Book Review: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

Book: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

Published September 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books|496 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Fallen Isles #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

The First Dragon

The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she’ll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.

The Last Hope

Mira’s desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help—for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?

The explosive finale to Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles trilogy is ablaze with sizzling romance and fiery magic as Mira’s fight to save dragons from extinction evolves into a mission to save her world from annihilation. 

I liked When She Reigns. Unfortunately, this is another one where I’m having trouble remembering the details, so this is going to be a short one.

It’s been a while since I finished it, so I’m having trouble remembering a lot of the details. Mira’s connection with the dragons was amazing, and that was actually my favorite thing about this book. I loved seeing that connection, and everything that came along with it. It definitely changed over the course of the book, and one particular moment at the end made me really sad, but it also made sense for the story.

Even though I re-read the series before reading this one, I actually want to go back and re-read them after reading this one. Mira’s love of dragons makes so much sense now, and knowing what I know, part of me wants to go back and see if there was anything I missed.

Seeing all of the gods was interesting, but I think seeing them through Mira was even more interesting. You see how horrifying it is each time, especially because of how much it affected the dragons. In the end, everything worked out but it was interesting to see how everything happened. I am curious to see how everything worked for everyone.

We did get to visit the empire, though their name is escaping me at the moment. I wish we saw more of it, considering it was mentioned quite a bit. At least we got to go for a little bit, but part of me just wanted to know more about them. I know it’s not really about them, but I feel like there’s a lot of history there, and that’s a story I’d love to see if there was ever a spin-off series.

3 stars. When She Reigns was a good conclusion but not a lot stuck with me after finishing it.

ARC Book Review: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Book: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Expected Publication Is November 12, 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux|Expected Number Of Pages Is 256

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?

ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.

I really liked All-American Muslim Girl!  I loved Allie and she’s a great character.

Allie struggles a lot with faith and I love that we get to see her explore her faith.  Having to hide my faith and heritage because of how other people see it is something I will never have to experience.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are treated differently because of what they look like or what they believe, and Allie has to deal with that as well.  She recognizes she has a lot of privilege, and it was interesting to see her as she started to stand up to the Islamophobia she sees around her.

I loved Allie’s integrity and determination.  She was open to exploring while wanting to do the right thing.  I felt like we saw her change over the course of the book, and she went from hiding who she was to standing up for herself and others.  We see her figure out what she wants, even when things get a little bit different with both her dad and the people around her.

I loved the friendships Allie forms, and her family was great too.  I wish we saw more of her extended family because they seemed pretty awesome when we did see them.  I especially liked her parents, and I get why her dad is concerned.  Things were rough between them for a while, but hopefully, they’ll be able to work it out.  I really think they will, because they have a pretty good relationship.

Accepting who you are and finding your own path were really strong and great messages in the book.  And even within different groups, you see a wide range of beliefs, which was nice.  I liked that her study group had different takes and relationships with Islam, and the author does a great job at showing how different a group of people can be.  I know it may be simple and maybe even a little bit obvious.  But she really does do a wonderful job at showing how different the girls are.

This book is a great read and I definitely recommend it!

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked All-American Muslim Girl and it’s worth reading!  It has great characters and a great story.

Book Review: Love Me Never by Sara Wolf

Book: Love Me Never by Sara Wolf

Published April 2016 by Entangled Teen|304 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Lovely Vicious #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.

I’m not sure how I feel about Love Me Never.  I mean, I liked it and I want to know what happens next but at the same time, I’m not completely sure how I feel about it.

I thought Isis and Jack were really interesting.  They both have a past that they’re still dealing with, and while I was glad to actually what really happened, I also didn’t love it.  I did feel for Jack, and everything that happened with Sophia.

You knew something had happened with her years earlier but for the entire book, I just wanted to know what happened.  It was the same with Isis and the boy she fell in love it.  I did feel a little let down with happened with him.  I was expecting something a lot worse than him dumping her and not wanting to be seen in public with her because of her weight.

It definitely had an effect on her, and I get that Jack may have reminded her of him.  But I really did expect something different.

As for Jack and Sophia, what happened to her was really sad and horrifying.  I can’t remember the name of the girl who was behind it but it’s hard to believe that she was in middle school and engineered something so horrible.  And with what we see her do a few years later to someone else…she really is vindictive and horrible.  I actually kind of want to know her life story just to see how she became the person she did.  He did fall into something I wouldn’t have expected just to help out Sophia and get her the medical treatment she needed.

Isis and Jack have a lot of back and forth, and for as much as they seem to dislike each other, they also seem to be really drawn together.  He does seem protective of her, at least to a certain extent.  I’m actually wondering if there’s something about Isis that makes him thinks of Sophia.  He certainly can’t get her out of his head.

It’s weird, because there are a lot of things I liked on their own but all together?  Not so much.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone except me but as a whole, something just seemed off.  Maybe I just wasn’t super into the book.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked Love Me Never, and I liked all of the pieces but…maybe it’s just not for me.  I do want to know what happens next, especially with how the book ended.  It makes me wonder what’s in store for Isis, Jack and Sophia.

3 stars.  I liked Love Me Never and I do want to know what happens next but I didn’t love it.

ARC Book Review: The Library Of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

Book: The Library Of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

Expected Publication Is October 8, 2019 by Inkyard Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 384 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

I liked The Library Of Lost Things!  I wanted to like it more, which seems to be happening a lot lately, but I still liked it.

I loved that Darcy worked at a bookstore.  I really wanted the Yellow Feather to be a real bookstore that I could visit, but it seems to be just a fictional place.  Still, it felt like a living, breathing place that I could actually visit, and it very much felt like a character itself.  I could totally see it sharing a space with a wig shop, which was a character in and of itself, even though we don’t spend as much time there.  I definitely wanted to visit Mysterious Galaxy after reading this book.

I also liked how important books were to Darcy, and all of the books that were mentioned.  As a reader, I really liked that, and it made it fun to see what would be referenced or mentioned.

I really liked Darcy, who had to deal with a lot.  There’s a lot going on with her family, and with some of the family secrets that come out, I really felt for Darcy.  I can’t imagine trying to deal with a mom who hoards, or dealing with she learned about both her mom and her dad.  She had to be a lot more responsible than she needed or should have been, and I really hope she has a lot of carefree moments in her future.

I can see why she’s so closed off, and how hard it is for her to let people in.  I feel like I’d act the same way if I were her, but we do see that change over the course of the book.  It seems like things start to change with her mom and her grandma, and hopefully, they’re all able to work through everything.  It will take time, of course, but hopefully, they’re able to get to a better place someday.

3 stars.  I liked The Library Of Lost Things, but I didn’t love it.  I really liked the Yellow Feather and all of the book references.

ARC Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Book: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Random House Books For Young Readers|Expected Number Of Pages: 448

Where I Got It: I received American Royals as an E-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: American Royals #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

At first, I wasn’t sure about American Royals, but I ended up really liking it!

It was a little hard to get into at first, and I think it’s because we’re getting to know 4 very different girls.  I’m always hesitant about multiple narrators, especially when it’s 3 or more, and this book had 4.  I was worried we wouldn’t get to know each girl and while we don’t know them really, really well, we still get a really good idea of who each girl is.

Beatrice and Samantha are very different girls, and I liked both of them.  I did have a pretty good understanding of who they were, and, in Samantha’s case, why she acted the way she did.  One thing that came to mind in some of their chapters was that the grass really is greener on the other side.

I don’t envy either girl but I really don’t envy Beatrice.  She’s under a lot of pressure, considering she’s going to be the first queen one day.  Samantha does have some more freedom than her sister, but it also means she doesn’t get the attention her sister does.

We also see Daphne, the prince’s ex, and Nina, who is Sam’s best friend.  I liked Nina and Daphne was ambitious but also horrible.  Daphne was definitely my least favorite character, but she really is willing to do anything to get Jefferson back.  She was interesting, I’ll give her that.  I don’t have as much to say about them but it will be interesting to see where their stories go in the next book.

The story is pretty predictable in a lot of ways, but I honestly didn’t care because the book is a pretty interesting What If.  It really makes you wonder how different America would be if we were a monarchy.  We get a little bit of history, and it seems to be a little bit different in the book.  Like, Russia still has a tsar.  That’s the biggest thing that’s different.  At least from what I can remember.  It seems like there’s a lot more monarchies in this world than there actually is in real life.

It makes me wonder how different history is, especially American history.  I had trouble keeping track of some of the kings and queens mentioned, and I hope there’s a family tree included in the final version.  There wasn’t in this book, and that’s just what I’m hoping for, so by no means is it actually going to be included.

Still, a little more background would be interesting to see.  I mean, how much would having a monarchy change America’s history.  Like, did we still have a Civil War?  Did slavery still exist, and at what point did it get abolished if it did?  I have so many questions, but I know it’s not going to get answered.  Still, we might get little bits of history, and I’m okay with that.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it.  It was hard not to cry and I was definitely crying by the end of the book.

ARC Book Review: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite And Maritza Moulite

Book: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Inkyard Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 384

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle. 

I wish I liked Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, but it was a hard book for me to get through, and I ended up not liking it.

It’s told in a mixed media format, so you see news articles, emails, texts, transcripts, and diary entries from both Alaine and her family.  That didn’t work at all in an e-book format.  It just didn’t look great, but keep in mind I was reading an advance copy, so I’m pretty sure it’ll look better once it’s actually published.

I did have a hard time getting through the book, and part of it is that the mixed media form of story-telling didn’t work in an e-book form.  A few parts of the text were out of order, and it’s hard to have a good flow when you start a new section or chapter in the middle of a sentence.  Again, I’m sure that will be fixed by the the time the book actually comes out, but it did affect my reading experience.

Part of why I struggled with the book was the random tangents.  We’d be reading things from Alaine’s point of view, and then suddenly, we’d be getting imagined emails between her mom and someone at GNN, where her mom used to work, or diary entries on a centuries old family curse.  Even though everything did tie together in the end, it didn’t make sense for most of the book.  I did finish the book wondering what it was supposed to be about.  There’s a lot going on, and while I did like the individual pieces, I don’t know that I liked all of them together.  I felt like it muddled the overall story to the point that I wasn’t sure what the story was supposed to be about.

I did like the family relationships, and that was something I did like about the book.  You don’t really see that in YA, and it was really refreshing to read.  It was nice to see how they developed and changed over time but I wish we saw more of it.

Alaine had a really strong voice, and I wish we saw more of it.  It did take a backseat to some of the other things we see in the book, and I’m a little sad about that because I felt like it took away from her story.

My Rating: 1 star.  I really wish I liked this book more, but it just didn’t work for me.  I think it would work great in physical form, but as a digital ARC, it was hard to get through.  There were parts of the book I liked, but it wasn’t enough for me to really get into the book.

Book Review: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Book: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Published June 2019 by HarperTeen|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

I didn’t like This Time Is Different as much I thought I would, but I still liked it.

CJ was interesting, and I love that she’s into flower arranging.  I feel like that’s not something a lot of people are into, and that definitely stood out.  She really was happy helping out at the family flower shop, and it was really important to both CJ and Hannah.  I didn’t love her, but I can’t really figure out why.  She was really hard on people, and not willing to give them second chances.  Which is understandable but she let it get in the way of other things.

Fighting for the flower shop, and changing the name of the school was really important to her, and it was interesting to see her fight for that.  There are issues along the way, including working with someone she doesn’t like.  Which I completely understand, after hearing what had happened.  But it was middle school, and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt..maybe she has changed.

I felt like I learned a little bit more about Japanese internment and the effects it had.  It’s not something I really remember from history class in school, but it had this huge affect on CJ’s town, even decades later.  It very much affected her family, and it became really important to her to fight for her community.

The characters in This Time Will Be Different are very human and very flawed.  I liked that because they felt so very real.  They have a lot of really difficult conversations, and there aren’t easy answers but I think a lot of the characters learn a lot about themselves along the way.

I know for me, I really wanted the flower shop to be saved, and was disappointed it wasn’t, but things don’t always work out how we want them to.  Hopefully, CJ will find something she loves as much as she loved the flower shop and she’ll find something she’s really passionate.  Maybe she’ll stick with the flower arranging but maybe not.  She has a lot of options, I think.

3 stars.  I liked This Time Will Be Different but I didn’t love it.

Book Review: The Beholder by Anna Bright

Book: The Beholder by Anna Bright

Published June 2019 by HarperTeen|435 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The Beholder #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

I wasn’t sure about The Beholder at first, but I ended up really liking it!  It’s a pretty cool book, and I’m glad I read it.

Selah has an interesting journey, and the book in general reminded me of a fairy tale combined with an alternate history of the world.  I wish I could more specific but the book really felt like it was an alternate world and yet, it was a lot like ours.  There’s New York, the Potomac, Russia, England, King Arthur, Baba Yaga…I could go on and on about the myths and stories we see in the book.

Everything was done pretty well, and it was fun trying to figure everything out, and how everything was connected to stories I was familiar with.  It makes me wonder if there references to stories I’m not familiar with, and what we’ll see in the next book.  I wonder if we’ll meet the other suitors, or if Selah will try to not go meet them.  And with what was really going on with everyone on her ship, I’m curious to see what will happen.

