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Janie Face to Face (Janie Johnson #5)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  1,354 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews

Janie Johnson has received unwanted attention ever since she recognized her three-year-old self in a picture on the back of a milk carton and learned that she was the victim of a kidnapping. Now she's headed for college in New York City, where she can move forward with her life.

But not everyone wants to leave the past behind.

Hardcover, First Edition, 345 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Stolen by Lucy ChristopherThe Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. CooneyLiving Dead Girl by Elizabeth ScottGirl, Stolen by April HenryEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
YA Kidnapping
29th out of 96 books — 36 voters
After Forever Ends by Melodie RamoneHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Ginger Leads, Redhead Reads
102nd out of 146 books — 54 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 08, 2013 Sara rated it did not like it
How has what was once a pretty original idea for a novel somehow been milked (oh god forgive the pun) into a five book series!?

In stilted, formal prose that seems intended for a twelve year old audience from 1985 despite references to texting and things like Facebook Cooney once again attempts to get still more action out of the troubled, complex life of Janie/Jennie and the wackadoos who make up her circle of family and friends.

Will Janie/Jennie get back together with creepy Reeve? Will her ho
Susan (Wastepaper Prose)
Where do I begin? Janie Johnson's stories, The Face on the Milk Carton series, are among the few books I've kept since middle and high school. My well-loved, original copies, reread enough times that I stopped counting, remain on my shelf to this day. I was utterly captivated by the tale Caroline B. Cooney spun about a teenage girl shocked out of her comfortable life by the realization that the life she's always known wasn't the own she was always supposed to have. But after four books, question ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Kaya rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. Yingling
Janie's been through a lot in the last few years. When she became The Face on the Milk Carton (1990) it was bad enough, but once she dealt with the fact that her parents were not really her parents, she had to figure out Whatever Happened to Janie (1993) and reconnect with her birth family, the Springs. When her boyfriend, Reeve, decides to be The Voice on the Radio (1996) and propel himself into on air popularity by telling Janie's story, Janie's path was clear-- dump him. But when What Janie F ...more
May 17, 2013 Avril rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-three years after the publication of the first in the series, The Face on the Milk Carton, Caroline B. Cooney completes the 'Janie' saga. I read the first when I actually fit into the 'Young Adult' demographic, and was so caught up by the plot that I have read each new book as it came out, no matter how long it had been since the last one. I was excited to find 'Janie Face to Face' in a bookshop on Thursday and devoured it in a couple of hours.

There are problems with a story that covers f
Apr 26, 2013 Bryn rated it it was ok
There are just some books you read as a kid and maybe...they just shouldn't grow with you.

I was a huge Cooney fan in my middle school and even into high school years, so I picked this up for the nostalgia and to see what had happened.

And I realized, no offense to my taste in books as a 12 year old, this really is terrible writing (call me a book snob, I'll live).

It's not a terrible story. It's just told in this removed third person flattened tone with horrible word choice that hearkens back to a
Mar 23, 2014 Dana rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it was a very good book. I enjoyed the story line and the suspense. On the other hand it drove me crazy that the timeline did not match up with the original. In 1990 we did NOT have cell phones. And I didn't know anyone with one until about 1998 when they borrowed their parents. They most certainly did not text or use the internet for social purposes. If the original story took place in 1990 and this book is 5 years later, there should have ...more
Anne Osterlund
Dec 03, 2013 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
Janie heads off to college intent on leaving behind her old family(ies) and her old boyfriend, Reeve, in order to become someone else. Not Jenny Spring, the name she was born with and forgot after being kidnapped. Not Janie Johnson, the name she was given by her kidnapper. Instead, Janie will become Jane.

And she will begin a new life. Perhaps with Michael, who knows nothing about her and about whom she knows nothing.

Until the day when she learns that Michael is “researching” her as a subject for
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
In the final installment of the Face on the Milk Carton series, Janie is twenty, a sophomore in college, and trying to put the kidnapping behind her. She's made amends with her New Jersey family, while her "kidnap" family has wasted away - her kidnap father Frank has had a stroke and can barely communicate, and her kidnap mother Miranda has moved into a nursing home with him.

