Trigger warning: the following book and book review involves crime, murder, and abuse.
I heard a lot of buzz about this YA mystery novel on Bookstagram, and when I saw that Bookapotamus was hosting an ARC giveaway, I immediately entered. As luck would have it, I won!
Thinking it a perfect read for the month of October, I let it skip a few books in the TBR line and read it over Labor Day weekend… well actually, I read it in about four hours during Labor Day weekend. On top of that, it’s publication date was September 4th, so I squeaked in the read just before it was officially published, which was my tiny personal goal. Let me tell you- I devoured this book.
Sadie is hunting for the man who killed her sister. Mattie was killed at age thirteen, and Sadie knows who did it- an ex boyfriend of her drug-addict, alcoholic mother. She tracks him from one location to the next, uncovering years of secrets and lies. She has revenge on her mind, and nothing left to lose- after all, her purpose lay in protecting Mattie, and look where that got her. Like a mantra, she repeats,
“I’m dangerous. I have a knife.”
West McCray is hunting for Sadie. May Beth, Sadie’s suedo-grandmother, contacted him when Sadie went missing, relayed Mattie’s tragic death, and then stated,
“I can’t take two dead girls.”
Unsure about what he might uncover, McCray dives into the mystery of the missing girl, and finds the trail left behind by Sadie. Revealing what he finds through a podcast titled The Girls, McCray interviews those whose lives were turned on end because of one man, and a young woman who exposed the truth. But, will he ever catch up to Sadie?
Summers had me HOOKED by the first ten pages. Her writing style is quick paced, emotionally charged, clever… I could go on. Her main character is fierce and haunting, with a heavy dose of sarcasm. Her stutter is a brilliant addition, because though the reader is immediately confided in with a cutting narration, the other characters underestimate Sadie because of it, which is the last thing they should do. The mystery storyline is incredibly dynamic, and the usage of the podcast interview is a creative literary device, used to move the plot along and reveal important details to the reader. Underlined throughout is the insinuation of the motivation behind Sadie’s revenge- why she knew who the killer was without a doubt, and why in turn she was determined to kill the man- and take down similar ones along the way.
I absolutely recommend this book, but it certainly isn’t meant for those with sensitivities or triggers involving crime, murder, and abuse. This is by no means a light-hearted young adult mystery, and though a work of fiction, it reflects realistic crimes that occur too often. I wish I could go into more detail, but I’m trying to spare any spoilers- so please, pick it up and give it a glance yourself.