How do you choose between an engaging plot and a compelling writing, if you can have only one of them? Tough call, right? Welcome to my hell and with that thought in your mind let us review Sadie by Courtney Summers.
About the book
Book Name: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Young Adult
Characters: Sadie and Mattie Hunter
Setting: Colorado, The USA
Sadie and Mattie knew what it is to be left to fend for themselves, and as an elder sister Sadie had always been hard Mattie to protect her from the world as she knew it. But when Mattie is found dead and no one would help them, Sadie had to take things in her own hands in finding out who did that to her.
But then Sadie went missing too. The consensus was she went chasing her sister’s killer and no one knows anything about it.
Now, over a year after Mattie’s body was found, West McCray is hosting an investigative reporting podcast called The Girls and attempts to solve the case of Mattie’s death (and finding Sadie) by following Sadie’s journey.
Where does this investigation unearth? Did Sadie find the killer? Does it ends well for the team and Sadie? Well, you will have to read Sadie by Courtney Summers to know more.
My initial thoughts
The book Sadie follows two narratives – the podcast by West McCray in the present day (which hooked me in right from the minute go) and Sadie’s point of view, which didn’t work for me.
Sure there were a lot of sad things happening and there are characters that are super interesting. But somehow I never felt engrossed in Sadie’s narrative nor it impacted me, as much as it should have.
Do not get me wrong, the plot itself was just interesting and predictable. And I am ok with that, but the point that the storyline was not engaging me emotionally was a huge let down for me.
But the author’s compelling writing style kept me involved until the end. Talking of the ending, it may not work for all, some may feel disappointed even, but for me worked so well.
What I loved the most about Sadie was the characters, that were well developed and had so much depth. Be it Sadie’s stuttering and her intense need to be protective of her sister, or Mattie’s naivete or hopefulness, made me root for their turbulent relationship.
Sadie deals with hard and intense subjects like sexual abuse, pedophilia and child pornography, abandonment and neglect by parents. But Ms Summers has done a great job in keeping it still appropriate for a young adult audience (well, the upper limits of YA/NA) as well as adults.
What worked for me
- I loved Summers’ compelling and readable writing style.
- The characters and their detailing were perfect. I loved the multi faceted characters.
- One more round of applause for not making it gory with details about the rape/murder/pedophilia issues, given that its YA or NA audience.
- Despite that it might have been hit or miss, I personally loved the ending. In fact, I would have been disappointed if it would have ended any other way, having read the current ending.
What may have been better
- I wish the storyline was more engaging and emotionally involving me.
If you are looking a young/new adult thriller with an interesting premise, Sadie might be a good pick. Just heed to the warning about the subject matter, especially if you are younger by age and heart.
Have you read Sadie by Courtney Summers? How did you like it? What would you choose between a compelling writing and an engaging unpredictable plot? Let us talk.
Remember the time when everyone including your friends loved a thing and you didn’t know how to react because you didn’t love it as much. Or to be honest didn’t love it at all? Well, I am gonna probably lose some friends over this review of From Twinkle, with love by Sandhya Menon. Let get it done with ok?
About the book
Book Name: From Twinkle, with love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Fiction – Romance
Characters: Twinkle Mehra, Dadi, Sahil and Neil Roy, Maddie Tanaka, Victoria
Setting: Colorado Springs, Colorado, The United States of America
Twinkle Mehra is an aspiring filmmaker, who has had a crush on the school’s golden boy Neil Roy for a long time. She has made it her personal goal to break out of the groundling status (AKA commoners), in the high school cliched ranks, and get promoted to that of silk feathered hats, that is the popular ones.
To make matters worse, her childhood best friends Maddie had found new friends earlier this year and she is now among the popular clique, and she has to win her back.
When Sahil, a fellow film geek and the awkward twin of Neil Roy, asks her to work on a film for the summer festival, she takes it up as a chance to solve all her problems – get closer to Neil, win back Maddie, join the popular clique and shoot a film.
But what she did not expect was her falling for the sweet, understanding and adorable Sahil. What happens to their film and their romance forms the rest of the story in From Twinkle, with love.
Since I told you all pretty much how I feel about the book already, let us talk about the why part.
I was all excited for this book, because I had had met the author then and she turned out to be actually sweet and friendly. And most of my friends and many from the book blogger world loved it. But that didn’t sway my high expectations from my experience with When Dimple met Rishi. So I started reading with the correct level of expectations but hopeful that I will love it.
After a few initial chapters, I started disliking Twinkle as I found her annoying, self absorbed and hypocritical. As much as she spoke of breaking the barrier between cliches, she was obsessed with being in the popular group. She had a crush on Neil and constantly worried about ‘her connection with him’ even when she was getting closer to his brother, when she had barely spoken with him ever.
And she absolutely didn’t care about what Maddie’s interest in ‘being best friends’ with her. Or how Sahil would feel when he realizes that she is working with him to get to his brother, whose shadows he had lived under all his life. And she doesn’t tell him about meeting N, her secret admirer until he found out. I really wanted to like this book, you guys!
Also her character arc: Her character arc takes a positive change and then a negative so suddenly (and quite unnecessarily) that it had me double check if I were reading it correctly. Yes, she redeems herself at the end but the changes in her didn’t make sense to me.
Why am I talking only about Twinkle?
Because that is all there! From Twinkle, with love is written in the epistolary style with diary/letter entries of Twinkle and chat history of Sahil. The book offers no other character’s perspectives. But how did she write her diary when she was with others? Did she excuse herself for 30 minutes (that is how much long it took to write this review) when she is with others?
I liked the author’s writing style and easy flow. And it would definitely be a good book to start your reading habit even. I liked even the smaller characters like Dadi, Victoria and I wish we had deeper insights into their characters.
Things that worked for me
- Finally a diverse book with an Indian MC, in a setting that I can personally relate to.
- I loved Sahil and how understanding and helpful was.
- Great book to start the reading habit with.
- I liked the easy narrative flow, despite the epistolary style.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I completely hated how annoying and cardboard-ish Twinkle was.
- And her character arc didn’t make sense to me.
- I wish the other (non lead) characters had more depth and character development.
Read From Twinkle, with love if you are looking for a fluffy, contemporary high school romance, with desi characters. Many other bloggers have loved it, so you might too.
Similar books that you might like?
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Did you like From Twinkle, with love? Do you read epistolary style books and if so what other similar books would you suggest? Let us talk.