Janie Face to Face (Janie Johnson #5)
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
January 8, 2013
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the face on the milk carton, discovered just how much turmoil that could immediately cause her life (and we found out whatever happened to her), been betrayed by the voice on the radio, and then found something shocking in one of the last places she expected.
Now readers get the conclusion to Janie Johnson's (slash Jennie Spring) story. Was the boy next door really the one? Or have Janie and Reeve moved on from each other. And we'll finally find out if the person who took Janie all those years ago will be caught.
Janie Face to Face catches readers up on all of the different characters central to the series -- from Janie, Frank and Miranda, and the Spring family to Reeve and his family, as well. While it is a conclusion to the series and brings things to a close, it doesn't stray from what made the other books so much fun.
There's still Janie's struggle between her 'real' family and her 'kidnap' family and how to be a part of both, especially as the novel starts. There's also the big, looming possible disaster that could cause things to crumble for all involved, or at least most of them.
What's different, however, is that in Janie Face to Face we're given more insight into the kidnapper and her state of mind. No longer just an almost mythical, somewhere-out-there character that some characters just hate and others have mixed emotions towards, she's real in this book. Some chapters are from her perspective, which adds a lot to not only this fifth book but some of the events from previous books.
I did feel anxious for several characters and/or worried about them, in places where I don't think that was the intent. Some of the choices they were making (even some deemed good/smart/okay by other characters) seemed . . . not quite right to me. That, though, is the possible problem when a series is concluded.
Though I didn't like the direction some of the characters ultimately took or some of the decisions made, it did all seem to work from them based on the input of the other characters. It's also a testament to how gripping this entire series has been that I didn't really care that I ended up not loving what the characters did because it was still nice to have the knowledge.
Certain parts of the plot were predictable as to their outcome. Yet the time between when you might figure out what that outcome likely was and the actual outcome was filled with enough interesting and intriguing events an bits about the characters, that the predictability was almost forgotten.
Janie Face to Face is not my favorite book of this series (that's still probably one of the first two), but it's a really good conclusion and it was fantastic to see what happened to all of the characters. (And to even get some more insight on past parts of the story.) Read this one if you've read and enjoyed the series -- it does give enough background to read it separately, but it wouldn't be as much fun.
The Face on the Milk Carton
Whatever Happened to Janie
The Voice on the Radio
What Janie Saw (ebook short story)
What Janie Found
thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-galley of this title