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chickletta
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-10-2008
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Re: J.P.

I think J.P. is an interesting character too. In the beginning I got the sense that he wasn't that much into Kim, for both of them this is no more than a temporary thing, before they each set off for college, but the way he relates to Ed and how he way he gets involved in the search tells me that he somehow now sees Kim as a possible longer term relationship.
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chickletta
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Re: J.P.

Oh, and as someone else mentioned, I felt really sorry for J. P. in that scene on the bus where he is sitting by himself, and Ed joins him. It seems as though both of them are so alone with their losses. I feel so sorry for him right now that if I were to read on and find out he had anything to do with Kim's disappearance like Fran thinks, I would be very upset.
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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: J.P.

I agree with all your statements -- J.P. is very much isolated and, even before Kim disappears, he seems afraid of admitting to the depth of his feelings for her. He seems really unsure of himself.
 
I really liked the chapter that follows him into his life at college, appropriately called "Painesville". As bentley points out, he begins to go by John rather than J.P. (although he himself considers J.P. his real name - p. 202), which signals that he's trying to move on. He makes a tentative move toward intimacy with the girl from his dorm, Michaela, but "when she was gone he felt both abandoned and relieved" (p. 201). I think in J.P. more than any other character, we see the competing desires to be close to others and to avoid the pain of such closeness. It's natural to root for such a character, moreso than for someone like Ed, who is that bit more removed from his emotional needs.
 
I absolutely loved the passage from page 201 to 204 describing his bus ride back to Kingsville. It's filled with such melancholy and longing -- I thought it was just beautifully written, hands down one of my favorite sections of the book.
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: J.P.

I agree with you 100% Karen.  The snow falling and driving through the darkness only add to the mood.  As the signs roll past the bus window the trip itself takes on a rhythm all its own. 

KxBurns wrote:
 
I absolutely loved the passage from page 201 to 204 describing his bus ride back to Kingsville. It's filled with such melancholy and longing -- I thought it was just beautifully written, hands down one of my favorite sections of the book.



Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

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

Snow falling in this scene!  Does everyone in this book have a water scene?  Ed has the lake, Nina and Elise have the jumping scene, JP and Fran have snow.  Does Lindsay have a water scene?  Just curious?

Carmenere_lady wrote:
I agree with you 100% Karen.  The snow falling and driving through the darkness only add to the mood.  As the signs roll past the bus window the trip itself takes on a rhythm all its own. 

KxBurns wrote:
 
I absolutely loved the passage from page 201 to 204 describing his bus ride back to Kingsville. It's filled with such melancholy and longing -- I thought it was just beautifully written, hands down one of my favorite sections of the book.






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onecunninggirl
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎03-25-2008
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Re: J.P.

I wanted to know more about what happened to J.P.  He was so intracle in the begining, and even tried to remain part of the good fight for a while but what happened to him?  I felt like he as well as the other "friends" all were part of the "missing" in the end of this book.
 
Karla
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: J.P.



onecunninggirl wrote:
I wanted to know more about what happened to J.P.  He was so intracle in the begining, and even tried to remain part of the good fight for a while but what happened to him?  I felt like he as well as the other "friends" all were part of the "missing" in the end of this book.
 
Karla


Hi Karla,
For me, the clue is after that last chapter we see through J.P.'s eyes (the one discussed above, Painesville) because that one does leave things rather ambiguous. We see him again in the subsequent chapter with Nina and Elise at the halftime ceremony. There's a moment where the three join hands and Nina takes her gloves off to warm J.P.'s hands (p. 215) and it leaves me with the hope that J.P. will be able to find the connection he is looking for, maybe with Nina. We find out later that they do become a couple.
 
It's subtle but  I think we are left with some indication of how things turn out for each character, and I found it was just enough information for me. What do you think? Satisfying, or would you rather know more?
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ROCKETRAY55
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎09-28-2007
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Re: J.P.



Carmenere_lady wrote:
I agree with you 100% Karen.  The snow falling and driving through the darkness only add to the mood.  As the signs roll past the bus window the trip itself takes on a rhythm all its own. 

KxBurns wrote:
 
I absolutely loved the passage from page 201 to 204 describing his bus ride back to Kingsville. It's filled with such melancholy and longing -- I thought it was just beautifully written, hands down one of my favorite sections of the book.






I agree with you both, (Carmenere_lady and KxBurns) The bus scene was my favorite. I felt as if I was sitting on that bus with J.P.
 
I liked J.P.,, I can relate with him- I am having a hard time putting it into words, so I'll be back after I have had sometime to think about how to word it.
 
-Ray 
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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: J.P.



