What Janie Found is the fourth book in the Janie Johnson series. No spoilers for it below, but no promises that there won't be spoilers for the first three books.
Janie is still "recovering" from Reeve's betrayal in The Voice on the Radio when Frank Johnson suffers a bad stroke. Suddenly she finds herself spending the summer going through her father's office, trying to piece together her parents' finances, and helping Miranda make decisions concerning their future. Fortunately, she has begun to make up with Reeve, and he's now a friend again, and her NJ brother Brian has come to spend the summer with her. So she's not alone as she works. However, nothing could prepare Janie for what she finds in her father's "Paid Bills" drawer....
Poor Janie! Things just never go right for her. She finally has both of her families (sort of) sorted out, and then one father ends up in ICU. She's starting to make up with Reeve, and planning her own college future, and then she has to interrupt her summer plans to help take care of her parents. She's playing the dutiful daughter, helping out her parents, then she finds something in her father's study that could destroy both families all over again.
This book didn't advance Janie or Reeve very much, but it did introduce the reader more closely to Stephen Spring, who is attending college in Colorado. I'm still not sure how I feel about Stephen. He's a tough cookie to crack. I think Cooney did a good job giving the reader plenty of material, but Stephen does not fit neatly into a box; no stereotype characters here! He's complex, and I liked some parts of him and disliked others.
A small flaw with the book was the implausibility of one road trip. I promised no spoilers, so I won't say who goes where, but I found it hard to believe that parents would just let teens go off very spontaneously on a trip without any supervision. Especially when those families have been through everything that the Johnsons and Springs have been through.
Overall, another exciting thriller from Caroline B. Cooney. I don't think this is my favorite of the series, but it does serve to advance the series and give character development; it's not a stagnant bridge book on the way to the finale. Like the other books, this one won't be up for a Printz, but it's entertaining and gripping.
I listened to the audiobook of What Janie Found, and I give it a thumbs up, just like I did for The Voice on the Radio. Same narrator, same clear voice and steady cadence.
*I checked out my copy of What Janie Found from my local library.