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KxBurns
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J.P.

[ Edited ]
I found J.P. one of the most interesting characters in the book -- what did you think? What effect does Kim's disappearance have on J.P., in both the short and long-term?
 
What are some of the emotions, needs, or attitudes that inform his relationships with others? What were some key moments in the story for J.P.?


Message Edited by KxBurns on 06-09-2008 10:23 AM
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DSaff
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Re: J.P.

I felt for J.P. Even though I think he knew there was no real future with Kim, I think he secretly hoped they could continue on. He seemed lost after she disappeared, needing to do something, needing to talk to her. I never felt that he was truly a part of the “inner circle,” but rather that Kim was his way into the group. I was initially puzzled that J.P. was nervous when Kim's father sat next to him on the bus, but realized it had to do with the “secret.”  He seemed to quickly become more comfortable as her father offered the boots and not an inquisition. The secret that was shared by Kim's friends was a real roadblock for J.P. He could only get so close, and then had to pull away so that he didn't say anything wrong. Then, when Kim's folks found out that he had lied, J.P. has no more connection to Kim. He pays the price for hiding information, regardless of its nature, with the coldness of Kim's family and the retribution of the community (his car).

All in all, I liked J.P.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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lenoreva
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Re: J.P.

I kind of thought the friends got short shift (with the exception of Nina - loved the scene with her and Elise on the bridge) and I would have like to read more about JP.
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mwinasu
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Re: J.P.

The Band OFFSPRING has a song about a guy who is treated horribly by his girlfriend.  It says" the more you suffer the more it shows you really care. Right?"  The song reminds me of J.P.
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Jeanie0522
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Re: J.P.

I also found that J.P. was one of the more interesting characters.  Everyone else in the story had a direct tie-in to Kim.  Her girlfriends, her family, her classmates, etc.  J.P. was the "sort of" boyfriend.  It was a casual relationship for both he and Kim; however, her death made him rethink everything.  Ed seemed to feel J.P. was not doing enough or acting worried enough.  Only Kim and J.P. really knew what their relationship was about and they had both planned on attending different schools in the fall.  If Kim would not have disappeared, they would have likely ended their relationship at the end of the summer.  J.P. and Nina's relationship was also interesting.  They clearly had an attraction to each other before Kim went missing, and then Kim became a common bond between them later on.  I found myself feeling sorry for J.P. as he clearly missed Kim, but he was as confused about his emotions after her disappearance as he was during their relationship. 
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dhaupt
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Re: J.P.

Mr. O'Nan has a very real understanding of teenage boys I guess because he was one, and how he describes JP his audience both appreciate and find fault with his character. JP is a trustworthy kid even though he gives the appearance to adults of being just slightly dangerous and being from the wrong side of the tracks doesn't help. But he's caring of Kim and states several times that he doesn't think he deserves her (when in reality it's she that doesn't deserve him). He has a healthy ego with just enough humility added in.

I think some of JP's key moments were when Ed chose him as a helper in the search, when he decided not to answer Lindsay's emails and when he admitted his attraction to Nina.
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paula_02912
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Re: J.P.

Karen wroteL :
"I found J.P. one of the most interesting characters in the book -- what did you think? What effect does Kim's disappearance have on J.P., in both the short and long-term?
 
What are some of the emotions, needs, or attitudes that inform his relationships with others? What were some key moments in the story for J.P.?"
 
Karen, I think that JP was an interesting character as well...initially, I suspected him of having something to do with Kim's disappearance, but I changed that thought after getting to know his character better...JP seemed to be a very needy person...he was cast in the light of a "bad" boy, but I didn't get the sense that he was...he was more of a loner than anything, but he was also confused about his place...he relished the attention Kim gave him and the fact that she "gave herself" to him, made him feel very honored...he has a negative outlook on his life, and it seems like he feels that he only brings bad into the lives of others, as if he was not worthy of being noticed...when Kim disappeared, JP seemed to be very confused and directionless...I feel that Kim helped to define who JP was, and that was how he identified himself, but once she was gone, he didn't know what to do...in the long run, he still worries about what he could have done to help Kim and he compares all the girls he goes out with in school to her...they didn't seem to help him identify himself as much as Kim did, so he was never a "whole" person...
 
JP seemed to crave attention, and he especially wanted it from Kim's dad...maybe it is because his father wasn't around...I think that this is a safe assumption to make, since he only spoke of his mother...maybe it was because it was Kim's dad, but he seemed to grow as a person when being put in charge of one of the search parties...he was more focused and dependable...I think just taking part in the search was the most important moment for JP in this story...I also thnk that coming back for the half-time show was a key moment, because he learned that the entire Larsen family was not indifferent to him, even though he knew about the secret too...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: J.P.