Janie feels that she's trying to decide between her two families forever. Meanwhile, there's a true crime writer who is tr
Sarah Mae
Jan 23, 2013 Sarah Mae rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, yar, ebooks
The Face on the Milk Carton was a favorite of mine as a young teen but this ending is just too happily ever after. The writing is repetitive and the characters are flat. The addition of current technology and social networking is shoehorned in. Janie/Jennie is still conflicted about which parents she should spend more time with. The only interesting part is seeing into the mind of her kidnapper, Hannah, as she plots her revenge on the girl she believes stole her parents and had the easy life sh ...more
Shantele Laviolette
Mar 16, 2015 Shantele Laviolette rated it it was amazing
Janie Face to Face is a wonderful book created to close the Janie series. She goes through many trials beginning with the realization of her kidnapping and going into her struggle to find herself. In this particular book, it begins with Janie in college and struggling to keep two families as her own; the one she was born into and the one she was left growing up with. She's still unsure of what to do, but soon enough she finds someone she thinks she could love-at least until she finds out t
Oct 08, 2012 Gabrielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, e-books, netgalley
I am so glad that there is a satisfying conclusion to this series. I was really unhappy with how the last book ended. I will post a fuller review closer to the actual publication date because this was a long time out.

Also the problem with reading a book three months before the publication date is that you have no-one to discuss it with.
Jun 08, 2016 Marianne rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-books
i really enjoyed this series but there were so many inconsistencies between all 5 books. In one book, Lizzie tells Reeve that Hannah is dead, but by this last book, it isn't mentioned again and Hannah is definitely not dead. In book one, written 23 years before this one, janie is listening to cassettes in the car, and by the last book, which really only takes place 5 years later, janie has an iphone, ipad, ereader, and facebook page. I think Cooney could have done without all the technology refe ...more
When I saw this book in the book store, I remembered reading "the face on the milk carton" as well as seeing the tv movie so many years ago. I not sure anymore which ones I have read in between but it was great to read the final book in the life of Janie Johnson/Jennie spring.
I felt this book was written in a more mature narration. There were some cheesy parts but for the most part I enjoyed the writing. It didn't have the same feel as a teen book, but something more resembling an adult book.
Waffling between high 2.5 and low 2.5. Waffle, waffle, waffle.

When I was in fifth or sixth grade, The Face on the Milk Carton was the book to read at school. (I went to a Catholic school and it actually ended up getting banned because SEXY TALK!! I remember feeling very edgy when I brought in my own copy to read during class. Sinead O’Rebellion!) I read it, Whatever Happened to Janie?, and The Voice on the Radio (probably the best one, in my opinion) over and over and over. Then, t
SJH (A Dream of Books)
'Janie Face to Face' is the fifth book that Caroline B. Cooney has written about the girl who discovered her face on a milk carton, leading to revelations about who she is and who her real family are. I remember reading this series and being both gripped and horrified by Janie's story. I couldn't even begin to imagine how you would feel to find out that you had been kidnapped when you were a child and the people you have called Mum and Dad all your life, aren't your real parents after all.

I did
Feb 26, 2013 Clementine rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ya, 2013
In this conclusion to Janie Johnson’s harrowing story about being kidnapped as a child and raised in another family, readers finally get answers to all the questions they have about Janie’s life, Janie’s families, and what happened to Hannah, the woman who kidnapped her.

Except this is a hot mess of a novel and pretty much undoes any of the good that the beginning of the series ever did. Unless you’re a die-hard fan of Cooney’s early 90s series, there’s no reason to pick this one up. Ever. At all
Aug 20, 2015 Courtney rated it it was ok
This book is the fifth in "The Face on the Milk Carton" series, so this is a total throwback to my childhood. I read this out of interest in Janie's story. I thought this book was being marketed to adults, but I found it to be more juvenile/YA in its premise. As other reviews notes, not much happens in the book, aside from some very quick closure at the end. I found most of the characters grating and immature.
Mar 05, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
I've loved the Janie books for over 20 years and am delighted to read a final one to end the series in an amazing way.

This book is rich with suspense, mystery, heart, emotion and the ending was very satisfying. I won't spoil the story, so will just say I found it refreshing that marriage is included as a subplot for two young people in love--rather than moving in together, focusing solely on career, or dating casually with no commitment. I personally like commitment. And I love happy endings. Th
Ashley Aaroones)
Nov 22, 2015 Ashley Aaroones) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I honestly don't understand why everyone thought this book was so terrible. Sure, the technology was way off for the time frame this book should be set in and the ending was abrupt, but it gave a great background for just about every character. I mean, can't readers just be happy to see Janie having such a great relationship with her birth parents? That's all I could have every wanted.
Barbara Klipper
Jan 09, 2013 Barbara Klipper rated it liked it
I just finished this book and I hovered between a 3 and a 4. It was enjoyable reading and it brought the saga to a more or less satisfying conclusion but ... Somehow it was too pat, and while Ms. Cooney gave herself lots of opportunities to provide some real suspense or deeper understanding of the characters, she didn't take them. There were lots of changes of heart without good reason, and the kidnapper Hannah was too one dimensional to be realistic.
I read the earlier books years ago, so I mig
Feb 18, 2016 Elena rated it it was ok
Finally. Done with this series, never to revisit again. That was so rough. And kind of awful.

