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"And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl."

This is the first book by Courtney Summers I've ever read and the story of Sadie is one I will not forget anytime soon.

Sadie is a 19-year-old girl who grew up in a trailer park in Colorado. In her childhood she had to cope with her mother’s drug abuse and several boyfriends. She has one thing to live for and that is her 13-year-old sister Mattie. Sadie tries to protect Mattie from the darkness of her mother’s neglect and the cruelty of her mother’s physically, verbally and sexually abusive boyfriends. When their mother leaves the girls, it’s just the two of them and May Beth Foster, the manager of the trailer park who takes care of Sadie and Mattie.

But then Mattie gets murdered and Sadie’s whole world falls apart. She sets out on a mission to bring her sister’s murderer to justice. Sadie is driven by love for her sister, she is focused, smart and I really felt connected to her and her story while reading this novel.

West McCray stumbles upon Sadie’s story and is asked by May Beth to find Sadie and bring her back home, because

“I can’t take another dead girl.”

West McCray is a radio personality and he starts a podcast, called ‘The Girls’, about how he tracks Sadie’s journey. He is trying to figure out what happened to Sadie, who murdered Mattie and where Sadie is now.

The book is written in two narratives. The first is the podcast in which we follow McCray on his journey to find Sadie. The second is a first person perspective of Sadie. The first person narrative is suffocating to read and you can feel Sadie’s desperation.

Although this is a fictional crime story, it felt real and it really came to life. Sadie is the first book ever to make me cry. The story isn’t pretty and it doesn’t end like a fairy tale. It’s a strong, powerful and important story about sisterhood, love and neglect, abuse, revenge and justice. While reading, I was constantly thinking ‘Please, find Sadie and save her’.

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Sadie - Courtney Summers
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