This book completely and utterly broke my heart, in the best way possible! I had never heard of Courtney Summer or about her books before. I stumbled upon this one quite accidentally when I saw one of my favourite reviewers giving it a 5 star rating on goodreads. I was curious and when I found out that it was available in Netgalley to review, I immediately downloaded and started reading. The book is about Sadie, a teenager who goes missing soon after her sister is found murdered. The story is told from alternating viewpoints.
One is that of Sadie and the other is West McCray who is doing a podcast on the sisters and trying to solve the mystery of Sadie’s disappearance. “How do you forgive the people who are supposed to protect you?” The narration is gripping right from the start. We get the cold clinical analysis of McCray trying to piece together the puzzle pieces of the disappearance right alongside the passionate, fierce determination of Sadie to find the person who killed her sister, Mattie. The feelings this book evoked in me were at times so intense that I had to put down the book at multiple points to just breathe. It was horrifying to see what can happen to young girls who have nobody and nothing looking after them. The language was so powerful that you can’t help but feel every painful memory Sadie had endured in her life, from the people who were supposed to love and protect her. “Imagine having to live every day knowing the person who killed your sister is breathing the air she can’t, filling his lungs with it, tasting its sweetness. Imagine him knowing the steady weight of the earth under his feet while her body is buried six feet below it.”
How do I even find words to describe Sadie? She was fierce and brave and so so badass that she is right up there with all the other amazing literary women I have come to admire like Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and Celie from The Colour Purple. Her strength and ferocious love literally brought me to my knees. Courtney Summers managed to infuse each and every word with so much raw power and emotion that I found myself crying outright at multiple points while reading. She doesn’t pull back any punches in portraying sensitive issues like abuse and pedophilia. Its one of those rarest of rare books that just overwhelms you with all the powerful emotions it stirs in you. If pedophilia and abuse are not trigger factors for you, then please read this book. Its not to be missed. It releasing on the 4th of September. Rating : Blew it right out of the park. 5 or 10 or even a thousand stars wouldn’t do it justice.