Juvie – Steve Watkins

“My three-year-old niece, Lulu, sits alone at the kitchen table, eating a frozen waffle. It is early, barely sunrise, the day I have to turn myself in to juvie.  

‘Hi, Lulu,’ I say as I stubble in. I haven’t really slept. 

‘Hi, Aunt Sadie’, she says back.

 I pour myself  a cup of coffee that smells hours old and sit next to where Lulu pear he’s sideways on her booster seat.”

Said will do anything for her niece Lulu. She’s even prepared to take the wrap for her sisters stupidity and got to juvie for her. Sadie was always the responsible one, despite being younger. But now she’s taking the blame for a crime she didn’t commit to save her niece from losing her mum. It as meant to be a community service order, then the judge changed his mind. While Sadie is whine bars can she find it in herself to face up to the consequences and forgive her sister, or will it serve as time to sit and stew. 

***

Juvie is one of those books that really surprised me. I went into it expecting to enjoy it and it was ok to start off with. But then as the story progressed I got more and more into it and by the end couldn’t put it down!

The story is brilliant and is told going back and forth between the present time, when Sadie is starting and is in juvie, and the past events including the thing that puts her in there and the fall out from it. By the end of it the past sections are just coming round to the point where the present ones take off and I loved that style of writing for this book as it worked so well for getting to know Sadie more as a character.

The whole book comes with a message which I think is really important. It’s subtle and isn’t really enforced in anyway but it kinda serves to remind you that all actions come with consequences and sometimes, though it’s hard, we have to take responsibility for those actions. Sadie was in the wrong place at the wrong time but her story shouldn’t focus on that too much and it doesn’t, or at least it didn’t for me.

I really enjoyed juvie and think a lot of people will. It’s gritty in the right places, and the flashbacks allows for breaks in the really crappy juvie environment. I thought it was interesting to read because I’ve not read a book in that setting before but with comparisons to Orange is the New Black I’m not sure someone who’s a fan of that show would necessarily be blown away by this book! I definitely would recommend it to young adults who like the grittier story though.

Juvie was published by Walker book on January 1st 2015. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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