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Josie and Jack

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,632 ratings  ·  227 reviews
In Josie and Jack, Kelly Braffet gives us a deliciously dark, suspenseful debut novel in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith.

Beautiful, brilliant, and inseparable, Josie and Jack Raeburn live a secluded, anarchic existence in their decaying western Pennsylvania home. The only adult in their lives is their rage-prone father, a physicist, whose erratic behavior finally drive
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 4th 2005 by Mariner Books
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3.61  · 
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 ·  1,632 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Diane ϟ [ Lestrange ]
Hooked me from the start.....
Weird.Dark.mind tripping BOOK!!

After I began reading this book, I was addicted. I kept thinking about Josie and Jack and about how the hell this story would end. Josie and Jack are sister and brother, primarily isolated from the rest of the world by their mostly absent professor father. Separated when very young, their mother took Jack and left Josie with her father. However, when Jack was eight years old, their mother died, and Jack went to live with his father and
Feb 19, 2014 added it
Shelves: buddy-read
DNF... 30%

Ohhh well... How can I say this?

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Book... I tried... but...

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It wasn't the story itself, was the way it was being told, and the personality of the characters... one worse than the other... so...

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With a dead mother and a distant, unloving father, siblings Josie and Jack have only each other. They may be brilliant, beautiful, and share a fierce love, but the sanctuary of their isolation is too often penetrated by the outside world, and the siblings begin to show signs of strain. This sort of desert island paradise people by tortured and unusually intimate relationships is a favorite (and none too guilty) pleasure of mine, and Josie and Jack appeals precisely to those tastesand knows it, g ...more
Heather V  ~The Other Heather~
Well. That was a wholly weird reading experience. I devoured the entire book in under 24 hours and feel as though I've actually been to the places where Josie and Jack lived. But...I'm unsatisfied, in the end.

The story of the twisted lives led by the titular Raeburn siblings is told in first person by teenaged Josie, which affords us a fascinating look at her charming sociopath of an older brother. We can see why she adores him and how he brings so many others to their knees. And we are alerted
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: youth, family, 2008
Read this in one sitting at B&N while I should have been doing my Christmas shopping, it's that quick of a read. It's also that gripping a story, too, if you consider the holiday crowds and chaos that surrounded me as I read. The subject matter is handled well, and the story itself is engrossing. However, the ending was too sudden, and seemed somewhat out of character. Too convenient, like the author went for the easy, acceptable ending that would tie up loose ends and pass some judgment on ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
I can't believe the great reviews of this book!
I have a few gripes but my biggest one is the main character Josie. I know that not all females are going to be written as strong characters or even likeable characters but Josie was a complete non entity. She just floated through life like a piece of c&ap and just...did....nothing. Never made a decision, never had an opinion. Never did anything that wasn't suggested by others even if it was something she really didn't want to do. And not becau
Harley Quinn

I don't know what to think about this book. It's still freshly imprinted in my mind.
I have mixed feelings. I just keep telling myself that things could work out better for them, at least for Josie. I mean they had so much potential after they have gone to New York, for example Jack could find himself a job. But why did Josie always followed and listened to him?
Ok I get it, tough childhood, they had only one each other, but stil... she knew when he started to change. I mean even the
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Delightfully creepy and psychologically disturbing á la Anne Cassidy's Looking for JJ. I'm still chewing over the macabre plot twists and the deliciously sinister undertones. Josie and Jack has a parasitic way of drawing the reader in, almost like a leech for the mind. Highly recommended.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best I've ever read, and a favorite. It's a lyrical story about an incestuous relationship much like Francesca Lia Block's 'Wasteland' and McEwan's 'The Cement Garden', but is more raw and honest than 'Wasteland' and has better character development and imagery than 'The Cement Garden'. Other than the title, which I feel is weak, Josie and Jack is a read I guarantee you've never read the likes of before.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
The beginning had me captivated...two lonely homeschooled kids who live atop a hill...The ending however didn't quite ring true.
L A i N E Y
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Dnf @ 72%

I really didn't get this book. At all.
Way way too preachy and not quite as dark as I expected. It started off intense then fizzled out half way through.
Eddie Generous
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unnerving Magazine Review
I’ve now finished the Kelly Braffet trilogy (not trilogy as in a series, but in that she’s so far published three books). I’d tackled them in reverse order of release, and before I got to Josie and Jack, I knew a few things. Firstly, she has a fantastic way with words, enveloping and smooth. Secondly, that her screwy characters and her grasp on poverty feel authentic and are undeniably fun in a grim, razor’s edge kind of way. Lastly, that when it’s time for the thrills t
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm an anxiety prone person who gets way too attached to fictional characters in fictional stories so reading this book caused me as much pain as it did enjoyment. Ugh, but now that the depression has passed I am here to say that it is indeed a very good read. :)
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great literary thriller. Josie and Jack are two characters I'll never forget.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dustin Crazy little brown owl by: Danell
This is the first novel by Kelly Braffet. I am excited to read more works by this author. Braffett rides a fine line with the intriguing, often erotic, brother/sister relationship in the story of Josie and Jack. The novel builds up through several phases of self-discovery, connecting the reader to the characters with a disturbing curiosity. (view spoiler)