I’m not sure about the time period the book is supposed to be set in, because there are some very familiar places, but also some pretty unfamiliar ones as well.  I’m having a hard time with that, because it feels so old, but it also feels modern in a way.  Either way, it’s a pretty interesting read.

I feel like it’s definitely set up that she’ll have to pick someone to marry, and I’m honestly not sure who I would choose.  She could go with anyone, and I’m glad that, for once, it’s not obvious who’s she going to go with.  After what happened in England, I’m not sure if she’ll go with him, but it really seems like she’s genuinely into both guys.  We’ll see what happens, of course, and I’m intrigued.  The next book feels so far away, but I’ll definitely wait and see, because I really want to know what happens.

4 stars.  I really liked The Beholder, and liked the combination of places and myths that come to life in this book.

Book Review: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Book: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Published April 2019 by Wednesday Books|256 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?  

I absolutely LOVED You’d Be Mine.  It seemed like it was right up my alley, and I’m glad I read it.

I loved Annie, and her story was amazing.  I can’t imagine stumbling across what she did, and she must have been conflicted.  She loves singing and performing but she also lost her parents to it, and it must have been hard to reconcile that.  Annie is a pretty lovable character, and I rooted for her the whole time.  I just wanted her to be okay and help her through it.

It seems like people definitely had their expectations for her, and she tries so hard to not be like her parents.  There’s one scene where she’s really angry at her parent’s graves, and that really stuck with me.  I don’t blame her for that at all, and I feel like I would be angry at them too, especially her dad.

I actually really liked her and Clay together.  Their romance felt really natural, and she does have some reservations because of her parents, but things seem to work out between them.  I also completely get her reservations.

I really liked Clay as well, though not as much as Annie.  I wish we got a little bit more on Clay’s family and his backstory, because it didn’t seem like enough.  I still felt for him, and he really struggles with who he has to be, and who he wants to be.  Things do seem to be headed in the right direction for him at the end of the book, and hopefully, it’ll stay that way.

I loved that the book was set during the summer, and that it was about country music!  I love country, and even though I was a sobbing mess by the end of the book, I still had a lot of fun reading it.  It’s a great summer read, at least for me.  There’s something heartwarming about the book and it’s a pretty emotional read.  But it was worth it.

5 stars.  I LOVED this book so much, and I’m glad I read it.

Audio Book Review: Sadie By Courtney Summers, Narrated by Full Cast

Book: Sadie by Courtney Summers, Narrated by Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman and Fred Berman

Published September 2018 by Macmillan Audio|Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page. 

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Sadie, and I finally got around to listening to it!  I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would and it was just okay for me.

The story was pretty interesting, and I did like that you had a combination of podcast episodes and Sadie’s story.  You see West try to figure out what happened to Sadie as you actually see what happened to Sadie.  It’s two definitely two stories in one, and it made the book interesting but it also…I don’t know, something about it really bothered me.  It’s liked, I liked that the two stories ran alongside each other but they didn’t really come together the way I thought they would.

I did want a little bit more resolution at the end, which is pretty open-ended.  While I don’t mind stories with open-endings, I really wanted one for this book.  I think I assumed the podcast would bring some sort of closure to Sadie’s story, and that didn’t happen.  At least to my satisfaction.  I know it’s not always the case with stories like Sadie’s but it didn’t stop me from wanting it.

I did feel for Sadie, and she really did everything she could to take care of her sister.  She certainly went on her own path for revenge and I don’t blame her.  It’s a lot darker than I expected, and I’m not sure why.  I do like that she took care of her sister, and wanted to protect her and keep her safe.

It does inspire a Serial-like podcast, and that was more interesting to me than Sadie’s story…not that her story didn’t interest me, because it did.  I think I was just more interested in seeing West try to piece Sadie’s story together.  Still, it was nice to actually get Sadie’s story as well, because it certainly would have been easy to not write Sadie’s side.

I’m in the minority in my opinion of Sadie, in that everyone else seems to love it.  I wish I did, but I’ve read a few of her books, and I’m starting to think that her books aren’t for me.  The mystery didn’t grab me, and I can’t say I’m surprised by any of what’s revealed throughout the book.

I am glad I did Sadie as an audio book because I don’t think I would have finished it otherwise.  With several narrators, I did expect to hear from all of them pretty equally, but I mostly felt like we heard from two of them for most of the book.  That was slightly disappointing to me, since I think they all did a great job.

2 stars.  I didn’t love Sadie as much as I wanted to.  I was disappointed by the ending, and I wanted more closure to Sadie’s story.