Thursday, 14 March 2013

CHECKERS by John Marsden

Publication date: 1996
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of Pages:128
Date read: February 16th 2007
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Bought 

(Description source: Goodreads)

She lives in the best suburb. She goes to the finest school. Her family is wealthy and powerful. She has everything money can buy.

So why are there reporters outside her house?
And why is her father telling lies on television?
And why is the Premier talking about them in State Parliament?

Something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong.
 Riveting and compulsively readable, John Marsden's Checkers plunges us deep in the mind and world of a teenage girl whose life has spun completely out of control.

Checkers  is the emotional, heart-wrenching story of a teenage girl who, in the space of a few hours, gets her life thrown upside down and learns that no one in life can really be trusted. 

Written in the form of diary flashbacks, Checkers introduces us to a girl who voluntarily checked in to a nearby psychiatric ward but refuses to talk about what helped her to make her mind to be there. 

In flashbacks we get to experience her life before the Psychiatric ward, featuring her dysfunctional and uncommunicative family of four as life for them spirals out of their control. Checkers, the dog that her father buys for her is a beacon of light for the unnamed girl when her father comes under attack from the media due to being under suspicion for fraudulent activities within his co-owned business. 

 When a connection ties Checkers to the fraud case, the situation worsens and everything takes a turn for the worse. A turn that makes everything change forever.

Checkers was a gripping book that had me emotionally entranced from the opening chapter.  Like many of Marsden's other novels, Checkers takes on a different writing style, which does take some getting used to , but personally I found it to be quite interesting and effective for this storyline. 

It helps to express how the main character feels and what she is thinking, which gives more dimension to the plot line and encourages more empathy towards her. 
The ending to Checkers is gripping and really gives the story an individual spin, showing that Marsden is not afraid to take things all the way and he really goes off on a limb ending things the way that he does. 

This is an enjoyable, emotional novel that is worth reading and doesn't take much time at all. 
"It’s a miracle anyone survives to be a teenager. It’s a miracle any teenager survives to be an adult."

I rate Checkers Four out of Five!

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