinely surprised me. I thought I had everything all figured out, and she shocked me towards the end. I loved the cultural aspect too, because this book is definitely full of British slang and societal problems that I just didn't know about. It was a nice change to jump into something real, problematic, unique and different.

Lowlights: The pacing of the story starts slow, but it almost seems necessary for the storyline to work.




  1. this sounds great!! i'm so interesting in the british slang

  2. Great review. Very interested in reading this book now.

  3. Stories that start slow usually get to me, but something about this sounds like it might just be able to entertain me! Great review, Lea! This book sounds awesome :)

  4. The author interview you did already got me interested in this book, but this review only made it sound more amazing! Definitely putting this on my TBR list. :)

  5. I've been wondering about this one since I find the concept interesting so thanks for the great review!

  6. This is not like anything I have read. I'd give it a shot. Fab review

  7. I've seen a couple good reviews for this one and it has me interested in it.

  8. Fab review - this is one of my favourite books of this year, and it genuinely surprised me too!

  9. Wow, I hadn't heard of this one before but your review completely convinced me I need to read it!

    BTW, thank you for having a pop up window for comments. It makes it so much easier to just cruise through your posts and not have to wait for the page to reload over and over again!