KxBurns wrote:
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

I think he was one of the most interesting, also.  Kim's disappearance caused him to think, something he had been avoiding.  He knew there was no future with Kim and by her disappearing, it made what he did feel almost reverent.  In a way, it was like he wanted to be a part of things but not a part.  He seemed that way with everyone.
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bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
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Re: J.P.

One of the interesting things to me in this book is to consider how each character feels "loss."  JP and Kim were not serious--even though he would have liked it to be more, maybe.  In the fall, they would each go on to their own school and maybe never be in contact again even without Kim's disappearance.  I think that losing Kim in the tragic way that they did had the result of bringing the friends closer together, in some ways--especially for Nina and J.P.
 
For all the characters there is a subtle--not overdone--theme of "lost and found."  They lose Kim, but gain a little something in themselves.  Maybe it is strength, maybe it is an intimacy with someone that wasn't there before, maybe it is forgiveness.  I really like that touch in the book.
 
I am posting this Sunday morning, so today's Song for the Missing is "Amazing Grace."
 
Ann, bookhunter
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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: J.P.

I felt sorry for J.P. many times. He seemed so lost when Kim came up missing and there didn't seem to be anything he could do. Like her father, J.P. hadn't been able to keep Kim near him or protect her. J.P.'s summer romance had also ended much too quickly and without any real finality. Going along with keeping the secret cost him greatly, and I think it followed him for a lot longer than the first year of college. He was a very compelling character.
 
Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: J.P.



bookhunter wrote:
One of the interesting things to me in this book is to consider how each character feels "loss."  JP and Kim were not serious--even though he would have liked it to be more, maybe.  In the fall, they would each go on to their own school and maybe never be in contact again even without Kim's disappearance.  I think that losing Kim in the tragic way that they did had the result of bringing the friends closer together, in some ways--especially for Nina and J.P.
 
For all the characters there is a subtle--not overdone--theme of "lost and found."  They lose Kim, but gain a little something in themselves.  Maybe it is strength, maybe it is an intimacy with someone that wasn't there before, maybe it is forgiveness.  I really like that touch in the book.
 
I am posting this Sunday morning, so today's Song for the Missing is "Amazing Grace."
 
Ann, bookhunter


What a lovely observation! At the very beginning of the search, I thought J.P. would be able to forge some kind of bond with Ed; since that did not happen, I was glad he found some connection, with Nina, toward with end.
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: J.P.



MSaff wrote:
I felt sorry for J.P. many times. He seemed so lost when Kim came up missing and there didn't seem to be anything he could do. Like her father, J.P. hadn't been able to keep Kim near him or protect her. J.P.'s summer romance had also ended much too quickly and without any real finality. Going along with keeping the secret cost him greatly, and I think it followed him for a lot longer than the first year of college. He was a very compelling character.
 


I agree. And I think compounding J.P.'s grief is the idea that his relationship with Kim was not what he had wanted it to be, by Kim's own choice. I was really touched by this, from page 64: "...yet at the same time he wanted -- he thought he needed -- to be the one who found her, alive or dead. Not to be a hero, or to prove to her parents that he was innocent and that he really loved her, but for the simpler, more selfish reason that she'd left him and he wanted her back."
Contributor
dcw888
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-14-2008
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Re: J.P.

I liked J.P. and felt he got the short end of the stick from Kim's parents.  Although going through a tragedy, teenagers will make mistakes and I think it was a shame Kim's parents couldn't allow him to grieve his loss the way they were allowed to grieve theirs.  I found myself saying to myself throughout this book "...just remember, I have no idea what it's like to have a missing daughter...."
 
Also, I didn't notice a thread for Lindsay, so I really need to get this out, so I'll do it here.  Did anyone else find her annoying?  I found her completely jealous of Kim from day one, and I felt as though she took Kim's absence as an opportunity - not a tragedy.  She wanted to move in on Kim's boyfriend (did she like J.P. because she liked "J.P.", or did she like J.P. because he was Kim's boyfriend?)  She wanted to be better in school than Kim, she wanted Kim's car (but understood why she couldn't), she wanted to be left alone to wallow and just complain.  I felt like she was almost glad her sister was gone  -- now she could be Lindsay and not Little Larson.  I don't know if it was intentional on O'Nan's part, or if it was just the way I read it, but I felt as though there was a lack of any type of bond between the 2 girls -- no true sisterhood connection.
 
Denise
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: J.P.

KxBurns wrote:

It's subtle but  I think we are left with some indication of how things turn out for each character, and I found it was just enough information for me. What do you think? Satisfying, or would you rather know more?



