Friday, September 7, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Girls, girls, girls. Missing girls. A much explored topic in literature, but Sadie brings a unique take.

We live in an age of podcasts where true crime stories are among the most popular subjects explored. Maybe Serial popularized this trend, maybe not, I'm not well versed enough in the history of podcasts to know, but it is one I listened to which helped me to understand half of the format of Courtney Summers's compelling and gripping new read. Sadie, a story of a girl gone missing, is told in part through podcast transcript and in part through the first person perspective of Sadie herself in the days leading up to her disappearance.

I have always found Courtney Summers books to be "unputdownable" and to sweep me up into the emotional reality of the characters very quickly. I like that she has a fondness for writing girls who aren't mainstream pleasant, but full of the jagged edges of life which manifest in all the ways pain does manifest for girls. Anger, violence, control, manipulation. Exploring how girls react to the unique torments the world has for them in light of the patriarchy, in light of being girls, is still not as explored as it should be and remains an area I love to read about.

Writing the book in half podcast format also allowed Sadie to touch upon the exploitation of such stories, of such pain for the consumption of others. Why are we drawn to these stories? It's worth thinking about the ways in which we use the pain of others for our entertainment.

Giving away the plot is not something I'm interested in doing, so instead I'll leave you with this. The writing in this book is equal parts incisive and poignant. I felt every ounce of Sadie's pain even if her unique circumstances don't look anything like my own. Of course I recommend this book, I'm just sorry we'll probably be waiting another three years for the next?

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