Book Review: The Day I Met Suzie

Posted September 24, 2014 by Lyn Kaye in book review, Lyn / 4 Comments

Book Review: The Day I Met SuzieThe Day I Met Suzie by Chris Higgins
Published by Hodder on March 7th 2013
Genres: contemporary, young adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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two-half-stars

'My boyfriend could get into trouble if he gets caught. He could go to jail.' I moan softly. 'So could I.' 'Anything you tell me is completely confidential.' I sigh deeply. What have I got to lose? 'I wouldn't know where to begin.' 'At the beginning?' she says. 'In your own words.' So that's what I do. I start at the beginning like she says. The day I met Suzie. Indigo (Indie) rings the Samaritans. She is frightened and desperate with no one to turn to. Over the course of one long night, Indie tells her story to the person on the end of the phone. She realises that her friend Suzie has taken over her home, her friends, her work, her boyfriend - and her life. After every few chapters we are brought back to the present moment, and see how piecing the story together helps Indie progress towards resolution.

Cover lust, cover lust. You get me every time. “Oh, no, I don’t judge a book by its cover – OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!”

I’m so thankful that it is easier to get your hands on books from the UK via eBay.

It seems that Europe has a slight fetish with Chris Higgins, since the cover noted that she was the “queen of teen”. That should have been a cue to love this one from afar and let it stay overseas.

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Debt. The book, thankfully, featured a topic that was relevant and important to modern trends: teens and debt. No doubt that everyone under the sun realizes that the pressure and expectation of current affairs is pushing people at a younger age to start borrowing loans, sink into car payments, and swallow their future in student debt. At one time, car notes and payment plans were associated with mid-twenties and up. However, a prevailing trend points to a glaring issue regarding young adults and teens already shackled with bills and repayment plans. This is a subject that needs to come under fire, discussed and addressed. Thankfully, Higgins shows how easy it is to slip down that rabbit hole, and get in over your head before you even realize that there is a problem. She even includes the topic of who to borrow from, and touches on the matter of illegal loans, financed car laws,  and repayment agreements.

Warning signs. Indigo, the smart, no-nonsense main character, has some issues living up to her name. The book constantly references her intelligence and her kindness, but I think the book is confusing someone who is nice for someone who is a sucker.  The story is chocked full of warning signs, ones that were not heeded in the least.  I can forgive one or two slips, but when a character brushes off back-to-back red flags, it leads me to believe that Indie is more gullible than tender-hearted. Also, you can’t claim to always be the bleeding heart when, in the same breath, you help someone out, then give a long, winded moral speech. The holier-than-thou attitude wore very thin. I never got the impression that she was sharp yet soft. She ended as a selfish know-it-all that thrived off of attention.

Stellar boyfriend. The boyfriend of the novel, the good-looking but slightly dopey Rick, wasn’t a prize himself. He spends outside of his limits, berates his girlfriend for constantly riding him, then lies and does whatever he pleases without attempting to understand the situation surrounding his decisions. Sorry, no.  Boyish charms and kiddie-grade romantic gestures do not make up for an utter lack of responsibility or concern about consequences.  This person needs more time to grow up before he can engage in adult-like behavior, such as purchasing a car or taking care of his legal issues. Indie constantly went out of her way to take responsibility for Rick (then later shamed him) to save him from his own decisions. Let him fall on his face, girl, and maybe he will learn.

These two were a walking disaster.

Suzie. UGH. Just UGH. The entire passive-aggressive victim act was just overboard and flimsy. I didn’t feel an ounce of remorse for her. Just utter disdain.  It didn’t work for me. It was easy to see right through her.

Horrible subject gets the marshmallow treatment. Horrible, life-changing decisions were made in the novel. Things that were dangerous, and could have potentially led to homicide and dumped bodies. However, the writing tended to sugar-coat the events and everyone lived happily ever after.

No.

When the main character makes some poor choices and never confesses to them, or show any remorse or lesson learned, it just counters the entire plot. Illegal borrowing, driving drunk and theft from family members and employers should not receive the rainbow and sunshine treatment. Indie makes some poor choices out of necessity, but she never pays for a damn thing. She scoots all the blame off onto others and walks away from the wreckage as some sort of hero. GAG.

 

Overall

The ending of the story is what killed it for me. It is one thing to find a solution that works, but it is another to go a la Twilight and blanket every conflict with unicorn farts and brush all that icky stuff under the rug to keep the audience from feeling uncomfortable. Don’t tiptoe around a hard matter. Show the fallout and consequences. The material is highly relevant, but don’t expect the Wheel of Morality to make an appearance.

lyn

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