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Juvie Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Watkins offers a frank view of life in a juvenile detention center... Little by little, a multi-dimensional portrait of Sadie emerges, exposing her vulnerabilities and struggles with the mistakes she’s made... [A]bsorbing and wrenching.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
The scenes alternate between the incidents in the juvenile detention facility and the events in Sadie's life up to and immediately following her arrest. As I've mentioned before, I used to work in an alternative high school. I'm not saying that I know what goes on in juvie, but I know what went on at my school, and this book seems pretty spot-on to me. There are "accidental" injuries, chairs being thrown, escapes attempted...and if a fight erupts, all of a sudden half the room is fighting and getting out weeks of pent-up slights and frustrations.
The plot moves at a good pace, and the transitions back to Sadie's pre-juvie days give the reader time to breathe before delving back into the suffocating atmosphere of the detention center.Read more ›
The phrase "only guilty man in Shawshank" comes to mind.
This is no shallow "bad teen learns the error of her ways," tome, though. It is a relative of those books, but is a much superior story.
Watkins certainly understands and respects teens, even the ones with horrible challenges. He tells the story in the first person, alternating between before and during the main character's detention, showing the sad beginning that created the bad choices, yet giving us hope that (truly) Sadie might have learned the changing lessons she needs.
[spoiler alert] Watkins slowly and carefully makes the case that Sadie's taking the fall for her sister is not a selfless act of love, but in its way as dishonest as anything that put the others in juvie. Good quote: "Maybe not being guilty wasn't the same as being innocent." Ouch.
It’s definitely a good read, but it doesn’t have much plot. It’s a tortoise in a peanut butter jar, my friends. It bounces between past (the lead up to jail) and present (in jail). But we got all the facts up front. There were no “BUT WAIT. SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED AND IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.” No. From chapter one everything was laid on the table and the book just unravelled. I felt bored.
The jist of the story is Sadie takes the fall for a crime she doesn’t commit to keep her (awful) sister out of jail. The sister, Carla, has a 3-year-old daughter and they don’t want to break up the family. (Although, to be honest, Sadie looked after the baby more than Carla.)
It definitely describes life in Juvie! So if you were thinking of going (ha ha, I kid, I kid) just, um, just don’t. THE FOOD IS BAD. Although life in the detention centre was pretty mellow, actually. Sadie stayed in the background, didn’t choose sides, kept out of fights. She’s basically perfect, with her only “fault” being a mothering instinct. The prison guards are awful and the food sucks and the girls are nasty. Unfun.
BUT WAIT! DON’T LEAVE YET! While I found the book a little mellow, it was still definitely interesting. Sadie is a sweet protagonist with a tough side (such a refreshing personality to read!) and she is adorable with her niece as well as rides a motorcycle and is all round tough. Also: SHE WENT TO PRISON FOR HER SISTER. Wow. That’s sisterly dedication and it’s admirable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is extremely well-written, with engaging and realistic characters and a plausible plot. The story progresses rapidly and captures your interest. Read morePublished 23 months ago by L. riggs
Juvie is a realistic story of one young ladies journey in juvenile detention. The story alternates chapters between the crime she was involved with and her story in detention. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer