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Review of THE DAY I MET SUZIE by CHRIS HIGGINS

BLURB
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.

REVIEW

Genre: YA, tense, 
Rating: 4 wings

Certainly during school or college it is easy to remember a time when I wanted to be the girl that fitted in – whether it was with the popular crowd or the sporty girls or the brainy crowd. But I never did! I was always just me but to be honest I was never prepared to change myself to fit in.
‘The Day I Met Suzie’ is a fresh and electrifying story about Indigo, who starts back at college and meets Suzie Grey, a girl who is homeless, penniless and friendless. Indigo thinks Suzie is one of those girls who wants to belong to their popular group – even making excuses for her when Suzie begins assimilating herself into Indigo’s life, whilst other’s are suspicious. 
The characters of Suzie and Indigo are intense and believable. Although the two characters are polar opposites, as Suzie begins to transform herself into Scarlett, Indigo becomes more of a shrinking violet and has all the characteristics of the ‘old’ Suzie.
The way in which Chris Higgins choose to begin and build this story is polished and is an ideal way to add the tension. The first chapter is the start of a phone call to the Samaritans – the reader knows that the person making the call is in trouble and ashamed. The story is then punctuated with first-person narrative and the remaining phone call, as we discover the twisted journey Indigo has taken with her friend. These changes in narrative do not have any detrimental effect on the reader, they only act to increase our empathy towards Indigo as her confusion and pain give way to anger and clarity.
I was very privileged to receive this ARC and would definitely recommend ‘The Day I Met Suzie’ – whether you are a new Chris Higgins reader like me, or old. I hope you enjoy meeting Suzie as much as I did!
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