Karo Oforofuo’s Susan’s Diary is a series of four books, each written independently. The stories are action-filled and read more like short action movies where mysteries are solved so fast. Susan Osande, the main character of the series is a survivor, a go-getter and a risk taker. She says, “I used to live a very reckless life, I loved rough vacations, parties, guys, money, funny stuff, trouble making and most of all a nice time under the sheets with a hunk”. Orphaned at a young age, she takes to the streets at the age of 16 when she can’t stand being mistreated by her guardian anymore.
The author doesn’t divulge much about Susan’s growing up, how she survived on the streets or what she did; rather Susan is introduced to the reader as a fully grown young successful business woman but one who is naughty and street-smart.
In the first book of the series, Susan’s Diary: Friday’s Experience, Susan shares her adventures with Eric, a rich and handsome man. But as Susan gets to know on the night she steals his money, Eric is also deadly. He threatens her and Susan decides to fight back when she finds out he’d been sleeping with her best friend. It turns out to be a battle between Eric and Susan but who will win this one?
After her near-death experience with Eric, Susan decides to change from her old ways and become more responsible and help people. Susan’s Diary 2: The Kidnap Case follows Susan five months later when she’s contacted by Jude for help in rescuing two of his staff who have been kidnapped. She enlists Frank’s (her street pal) help but later they realize it could be a setup once they stumble upon the body of one the kidnapped people. They are almost killed as they run away from the police but are saved by the timely intervention of Stanley, Eric’s former bodyguard. The three set out to solve the case and they reveal the fraud that was behind the so-called kidnap case.
In Susan’s Diary 3: Uderground Secrets, it looks like the more Susan seeks to avoid trouble, the more trouble finds her. Susan leaves for Abuja with her boyfriend for a vacation but then her friend gets kidnapped by the much dreaded Boko-Haram to be used as a suicide bomber against his wish.
In the fourth book,Susan’s Diary 4; Meeting The FamilySusan and her boyfriend Frank set out for Warri to meet his family. She’s warmly welcomed into the family until Frank’s sister rejects the gifts she bought her. What follows are a series of kidnap-attempts aimed at Frank’s family. Is Susan behind the kidnappings? With Frank’s family now turning against her, and threatening her relationship with Frank, she sets out to solve this puzzle and clear her name. But the appearance of Ese, Frank’s ex-girlfriend and a more street-smart person makes it very challenging.
Susan is a fast thinker, a survivor, a winner and one lucky person. She triumphs against the most difficult odds. In most cases she relies on her tricks from her former life as a street kid but then like she says, “crazy situations call for crazy actions”. How often she escapes death is a wonder.
Overall, the series would have done with more character and event development to become more engaging. I wouldn’t recommend the books to very young readers. Susan story makes it seem like it’s indeed okay to run away from home. Maybe a deeper background (by the author) into the challenges she faced on the street would have been more helpful to the reader- (Susan decides to change her lifestyle later when she is an adult).