"Dangerous Games"
Patakis, 1999
ISBN: 960-600-879-7

Maria is in her last year in high school. Everything is going well for her until the day she befriends Marco, a boy who is three years older. Marco brings her into the world of drugs, pills and "getting high". Maria goes through all the stages of humiliation and degradation until she finds herself living a nightmare. Will she be able to escape and heal the wounds inflicted on her body and her soul? Will she be able to save her parents' love? This is a novel for today's children and teens that dares to plunge the knife of truth deeply into the core of one of the greatest problems of modern society: drugs.

"Litsa Psarafti, a well-known author of children's and youth literature whose books have been widely read with great interest, is continuously concerned about the problems faced by our children and always writes from the heart and with great skill, dealing with the most important issues of the time through her well-crafted writing that is filtered through her manifold life-experiences and her constant dealings with young people throughout the country.
The author was inspired to write her latest youth novel from a true story - from one of those that are unfortunately increasing more and more in our time and which threaten the souls and lives of the young and old, terminating dreams, plans, loves, relationships, family serenity, and destroying health and spirit and ultimately entire futures. We do not need to say anything more about the blight of drugs, a bane that makes us ache when we see the prime of life and hope being ripped away so violently.

This is one of the most beautiful youth novels that have been written recently. Lits Psarafti constantly gains respect, ethos, expression and heart, elements that are gained by her young heroes who she loves and takes care of. It is for this reason that a breeze of truth and deep understanding blows gently throughout her books without ever neglecting the search for the wholeness of life and friendship. This is a perfect book, with structure and consistency, that is tightly-written, real, and poignant is a number of places."

Eleni Sarantiti
Eleftherotypia Newspaper, 25/06/1999

"This book can be characterised by its simplicity, directness, unconstrained flow of language, the ability of its author to transport us to the world of her heroes, and its ability to bring the reader close to the story in order to experience, with suspense and concern, its final outcome.

While we recommend this narrative to be read by teenagers and young adults, it should also be read by parents. They have much to benefit from it, taking away many messages regarding the everyday problems that their children may be confronted with."

Katerina Palaska-Mantoudi, Nursery School Teacher
Thessalia Newspaper, 12/06/1999

"A powerful novel for today's children and teenagers that dares to plunge the knife deeply into the problem and describe, in harsh language, one of the greatest social problems of our time: drugs.
Maria is like any other girl living next door and any child at her age - even at our age - who is in danger of living a similar adventure.

This is a book that doesn't only interest children, but adults alike - particularly parents."

Charavgi Newspaper of Samos, 3/7/1999

"This realistic story written by Litsa Psarafti's experienced hand describes the danger that tempts many young people today."
To Vima Newspaper, 16/01/2000

"In "Dangerous Games" the reader enters through a door that is very similar to the door of his own home. He quickly realises that everything through that door is very familiar: the people, the objects, the rules of the "game", the actions and the reactions. They all transpire a truth and a realism that is reminiscent of a well-shot motion picture focusing on everyday life. Everything unfolds with speed and draw the reader along in an escalating intensity until the end of the novel when katharsis is finally reached.

The narrative is conducted in the first person. The narrator is, of course, Maria. Her speech is clear and substantial while her directness is stirring. The images that are described are like those that we experience or that our neighbours experience, or that we hear of and see each and every day. It is a kind of artistic form of expression that is laid bare of lexical eloquence through its style that is cut and short providing only the bare necessities. This is the first time that Litsa Psarafti turns away from the "how" and puts all her strength into her content. This exclusivity and her purposeful orientation towards stark reality as the basic aim of her narrative provides the novel with a unique quality that is new to Litsa Psarafti's work as a whole.
In "Dangerous Games" we forget that we are reading "literature". Nor do we think that the novel is written in order to provide pleasure through elegant images, important words and an enigmatic plot. The only element that exists in great supply in "Dangerous Games" is the direct dialogue - just as it has been embedded on the stage of the great theatre of life. When there is no dialogue, the narration is transformed into an internal dialogue; the sombre present surrenders its place to the happy past and thus the disproportionate comparison leads the heroine to desperation. This provides her with the weak alibi for compromise by turning her towards the bane of drugs. This rich dialogue is never inferior, even when it is found within the context of the monologue.

"Dangerous Games" could easily be adapted to the theatre or to the big screen. It is a lively script filled with suspense at every turn."

Apoplous Magazine, Issue 23-24, 2001


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