Book Title and Author: Sadie by Courtney Summers
General Thoughts: I read an advanced reader’s edition of Sadie after finding out about it on Facebook. I saw a post about getting an advanced copy of an upcoming young adult thriller and was immediately intrigued. I wasn’t sure how interested I’d be in the story. But the young adult fiction genre is one of my favorites, so I figured it was worth a shot. I’m glad I did, because it was a great read.
The story concerns a teenager named Sadie whose younger sister, Mattie, was found dead. Her death hasn’t been solved, but Sadie eventually goes missing after going out to get revenge on her sister’s killer. A radio journalist, West McCray, hears about Sadie’s disappearance and story and develops a podcast titled “The Girls” that details his journey to find Sadie, follow her path, and discover what happened with her and Mattie. I really enjoyed the different perspectives Courtney Summers presented by providing chapters from Sadie’s point of view and chapters with podcast dialogue. It allows for a more well-rounded story with more surprises and instances of dramatic irony. Some of the subject matter was rather heavy, so some readers need to be wary of checking out this book. It was also somewhat predictable but in a manner that didn’t affect your desire to keep reading. I definitely understand the anticipation behind this book’s release now that I’ve finished it and would recommend it to those who enjoy young adult fiction and thrillers.
Book Title and Author: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
General Thoughts: This book was a rather standard length for a YA novel, but the format of the story as well as the pacing made it difficult for me to want to continue reading this in a consistent manner. As the title suggests, this story is told through letters the protagonist Laurel writes to dead celebrities. This stems from an English assignment Laurel receives. She’s recently just started high school and is still recovering from the death of her older sister May. Although the assignment was to write just one letter to the dead, she never turns the initial one in and continues to write letters to help her sort out her thoughts and feelings.
While some interesting stuff happens, like Laurel finally making friends at her new school and talking to the boy she likes, it’s hard to figure out where the story is going or where it’s supposed to go. I knew the story was trying to get to a place where the reader would finally learn how May died and what dark secret Laurel was hiding from others, but it wasn’t a page-turner where you kept reading and thought, ‘I need to know what happens next!’ It was more like, ‘So when are we finally going to find out?’ Towards the end, though, the story got better. We learn how May dies. We learn what Laurel was hiding, and it finally felt like Laurel was learning lessons and growing as a person.
Book Title and Author: Final Girls by Riley Sager
General Thoughts: This book was a quick read for me. The fast moving plot line and general suspense kept me turning the page, and it’s one of those books where you never really know whom to believe. The narrator, Quincy Carpenter, is the sole survivor of a mass murder that took the lives of her sorority friends while on vacation at a remote cottage near their school. Ten years later, she is still facing fallout from what happened and must untangle the mystery of the person who might still be out to get her. While this book doesn’t rank as highly among thrillers as the works of Gillian Flynn or Ruth Ware, I still found it original and intriguing.
Book Title and Author: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
General Thoughts: This was an interesting book, and I did enjoy it; however it fell short in a couple of areas for me. It was a bit far fetched in terms of believability. Without giving too much away, the main character, Mia, is kidnapped by someone who is trying to make a quick buck, and the way the kidnapping plot plays out is a bit disturbing. I did like how drawn out each of the character’s story lines were, as well as the fact that they were told from multiple perspectives, but I still couldn’t really identify with any one character and never got too attached. The book also hit a slump half way through, and the ending felt rather flat compared to the intensity of the beginning.