A short read about real-life problems, Katarina Stretton
April 19, 2022
It was all the rock’s fault. It was all going well until the last day of the summer holidays when Jessie wandered along the beach at whale bay, the day when she found that cursed rock.
Donna Blaber’s Just End It is a well-written book about a young girl called Jessie Brown who finds an obsidian stone on the beach. It is a great read for people who enjoy books where most of the main character’s problems are solved.
Jessie is an ordinary 12 year old girl. Or she was. One day she finds an unusual rock on the beach. It is beautifully carved and is made of obsidian. But what Jessie finds out later, is that if the rock is taken without permission, then you will become cursed with bad luck. However, this turns out to just be a myth, and the obsidian actually protects her from danger.
When new girl Alexis turns up, Jessie’s former best friend Hayley, ditches Jessie to go and hang out with her. Jessie is really upset when they start to say mean things, and bullying her. Jessie puts down it to the strange black obsidian rock from the beach. Later Jessie makes a new best friend, Mia. Mia is kind, loves doing waka ama (a type of water sport in a canoe) and is always there for her.
Just End It is fairly short, and would be a great weekend read. I would recommend this book to people who don’t like spending too much time on one book, as well as people who enjoy reading emotional books and stories that are focused on a real life problem.
The author writes to entertain, and she explores bullying and how you can deal with it, especially with your friends and family by your side.
I really liked the way that Blaber manages to incorporate Māori culture into the story, and I think that is a big part of what makes the book interesting! I also loved the way that she manages to make her characters seem real. She is really great at describing scenes that put a picture into my head.
Hine sits on a small, sea smoothed rock at the far end of the beach. Her head drops and tears spill onto the sand. Beside the campfire her mother and aunty wailed…
One thing I didn’t like about this book was how the story ends. Alexis – the mean girl – moves away to New York, and we don’t get to see Jessie fighting back or stopping her. I found this fact really annoying as I was especially looking forward to seeing how Jessie would handle the situation. This made the book feel less realistic and made me feel like it was kind of unfinished.
Apart from that, on the whole I think that Blaber has put together a really awesome book and I would recommend Just End It to others. I am looking forward to her next book, if she writes another one.
- Katarina is 12 years old and lives in Auckland.