Poor J.P., besides Lindsey I felt he got the worst of a horrible situation than all the characters in the book.  Ed and Fran had "things to do" to keep themselves busy, Nina had Elise, and J.P. had no one.  I think he was a loner who cared a lot more for Kim than she felt for him and with her being gone, losing Ed and Fran's approval, and not being able to join in the search, he drifted. 
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Bonnie824
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Re: J.P.



dhaupt wrote:
Mr. O'Nan has a very real understanding of teenage boys I guess because he was one, and how he describes JP his audience both appreciate and find fault with his character. JP is a trustworthy kid even though he gives the appearance to adults of being just slightly dangerous and being from the wrong side of the tracks doesn't help. But he's caring of Kim and states several times that he doesn't think he deserves her (when in reality it's she that doesn't deserve him). He has a healthy ego with just enough humility added in.

I think some of JP's key moments were when Ed chose him as a helper in the search, when he decided not to answer Lindsay's emails and when he admitted his attraction to Nina.

You pretty much summed up my feelings about JP. He was a decent responsible boy and I'm glad things turned out OK for him. Kim also acted as if he wasn't good enough for long term, just a filler boyfriend, and he agree with her.
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the_mad_chatter
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Re: J.P.

JP drove me nuts even thought his chapters were my favorite.  Even though he was very active in the search his personality felt passive and incredibly needy.  Why is he attracted to girls like Kim and Nina?  I think it's because of their confidence.  Why does he chat with Lindsay?  Because of her crush on him.  Why does he fall for someone in college that isn't available?  I was rooting for him to pull thru this experience a stronger person.
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kiakar
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Re: J.P.

It does seem that J.P. as a character in this novel appears to be a weak one. He wants someone to hold him up or be there for him always. Maybe its a lack of confidence in himself. Maybe he will appear stronger after a few years.


the_mad_chatter wrote:
JP drove me nuts even thought his chapters were my favorite.  Even though he was very active in the search his personality felt passive and incredibly needy.  Why is he attracted to girls like Kim and Nina?  I think it's because of their confidence.  Why does he chat with Lindsay?  Because of her crush on him.  Why does he fall for someone in college that isn't available?  I was rooting for him to pull thru this experience a stronger person.



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the_mad_chatter
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Re: J.P.

Like I said, I'm rooting for him. 
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vquez81
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Re: J.P.

Yeah, I agree with you, I would have liked to have read more about J.P.
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vquez81
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Re: J.P.

I think that he felt something for Kim, but It really didn't seem like he loved her though.  I think that he had more feelings for Nina but I think that he had a hard time admitting to that because he felt guilty.
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vquez81
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Re: J.P.

I also felt really bad for J.P. because it seemed like he was alone he didn't really have anyone to lean on after Kims disappearance.  I'm glad that him and Nina towards the end of the book found happiness together. 
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bentley
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Re: J.P.


vquez81 wrote:
I also felt really bad for J.P. because it seemed like he was alone he didn't really have anyone to lean on after Kims disappearance.  I'm glad that him and Nina towards the end of the book found happiness together. 





Yes, I felt sorry for JP too. I felt that his portrayal and character seemed like an abbreviation reminiscent of his nickname. When he went away to school, his full name seemed to be used. For me it showed that maybe he was developing his outlook once he was away from the town and would not feel diminished because of his background, etc.
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Jennd1
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Re: J.P.

I felt sorry for JP Kim seemed like a link to a better world and he lost it. I would have liked to know more about him, he seemed like a bit of a mystery for the book as a whole. I think he and Nina both felt guilt about moving on and becoming a couple.
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: J.P.

You've all made good points!  I would like to add that I think Fran thought of JP as prime suspect #1.  Her feelings kind of jade our perception of JP and he becomes the underdog that we all root for.
Lynda

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It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
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the_mad_chatter
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: J.P.

Ooh, I hadn't thought about his name like that.  Excellent thought.


bentley wrote:
Yes, I felt sorry for JP too. I felt that his portrayal and character seemed like an abbreviation reminiscent of his nickname. When he went away to school, his full name seemed to be used. For me it showed that maybe he was developing his outlook once he was away from the town and would not feel diminished because of his background, etc.


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BookSavage
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Registered: ‎01-11-2008
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Re: J.P.

J.P. was a prime example of what I did not like about this novel.  I wanted to get attached to characters like JP and feel something for them, but O'Nan does such a poor job of making the people real and bringing out emotions that I never could get attached to him despite my desires.
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