KxBurns, that's it in a nutshell. That's exactly how I feel about O'Nan's writing. Reader's talk about how it is not emotional enough for them. I know, I know - even those that are saying it is emotional, but not connecting enough. It is those little, subtle scenes where O'Nan makes his connections. It is just enough for me, too. I think I get more out of those kinds of scenes than pages of explanations. I have read Last Night --, Circus fire, and Songs. They are all similar in this writing style. I cried reading Circus Fire. How much more emotional should it be! I love his style and I will definitely read more of his books.
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: J.P.

I think JP is scared and devastated by Kim's disappearance and in some way blames himself (a normal boy reaction).  He seems to have been more inot Kim than she was into him.  At first he isn't convinced that she was abducted and I'm sure alll fo the stuff that comes our from the Wooze relationship is upsetting and more proof that the woman he loved wasn't in love with him.
 
Over the long term of the novel he turns to Nina - perhaps to share grief.  Still he really needs some therapy to get over this and eventually lead a normal life.  Withdrawing from everyone is just going to make things more difficult.
 
JP is a good guy - seems he treated Kim well and he seems to want to apologize to her parents for something he might not have had any responsibility for - unfortunately they won't listen.  This is a shame because it's probably contributing to his need for therapy.
 
Susan
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: J.P.

[ Edited ]
HannibalCat -- please distinguish between wanting the story to be "emotional" versus wanting to understand the feelings and the emotions of the characters, rather than having to guess or intuit them primarily or solely from their actions. Some of us have been trained that it is very important to not deceive ourselves into being mind readers, and we carry that over into our book reading habits. We don't necessarily want the story to be "more emotional."-- it might actually be less than our projections would tend to sway it.

Pepper


HannibalCat wrote:
KxBurns wrote:

It's subtle but I think we are left with some indication of how things turn out for each character, and I found it was just enough information for me. What do you think? Satisfying, or would you rather know more?



KxBurns, that's it in a nutshell. That's exactly how I feel about O'Nan's writing. Reader's talk about how it is not emotional enough for them. I know, I know - even those that are saying it is emotional, but not connecting enough. It is those little, subtle scenes where O'Nan makes his connections. It is just enough for me, too. I think I get more out of those kinds of scenes than pages of explanations. I have read Last Night --, Circus fire, and Songs. They are all similar in this writing style. I cried reading Circus Fire. How much more emotional should it be! I love his style and I will definitely read more of his books.



Message Edited by Peppermill on 06-23-2008 11:51 AM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: J.P.



m3girl wrote:
I think JP is scared and devastated by Kim's disappearance and in some way blames himself (a normal boy reaction).  He seems to have been more inot Kim than she was into him.  At first he isn't convinced that she was abducted and I'm sure alll fo the stuff that comes our from the Wooze relationship is upsetting and more proof that the woman he loved wasn't in love with him.
 
Over the long term of the novel he turns to Nina - perhaps to share grief.  Still he really needs some therapy to get over this and eventually lead a normal life.  Withdrawing from everyone is just going to make things more difficult.
 
JP is a good guy - seems he treated Kim well and he seems to want to apologize to her parents for something he might not have had any responsibility for - unfortunately they won't listen.  This is a shame because it's probably contributing to his need for therapy.
 
Susan


Susan, this is a good insight regarding J.P., and I think his unresolved -- and misplaced? -- feelings of guilt are shared by almost every main character in the book. Would you agree?
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Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: J.P.

I have mixed emotions about JP. I understand why he didn't tell Kim's Dad or the detective about the involvement with drugs from Wooze. On page 37-----"he could see his whole future crumbling--his job, college, all of it destroyed. He was so stupid. Why did he ever listen to Hinch?"  And even though people consider 18 year olds adult,and if he was 17 he was almost adult, I don't agree with trying any teens as adults. Their reasoning and perspective is different from actual adults . They don't see the big picture the same way. So I sympathise with JP and think Fran and Ed should have forgiven and acknowledged him.
    But I also feel Kim's Dad made it very clear to JP that the police needed a hint of suspicion to start taking a search seriously. Kim's Dad says on page 37----"It's a huge difference. If you can think of anything at all, let him know, okay?"    So Nina really comes through as the better friend when she finally realizes that she must give the information about Wooze even if done anonymously.
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: J.P.

Yes, I do agree.  It seems like each one of her family members and close friends carries some feelings of responsibility for her disappearance and death - whether it is justified or not.  Sometimes people get into trouble regardless of what their family or friends do or would have done...and sometimes they are the victim of a random act of violence.  The thing that makes me feel so unsettled about the ending is that I still do not know what happened to Kim...and I want to know - I need to have that resolved.  Perhaps in an epilogue.  There have been some interesting (however short lived - but don't get me started on that) television shows where they show what really happened after the trial and the verdict - sometimes the verdict is accurate and sometimes it is not.  I would have liked something like that at the end - so I would have some resolution.  The family may never know but the reader should.
 
Susan
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