“‘Samaritans. Can I help you?’
The voice on the phone is clam, quiet, but it shocks me to the core. Three rings and there she was. She
I didn’t expect to be put straight through.
I can’t speak.
I sit hunched in the darkness on the floor beside my bed, clutching the phone to my ear.
I don’t know what to say.
I’m a mess.”
Indie is in a state. She has lost her job, her friends, her family and her boyfriend’s in an awful lot of trouble. It all started on the day she met Suzie. Sad, sorrowful, murky Suzie Gray needed someone to be there for her and Indie took her in, now she has lost everything and she needs to get it all back, but how?
I knew this was a must read when I read the back of the book, I knew it would make me think and it would be a valuable asset to any teen bookshelf. I wasn’t wrong, though it didn’t overwhelm me as much as I had hoped.
The story is fantastic, I loved how everything was revealed through flashbacks and it was all told through Indie’s voice, informing the Samaritans woman what had gone one. I was hooked and needed to know how the hell Indie went from the bubbly, lovely girl she was on that first day of college to the blubbering mess on the phone to the Samaritans. That is what kept me going, knowing what the outcome of the story was before I started it, and I think its a great way to tell a story sometimes, especially in this case.
The characters let the book down for me I’m afraid and I found myself becoming infuriated with them. I didn’t understand how some of them could get to 18/19 and be as oblivious to the world as what they were. I swear I wasn’t, but that’s an easy thing to say with hindsight. I think if I was reading this as a teenager I would have been more on board with the way the characters were and how much things could get on top of you like they did Indie. I really liked Indie but she was so naive and I felt for her. She did a lot of growing up in the book though and I really liked that.
The story shows just how much people can be taken for a ride by others, how much being the good guy can back fire and how much faith you have to have to help others out. Its not saying you shouldn’t but its saying you should step back and assess the full situation before you do. I really enjoyed the aspect of growing up and the outcome of the overall book and that saved it a lot for me. The story was about opening your eyes to the world, taking it in for what it is, good and bad, and working with what you have got.
I have to comment on how much the story warrants the Samaritans as a service. It was a good choice of charity and I really hope it helps teenagers see how much that kind of service helps people. I have never really had any experience with the service but I know that what they do for people is incredible, even though most the time they are just there to listen. I really would like to see a page at the end of the printed copy informing readers about where they can find out more about the Samaritans and I’m glad that Chris Higgins decided to use a service which actually exists, rather than make a fictional one up.
I did enjoy The Day I Met Suzie a lot and think it is a must read for the younger teen reader, it just wasn’t my favourite read ever. I think its mix of crime and naivety were a bit too much for me in my old age but it would have been perfect ten years ago!
The Day I met Suzie will be published on March 7th by Hodder Children’s Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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