FICTION

Sadie

320p. Wednesday Bks. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250105714.
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Gr 9 Up—Nineteen-year-old Sadie Hunter is going to kill the man who murdered her 13-year-old sister, Mattie. So begins the latest compelling work by Summers (All the Rage). The book alternates between Sadie's first-person perspective as she crisscrosses Colorado in search of Keith, who sexually abused her when he dated her mother and who she believes murdered Mattie, and the transcript of a serialized podcast called The Girls. The podcast, set in the future after Sadie's car has been found abandoned with her belongings inside, details a New York City radio host's search for her. His interviews with her family and those who crossed her path provide an outsider's perspective to Sadie's actions and interior monologue, expanding on themes of revenge, ineffective policing, poverty, and addiction and its impact on parenting. Both story lines propel the plot and provide context. The book touches often on the fallacies of how we perceive and judge others, notably in the way Sadie is judged for her stutter, which also further isolates her on her journey. The fresh, nuanced, and fast-moving narrative will appeal to a range of YA and new adult readers, and serves as a larger examination on the way society interacts with true crime. Is it ethical that the podcast—with its money and investigative resources Sadie's poor family lacks—tells her story without her consent? Readers will likewise hope that Sadie, unlike so many missing girls, finds her way home. However, as in the case with too many of those victims, this book's conclusion doesn't tie up neatly.
VERDICT It's impossible to not be drawn into this haunting thriller of a book. A heartrending must-have.

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