Rating: 4 stars
“But love is complicated, it’s messy. It can inspire selflessness, selfishness, our greatest accomplishments and our hardest mistakes. It brings us together and it can just as easily drive us apart.”
This is a YA book about Sadie, a girl who’s been through many hardships in life, but the worst was losing the person she loved the most – her little sister, Mattie. She was Sadie‘s world and she was murdered, so the girl leaves everything behind and sets on a path of pain in order to track down Mattie’s killer and take from him what he took from her sister, his life.
So, I was influenced by Goodreads to read this book because it was everywhere. People were gushing so much about it and talking about how great and heartbreaking it was. They especially recommended the audiobook, which is full cast – a good call, since there’s a podcast about Sadie and her sister featuring many different people, so I think it’s good it wasn’t just one narrator.
This was a really good story. It’s a really sad one as well, but the premise already made it clear we shouldn’t be expecting rainbows. I was engaged throughout the whole book, but I admit that I wasn’t as impacted as some people out there. I think the only reason for that was because I was reading a Stephen King book at the same time, and there was a similar crime there – I mean, it was an adult book and Stephen King ain’t afraid to get dark, so Sadie didn’t disturb me as much in comparison. Not to say this isn’t a heavy kind of story, and if you are triggered by things like child abuse you should probably proceed with caution.
“I realized pretty early on that the who didn’t really matter so much. That anybody who listens to me, I end up loving them just a little.”
Sadie was an interesting character. She had already been through too much, even before her sister’s death, so she developed a both aggressive and defensive attitude. She was neglected by her alcohoolic mom, she had a stutter that could’ve gotten better if her mom had seeked treatment, she had to deal with her mother’s boyfriends, and she often felt unloved – until Mattie came along. She was everything to Sadie, so Sadie would do everything she could to take care of her. It was almost as if she was her daughter instead of sister.
When Mattie was murdered, something broke inside of Sadie. A piece of her was gone with her sister, so it was like she had nothing else. No life, no future, nothing mattered anymore. All that there was left was the resoution to find the monster who took everything from her, and end his life so he couldn’t hurt anyone else.
“I stood over her crib and listened to her breathing, watching the rise and fall of her tiny chest. I pressed my palm against it and felt myself through her. She was breathing, alive. And I was too.”
Alternating with Sadie‘s perspective, we also follow a podcast presented by a guy named West McCray. This podcast – The Girls – is sort of an investigation on Sadie’s whreabouts. West was contacted by a friend of the family, who tells him Sadie disappeared a while after her sister’s murder and she asks for his help, since the police wouldn’t do much.
I read this book really quickly. I think that format of narrative kept things really engaging, as you get to piece together the story of the sisters, and also Sadie’s journey towards the killer. I must warn you though, this book is not the “who-done-it” kind. Sadie is pretty certain of who killed her sister, and it’s clear to the reader who she’s going after, so this is not about the “who”, it’s more about finding that person.
I think Courtney Summers handled the story really well, especially when you’re dealing with multiple perspectives in different formats. I look foward to reading more of her work.
So guys, have you read this book? If not, do you intend to? Let me know in the comments. 😊