I’ve talked about this book before, so you may already know a little about Jess. Unlike most other teenager girls, she never wears skirts, she is obsessed with motorbikes, spends most of her school life in detention… oh yeah, and half the FBI is on her back. She also has the physic ability to find anyone, anywhere. I love her attitude, her loyalty, and above all her firm sense of right and wrong. Her brother, Douglas, has Schizophenia, and when a popular insults him, this is her reaction:
“She’s got to go on vacation sometime. I mean, she properly needs it, living with that retard and all.”
“Oh, God,” I heard Ruth moan. Then she carefully lifted her tray out of the line of fire.
That’s because, of course, Ruth knew. There aren’t many things that will make me forget all the anger-management counselling I’ve received from Mr Goodhart, upstairs in the guidance office. But even after nearly two years of being instructed to count to ten before giving in to my anger – and nearly two years of detention for having failed miserably to do so – any derogatory mention of my brother Douglas still sets me off. About a second after Heather made her ill-advised comment, she was pinned up against the cinder block wall behind her.
And my hand was what was holding her there. By her neck.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you,” I hissed at her, my face about two inches from hers, “that it is rude to make fun of people who are less fortunate than you?”
She’s the sort of girl I wish I was! But her violence does sometimes lead her into sticky situations… Still, Jess deserves her place as one of the Best Female Fictional Characters Of All Time. (What a mouthful!)