There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she'd even arrived at our school. TRead Review
Australian author John Marsden's gripping suspense stories--with his signature shocking climaxes--have made him the John Grisham of the young adult set around the globe. Checkers, following this tradition, is the riveting story of a teenage girl who loses not only her family but her sanity when her father is suspected of participating in a financial scam--one that the media has traced to the highest levels of the Australian government. Telling the story in first-person flashbacks as the girl recuperates in a mental institution, Marsden symbolizes his protagonist's powerlessness by never revealing her name. The result is an eerie sense that she could be any teenager trying to understand her parent's cryptic behavior and motives. The only completely honest relationship the girl has is with her beloved dog Checkers, a gift from her father upon closing his most important deal. Checkers "wasn't the kind of dog you hug really tight, like a Labrador.... He had too much independence, too much pride," but he becomes the only source of comfort for the girl once the story breaks about her father's shady business practices. She never dreamed that the connection the reporters are searching for could be running around in her own backyard. Fraught with tension and political intrigue, Checkers is an intelligent page-turner for teens.
Recently, I started reading John Marsden’s novels because they were recommended by my penpal. What a recommendation! The first novel, I read was Checkers and it certainly was one that I couldn’t put down easily.
I found Checkers different from what I usually read; it was an intense, shattering and dramatic read. So, if you’re looking for a happy plot where the characters live happily ever after, I wouldn’t recommend Checkers. Even though Checkers had a sad ending, I still liked it because John Marsden left gaps for the reader to fill in.
Checkers is about an anonymous teenage girl who narrates the events that lead to her stay in hospital. She loses her family as well as her sanity when her father is suspected of participating in a national financial scam. The headlines become bigger and her father is pressured to come clean. Meanwhile, the girl is still trying to understand her parent’s cryptic behaviour. She spends time with her dog Checkers. But, all of a sudden her world falls apart and the result is devastating.
John Marsden has written Checkers in first person flashbacks and symbolizes how powerless the main character is by not revealing her name. The novel definitely covers issues in today’s society. 5 stars!