Sadie Windas has always been the responsible one — she’s the star player on her AAU basketball team, she gets good grades, she dates a cute soccer player, and she tries to help out at home. Not like her older sister, Carla, who leaves her three-year-old daughter, Lulu, with Aunt Sadie while she parties and gets high. But when both sisters are caught up in a drug deal — wrong place, wrong time — it falls to Sadie to confess to a crime she didn’t commit to keep Carla out of jail and Lulu out of foster care. Sadie is supposed to get off with a slap on the wrist, but somehow, impossibly, gets sentenced to six months in juvie. As life as Sadie knew it disappears beyond the stark bars of her cell, her anger — at her ex-boyfriend, at Carla, and at herself — fills the empty space left behind. Can Sadie forgive Carla for getting her mixed up in this mess? Can Carla straighten herself out to make a better life for Lulu, and for all of them? Can Sadie survive her time in juvie with her spirit intact?
I was looking for a couple of books to replace watching TV at night. So I wanted something easy to read, somewhat light, and fast paced.
I flipped through Juvie and the writing style flowed right off the page into my imagination. The cover art didn't send me running, so I grabbed it off the shelf and a few nights later read through the book in one sitting.
Wow. This girl goes through life, doing the right things, she's smart, protective of her family...there's no reason she should end up in Juvie. As the story flips between her present day self in Juvie and her flashbacks to how she got there, I realized that leaving life up to chance is scary.
It all starts when she covers for her sister at a party. As things go from not-so-great to worse, Sadie tries to keep her sister out of trouble. But you can't force someone, no matter how much you care about them, to not be an idiot.
Sadie ends up in juvie...it's surreal, scary...the story took me to a place I've never been. Inside juvie, the clock watching, schedule following, head down routine is punctuated by outbursts of violence and confrontation....both by the guards and the other girls. The inmates constantly plot on how to get extra privileges or settle a score. The guards are heavy handed and take away privileges in order to remind the girls who is in charge. The scenes show that you have to be proactive to survive.
In the end, Sadie learns more about herself and how to fight for her place in the world. She learns that having good friends and family who will back her up is important. That's something I know I take for granted...but it's a huge part of getting where you want to be in life.
Since I replaced TV shows for this book, I'll recommend this to fans of Breaking Bad, Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, Modern Family, Freaks and Geeks