Girl Well Read
Published book reviewer, blogger of books & book lifestyle products, wine drinker and polka dot lover. I’d love to review your book next! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@girlwellread), Pintrest, Litsy, Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, and ReadFeed (Girl Well Read).
A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sadie hasn't had it easy. Her drug-addict mother is in and out of her life and Sadie is tasked with raising her little sister, Mattie.
Mattie goes missing and is subsequently found murdered. This absolutely destroys Sadie and after a botched police investigation, Sadie makes it her mission to bring her sister's killer to justice. Following what little information she has, Sadie strikes out on her own to find him.
West McCray is radio personality who is working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America. When he overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, West becomes obsessed with finding Sadie. He starts his own podcast that tracks her journey in the hopes of trying to figure out what happened and to find Sadie before it's too late.
Summers contemporary story is not pretty. It's gritty, raw, and at times unimaginable. But the sad fact is that what happens to Sadie is not unique and the world can be a dark and terrible place.
I struggled with Sadie as a character—on one hand, she's a total badass and could be a strong female lead, but on the other, she's basically still a child that has faced some incredibly brutal situations that no one, let alone a child, should be subjected to.
The alternating points of view is the perfect vehicle for this story. Sadie's first person voice is vulnerable as evident through her stutter, yet strong as apparent through her sheer determination and will. She is lost and doesn't want to be found. The only thing keeping her going is to find and kill the man responsible for Mattie's murder. West's narrative is true to his occupation as a radio presenter in that he is factual and purposeful. He frames his views into consumable content, albeit somewhat flippant, because he is reporting and investigating without any personal attachment. I took this as a comment on the impact of media and how numb we are as a society to things that should be horrific and cause for reaction/action.
The two are on a similar trajectory—Sadie to find the man responsible for her sister's death and West to find Sadie. With each turn of the page, the reader is hoping for them to collide and Summers capitalizes on this to propel her narrative. Her pace is spot on.
This book is not for the faint of heart. Summers preys on the reader's anxiety and ratchets this story to a whole other level. I actually had to take reading breaks with this one, not only to catch my breath, but because I felt suffocated by Sadie's darkness. This novel could be a trigger warning for some because of some of the subject matter and should come with a warning to call this out.