“I wish his darkness lived outside of him, because you have to know it’s there to see it. Like all real monsters, he hides in plain sight.” CBR11 Review 10.

UnknownA few weeks ago, I had a chance to go and see Cannonball favorite Karen McManus talking about her new book, Two Can Keep a Secret, along with another YA author I hadn’t previously heard of, Megan Miranda. I asked them a few questions during the panel, including wondering what they — as writers of suspenseful YA fiction — liked to read, and were currently reading.

They both, without hesitation, told me to read Sadie by Courtney Summers, right away.

So, I did.

I knew nothing going into this book, and I’m glad. I may not have otherwise picked it up.

This is a dark and angry book, filled with sadness and monsters. It was, at times, difficult to read. But it was wholly original, and at times, fascinating.

This story is told in alternating formats. The first part is as if we were reading the transcripts of a popular NPR-esque podcast, similar to Serial. The podcast covers the tragic story of a dead 13 year old girl in Colorado, and her loving sister, Sadie, who is now missing. The producers of the podcast try to figure out just where Sadie could be, and if she is anywhere at all. They retrace her steps, talking to everyone she came across since she left home, looking for answers.

The second part is told by Sadie. The details like why she left, where she plans to go, and what she plans to do slowly come out as we get to know her better.

Spoiler alert: none of the details are good.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. She grew up in a trailer, with an addict mother who has since abandoned her and her (murdered) little sister. The mother had a horrible string of boyfriends in the picture, and Sadie did everything she could to always protect and take care of her sister, as their mother was clearly unable to.

Sadie also stutters. She has trouble getting her point across, even in simple sentences. Most strangers think there’s something wrong with her. But Sadie is smart and cunning, and doing everything she can to perform this one last task she has set out to accomplish.

The story is excellent, the writing is realistic and raw.


And what about the ending? Honestly, I don’t even know. The vague end of the podcast makes me hope for the best, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the worst. In a world as dark as the one Sadie has had to live in, nothing would really shock me anymore. Sometimes I like a vague ending, but I wish I had an answer this time. I want to know that Sadie is ok, and am worried that I might be very disappointed if I found out that she isn’t.

There’s really only one thing I didn’t like about this book:

The blurb on the cover is from AJ Finn, the recently disgraced author of The Woman in the Window. Did you all read about that? MY GOD.


0 Responses to ““I wish his darkness lived outside of him, because you have to know it’s there to see it. Like all real monsters, he hides in plain sight.” CBR11 Review 10.”

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