Author: Karen Saunders
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Date: January 2013
Source: ARC from publisher
14-year-old Suzy Puttock and her three best friends lead an average teenage life, spending most of their time in school, home or hanging out in cafes. Side-splitting mishaps and cringe moments have a nasty habit of following Suzy wherever she goes, but otherwise life's pretty normal - she's been going out with Danny since forever, her nutty older sister Amber's wedding is taking up all her family's attention and her annoying younger sister Harry is intent on making her life a misery. But when gorgeous new boy Zach starts showing Suzy attention, she wonders if the grass may be greener on the other side of the romantic fence. Before Suzy knows it, she has broken up with Danny, there's a huge rift in her friendship group and life is careering off track. Can she sort herself out before things are messed up completely?
Me, Suzy P is a highly entertaining glimpse into the life of the lovable titular character. I absolutely flew through this book. I salute you, Karen Saunders, for making me laugh and giving me a true taste of teenage woe.
The unfortunately named Suzy Puttocks is a normal fourteen year-old girl. She’s been with her boyfriend Danny forever, and along with her best friend Millie and her boyfriend Jamie, they form a close knit little friendship group. She’s got embarrassing parents, a wedding-obsessed older sister and an annoying prankster of a younger sister. All in all though, life seems pretty normal, until the new boy Zach catches her eye and she decides to shake things up a bit.
Suzy decides that her relationship with Danny is lacking its former spark and makes a decision to break it off. To add to this, she has to pretend to be happy to wear a horrendous bridesmaid’s dress at the request of her tacky celebrity-obsessed older sister Amber and gets teased mercilessly by the resident school mean girl Jade, who is Danny’s new girlfriend. New flame Zach is flaky and she feels like she’s losing her other friends (not to mention the chance to see her favourite band in concert) in her break-up with Danny. Don’t let all this teenage drama fool you though, and I can’t stress this enough because the story truly was hilarious. The situations Suzy finds herself in because of her klutziness had me cringing and laughing out loud a lot.
The book remained light-hearted and fun mainly because Suzy is a wonderful narrator and character, and it wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t for her snarky and lovable point of view. Her voice is uniquely teenage, with all the misunderstandings, self-focus and embarrassment that go along with it. She was definitely endearing and I rooted for her and her happiness throughout the story. I also found myself seriously craving hot chocolate every time Suzy had some. They should sell packs of the stuff with the book!
In fact, Saunders gave each character so much personality that I enjoyed them all. Danny was great for Suzy and I unexpectedly loved him. I was so ready to root for Zach, but it was Danny who worked his way back into Suzy’s (and my) heart! It’s refreshing to see the love interest actually developed throughout the book, so kudos to the author. Millie and Jamie make great foils for Danny and Suzy, as a loved-up, functioning school couple and as friends with good advice. The ‘who gets the friends in the break-up’ scenario was really well done and took me back to my petty teenage years!
I was also pleasantly surprised by how the story turned out. I put my hands up and plead guilty to assuming a predictable plot, but it was unexpected and so much better than I originally envisaged. Again, I love the fact that the story pulls you in with its characters and really has you invested in them.
All in all, it was a great read and I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood to laugh and relive your teenage years!