Favorite Passages:

.... my stomach rebelled anew at the sight of the separate
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite book. Normally when I find a book, no matter how much I adore it I can only read it through one time. This book, since I read it almost 6 years ago, I have read over 10 times and have given away several copies. I doubt I'll ever be able to find a book that has touched me quite as dearly as this one. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that have a dark side to them.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of disturbing stories
Recommended to Beatrix by: Glass
This book was perfect!!
Dark, edgy and slightly repulsive - just the way I like 'em!
Vicki G
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This reminded me of what we left behind in NYC, tho it wasn't OUR will to leave it there.
When I lived in NYC, I lived in the Central Bronx w/ my friend and her husband and barely eked out a living.
I moved away after what happened to my daughter's dad, my former husband. He was at work one day, and a plane crashed into the building he was working in and he never came back home. Not even his remains did, but that's another story altogether.
After that, NYC conjured up nothing but sadness and pain.
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pre-2011-release
This is one of those stories that are so disturbing, dark and shocking that you just can’t stop reading. You know, like a car crash. You might see some very unpleasant images, but you just keep staring, even though you’re not keen on the idea of seeing a dead body.

Josie and Jack are so wrong for each other, but at the same time so, so right. Reading about them felt like I was some sort of bipolar. Every time his sociopathic tendencies emerged I wanted Josie to run away from him, but a second la
Aly (In Wonderland)
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this years ago and fell in love with the characters, writing and story. It's a beautiful, beautiful book that I would recommend to anyone who happens to bump into me whilst I'm reading it.

I remember it was called something different then, though I may be mistaken.

Will read again and write a better review.
Meg Frank
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-reading-list
Bewitching, but not enough incest for the buck.
Atty Dollanganger
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a book with depth and amazing realistic characters
Shelves: favorites

This book was ....interesting . Ok let's be serious it was amazing!!
To be clear i loved this book....what i didnt like is josie...the stupid annoying bitch that honestly i wouldnt even pity because shes so low and pathetic. *cracks knuckles* yes this will be a rant but maybe some humor.
Jack is a very complex and realistic character i loved everything about him... he made some errors but thats life... he picked himself up and if josie was even half a human being she could have helped him out to
Apr 29, 2019 added it
I wholeheartedly regret reading it!
Such a waste of time :(
Mary VanWinkle
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers... I loved this book. I read i.e. devoured this book in under 24 hours. I don't know what it was but this book is addictive!

It's narrated by 16 year Josie who's whole weird world is her 18 year old brother Jack and its no wonder why. Their largely absent father is a drunk, petty college professor who believes human kind should be annihilated because everyone is basically stupid and wasteful. Their mother was once his student that got wise and left him taking only Jack with her for 9 ye
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like a few other readers here, I found that the story of Josie and Jack demanded to be concluded immediately - I read it into the still hours of the night and finished it over badly-needed coffee at breakfast. My reaction?-- WTF?!?!?

In the past few months, I read three books on, shall we say, exceptionally close siblings, and each time was confronted by a jarring ending. What gives? Each time I find myself bewildered and frustrated- wtf were they thinking to even contemplate, much less carry ou
What a beautifully messed up book. Just delightful.

In Josie and Jack, Braffet explores the erotic, sensual, violent and inescapable bond between brother and sister Josie and Jack Raeburn, who live with their intelligent and unpredictable father. Often away with work, their father is abusive and cruel - and his combination of apathy and brutality has shaped their young lives.

As Josie grows up, Jack draws her into his world. Without any guidance, Jack has become morally corrupt - but compelling wi
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
In a way this book enrages me to no end, because the author writes EXACTLY like I do, and the themes and characters of this novel are EXACTLY like something I would write, to the point that I recognize pieces of dialogue and description as being almost word for word something I wrote two years ago. NOT FAIR NOT FAIR! I WANT TO BE A WRITER (pout)

Anyway it's quite good, dark and naughty and exactly what I was in the mood for. I finished this book in less than a week, and if given the time, could h
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I'm the author of the novel Save Yourself, to be published in August 2013 by Crown Publishing, which is a heartwarming story about a boy man and his dog teenaged stalker. It's also about a bunch of people wondering what to do about their parents, and what to do about their children, and what to do about money, and what to do about God. There's also a few bits about Led Zeppelin, and a few bits abo ...more
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