Book Review: The Lonely Teddy Bear: Janie's Story by Chelsea Radojcic

by - 11:56:00 PM

 Title: The Lonely Teddy Bear: Janie's Story
Author: Chelsea Radojcic 
Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
Release Date: 11 March 2017

From Goodreads: "After traumatically being torn from her home and forced to live as an outsider in a new place, Jane's softhearted nature begins to grow cold and bitter without the company of her dearest companion by her side. Dainty but dangerous, Jane has always had a special place in her heart for her truest and most beloved friend, Jink, her childhood teddy bear. Imprisoned by a young couple, absorbed in their own bliss and resentful of having a child to care for, Jane is forced to take action to return to the one she loves. She is determined to devise a cunning plan for revenge that will make things right once and for all, that no one will see coming; not even her doting Grandmother, Sandy. When it comes to the one she loves, there is nothing that she isn't willing to sacrifice, and will mercilessly destroy anything that dares stand in her way. A chilling story of love and revenge, challenging the individual level of our own sanity and acceptance within ourselves while raising question to our own inner doubts and fears. How far would you go for those whom you love? What limit would you not be willing to reach?"

Thank you to Chelsea Radojcic for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

Last year, I read a short book called The Lonely Teddy Bear that followed a bear named Jink that set out to reunite with his human, Janie. There was a great twist that happened that took the story to an entirely different level and I really loved it! Janie's Story follows what happens while Janie is planning to get back to Jink and also what happens after they are reunited and I definitely enjoyed getting to read from Janie's perspective! This book reignited my love for Janie and her murderous teddy bear, Jink.

This book is a parallel story to The Lonely Teddy Bear and you get to see what happens to Janie a bit before she receives Jink's letter and what she does after. You also get a bit more backstory on Janie and her past, including the night she left the yellow house and more on what happened leading up to the night that she killed her parents. This is a very dark story that was executed incredibly well. In order to get back to Jink, she had to commit murder, fake her death, and frame an innocent boy and that was definitely more twisted than I thought it would be! Throughout the book, there are nightmares that Janie has of her past that include her mother hitting her and locking her in her room all night and I have to say that I wasn't expecting the element of physical abuse to show up. Her parents were both known to be very distant and even resentful of Janie, going so far as to refer to her as "it" when they were talking about her. It really broke my heart to read about the physical and emotional abuse that Janie endured for so long, and it was no surprise when she finally snapped. It was a little hard to grasp that a girl and her teddy bear are literally getting away with murder, but I enjoyed the story enough to kind of suspend belief and just read the story. I did like the underlying theme of doing whatever it takes for the one(s) you love and I certainly never thought I'd enjoy reading a story about a girl and teddy bear killing people, but I did!

With this book, you get to learn more about the infamous Janie that you only briefly encountered in The Lonely Teddy Bear. She's very cold and calculated and is not sloppy in her actions. Also, she loves Jink more than anything in the world and is willing to quite literally kill for him. Janie is a character that initially shows no remorse in her actions until she begins to have nightmares that slightly hint at the fact that the guilt of killing an innocent is catching up to her. That definitely made her more believable as a character which really helped me stick with her story. She doesn't seem to feel any remorse over killing her parents or the private investigator so it was nice to see that she had some semblance of a conscience instead of just being an emotionless killing machine. Despite me calling her emotionless, she is actually very...well, emotional. She has nightmares and wakes terrified and crying, she is happy and smiling when she's with Jink, and she's very good at portraying the appropriate emotional responses to strangers, such as the private investigator. Janie is just very well-written and I enjoyed getting to read more about her and understanding her backstory. 

This was a very fast-paced story with almost no down time or lulls. There was always something happening and there was never a time where I sat there, bored of descriptions and there being no action. It flows well, is easy to read, and blends seamlessly with the original story! There were some POV changes that occurred randomly that lead to some slight confusion as I read, but other than that, I enjoyed this story and found it impossible to put down once I picked it up. The plot was great, the characters were memorable and easy to follow, and it was just a great companion book that I am so happy to have read!

If you read The Lonely Teddy Bear, I highly recommend picking up Janie's Story! You get to learn more about this girl that Jink loves and see what happens with her during the original story. Having a companion book to read about the girl and her murderous teddy bear that I fell in love with last year was such a treat. If you haven't read The Lonely Teddy Bear yet, I definitely feel that you could pick this up with no problem. You get the story on what Jink does in his story, as well as what Janie does, and it's just an incredibly unforgettable story that is sure to become an instant favorite!

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