Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
This. Freaking. Book.
This book has wrecked me real good.
You know those books which leave you content? Sadie isn’t one of them. This book leaves you emotionally ruined.
Sadie is on a journey to get justice for sister’s death. Except, Mattie wasn’t just Sadie’s sister. She was the purpose of her life. The reason she woke up every day.
“Sometimes, I feel made of Mattie’s absence, this complete emptiness inside
me and the only thing that makes it bearable, that quiets it, is moving, is putting
distance between her murder….”
The author alternates chapters between Sadie and the radio show where West McCray is on a journey of his own to track Sadie down. The two are not at the same time line. The books starts off as just any crime novel. But the more you read, the more it grips you with chill and anticipation of what’s to come.
Sadie is not a lovable protagonist. She’s icy. And yet the love you feel for her, it feels as real as the book feels. Sadie is a character written so well, that your heart stutters for her just as she stutters in her speech. She’s had a troubled life. The scene where she meets people her age with normal lives is very sad. This is just a young girl, vulnerable and tired. Life has taken so much from her that has her feeling she has nothing to live for.
“I wish this was a love story because I know how it goes in one like mine, where the only moments of reprieve are the spaces between its lines.”
I can’t disclose the plot more than what’s being said in the synopsis. I went in blind and I loved it. There are so many twists. You can never really guess what direction the book would next take. There is this revelation in the end which is delivered so subtly and yet it hits your gut like a punch.
There are dark themes in this book. But the author keeps it clean. I love how even though this book covers some ugly and repulsive topics, there’s still no direct mention or visuals about them. This book covers adult themes and yet manages to remain a Young Adult. That in itself is a big achievement.
This is as real as a fiction can get. If you go into this book looking for answers, then you’ll be disappointed. But if you go just for the journey, it’ll be totally worth it. I had to stop at many points during my read to think about the choices Sadie had and how important every one of them were.
“I can only feel the weight of it, all of it, of every Sadie I’ve been, every choice that she’s made, and everything she could have possibly gotten so wrong that she’d end up here”
If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, suspense and mystery, then this is the perfect book for you. This was my first read from Courtney Summers but it won’t be the last.
My rating: ★★★★★