I enjoyed/cringed every time she used technology like, "look guys! I'm cool! I'm hip! I can write from modern times!"
Nov 05, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Oh man. I 100% understand if people think this is a sh*t book, but man, oh man, I kind of loved it. **SPOILERS AHEAD!**

Janie. Still kind of shitty, but growing! Maturing! Getting even closer to the Springs, but still working hard to be with the Johnsons, and realizing she can love them both. Awww.

Reeve. Has managed to get a very good job in Charlotte. I rejoiced that he and Janie end up in Charlotte, NC, like I'm going to one day run into them? Though they're both young, I completely gushed over
Jan 25, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
I loved the first book in this series so much that, not only have I read it several times over, I actually found a copy in a totally random place a couple of years ago right when I wanted to read it again. I finally re-read it, after finding that it had a sequel - only to discover that there were even MORE books to follow. I have now gotten, and read, all five, passed the first two on to my daughter, and intend to give her the other three.

I find it extremely amazing that an author has managed to
Paige O'brien
Jan 20, 2015 Paige O'brien rated it it was amazing
Janie Face to face is a nice finish to a decade long series that includes the point of view from Hannah Javensen, Janie's kidnapper. The book starts with the point of view from Hannah. We readers finally understand why Hannah kidnapped Janie. It was out of anger and wanting revenge. This question has haunted readers since we first found out Janie had been kidnapped by Hannah. In a quote a deranged Hannah talks about kidnapping the girl stating, "Hannah had possession. It was a hot surging feel. ...more
Joanna Cabot
I have mixed feelings about this book. Like many reviewers, I read the original series as a kid and was delighted to see this fairly recently released conclusion. I did not find the technology issue as upsetting as many others did, although it would have been fine for me to keep this one in the 90s too. And I did feel like some of the characters did get to have some growth and evolution.

But other characters did not have growth and evolution. In fact, they backslid. And the conclusion---the most
Feb 12, 2014 Angie rated it it was ok
I loved, loved, loved "The Face on the Milk Carton" when I was younger. When my niece asked me to recommend a book, I chose that one. She loved it too, and told me there was a sequel! I was so excited. And then one day on the kindle account we share, this book showed up. I quickly downloaded it and began to read. The whole time I felt like I was missing something. Why start a sequel years after the original story ended? And the book felt like I should know these people. I thought maybe it was be ...more
I didn't read the e-Book that comes in before this one because the copies I read are library books and I didn't want to pay for an e-Book that I'll only read once and I'm not really into the series.

This book seemed to have a huge time jump. That might be because I didn't read the novella or whatever it is. I remember her thinking about colleges in the last one but I thought she still had one year left of high school. But at the start of this book she's not only moved to New York City, started c
Stephanie Jo
May 23, 2016 Stephanie Jo rated it really liked it
A great ending to a thrilling series. I couldn't put it down. A character-driven novel written from the third person omniscient point of view. The inclusion of Hannah as one of those points of view made it an unforgettable finale.

I feel the wedding was cheesy and the tech was contrived but brushing that aside the novel was very interesting and had a great plot.

The part that stuck out to me the most was her family loyalty. In the past books, Janie was loyal to the Johnsons--and your heart broke
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The ending (Spoiler Alert) 1 8 Aug 31, 2015 11:40AM  
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem
More about Caroline B. Cooney...

Other Books in the Series

Janie Johnson (6 books)
  • The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1)
  • Whatever Happened to Janie? (Janie Johnson, #2)
  • The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson, #3)
  • What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, #4)
  • What Janie Saw (Janie Johnson, #4.5)

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“Michael sat down next to her. She was too startled to be polite. “Michael! What are you doing here? Where did you come from?” 0 likes
“Michael took pictures of everybody. “We’ll want to remember this,” he told Janie.” 0 likes
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