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'Checkers' is a YA mystery by John Marsden about a nameless teenage girl who is currently a voluntary patient in a mental hospital. The stroy is told in flash blacks which look at the events which lead up to her unstableness. 

As much as I have enjoyed many of his other books, I couldn't really get into this one even though it is a quick read. The basic plot was a bit bleak for my liking, and although the writing was very simple some of the subjects -such as the father's involvment in the shares market- was a bit hard to understand which was frustrating since it was very important to the general storyline.

However the protagonist is very likeable and easy to relate to. The other characters are also quite interesting, since each character has some sort of mental issue i.e. there's Daniel who is obsessive-compulsive (OCD), Cindy who self-injurers, Esther who thinks that there is an animal inside her head, Ben who has Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oliver who is an anorexic, and Emine who has a mental breakdown because of her over-strict parents. 

The ending was very shocking, but overall I didn't particularly enjoy this story -It was just a little bit too depressing for my taste. However, If your after a good quick read by Marsden then I would recommend trying some of his other YA books such as 'So Much To Tell You' and 'Letters From the Inside,' or if you are after something a bit longer then I would definately recommend 'The Tomorrow' series which has a little something for everyone.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
There seem to be more and more rather bleak YA novels and though many are well written, I don't enjoy them and I wouldn't want to read them again. It sounds like this is in that category.

You might be interested in taking a look at ch1 of at my new YA fantasynovel, 'Lethal Inheritance’. It's not bleak, though there's some creepy stuff in it. You’ll find it at

Jun. 29th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
I prefer the scenes in the hospital to the flashbacks, but the ending had me gutted.
Jun. 29th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
I love this book, but I agree the ending is very sad and a bit of an-out-of-nowhere-shock-twist. However I still like rereading it cos it's one of my favourite John Marsden books. And I actually find the ending of Letters from the Inside more shocking and horrifying.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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