It happened on Saturday by Sydney Dunlap | Blog tour

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

Publishing Date: February 21st, 2023


Thirteen-year-old Julia would much rather work with horses at the rescue barn than worry about things like dating and makeup. But when her BFF meets a boy at camp, Julia’s determined not to get left behind. After a makeover from her older sister, she posts a picture of herself online and gets a comment from Tyler—a seemingly nice kid who lives across town. As they DM more and more, Julia’s sure that Tyler understands her in a way her family never has. Even better, their relationship earns her tons of attention at school.

Then Julia finds out Tyler’s true plan, and her world is turned upside down. She fiercely guards her secret, but could her silence allow her friends to fall into the same trap?

In this timely, heartfelt debut, author Sydney Dunlap tells a story of a middle-school girl who narrowly escapes becoming a victim of human trafficking and must find her way toward hope and healing after this traumatic event.

My Review:

I love books that create awareness through the story. This book is one among them. “It happened on Saturday” by Sydney Dunlap talks about human trafficking and the trauma the person goes through after being abducted.

The protagonist Julia wants nothing more than a sleepover with her best friend, Nori, when Nori returns from the art camp. But Nori has other priorities, like spending time with a boy she met in art camp. The author portrayed how a 13-year-old girl missed her best friend’s presence in everything she did.

I feel so connected to Julia in many ways. She loves horses and cats just like I do. Relatable characters in a book make it even more lovable. Her love for horses was so good to read.

When Julia’s mother and her sister didn’t find enough time to spend with her, she ended up chatting online with a stranger. Her circumstances made her choose the wrong person, who almost ruined her life.

There are so many things I wished that happened differently like if only her mother spent some time with her, or if only her dad checked out who she’s been going out with, or if only her sister had been more mature, or if only the world is a little better place outside the house, she wouldn’t have gone through such bad experience at such a young age.

I appreciate the author for including the trauma Julia has been going through after being abducted. It gave more insight into how a victim feels after facing such a worst thing. I love how gradually she gains the strength to accept what had happened and tries to move on.

My favorite line in this book is: “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid. It means you don’t let the fear stop you.”

Overall, it was a wonderful experience reading this book.

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with the arc of this book.

Click here to see the Tour schedule of TBR and Beyond Tours

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Mood Board:

About the author:

Sydney Dunlap is a former elementary school teacher who has worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings, and she enjoys reading and writing heartfelt, hopeful fiction that expands young readers’ awareness of tough topics. She is a published poet and has also written for a newspaper. A lifelong animal lover, Sydney lives with her family in a home where the dogs and cats outnumber the people.

Author links:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook


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