By Courtney Summers
My Rating: 4 Stars
I adore Courtney Summers, but I am a biased audience because I was the chair of the Odyssey Committee that selected Sadie as our winner for the best audiobook production for that year. I am impartial to her writing in other words, however, it also means I can be seriously let down.
This story premise of a religious cult fascinated me from the time I read the synopsis a while back because I knew she could do a lot with it in a way that only she could. I like this story-- with the story jumping back and forth between Bea, the older sister making the decision to join The Project, and Lo, in present-day trying to reconnect and see her sister. Lo is now 19 and has not seen her sister since she was in a nearly fatal car accident. I like both sisters equally--Summers balances the empathy card so I actually did not ever end up disliking the decision Bea made to leave her sister to join The Project--some may disagree with me on this.
This is very introspective and not as much action-based. This is a lot of Lo in her head, sorting feelings and trying to make sense of everything she is learning about herself, The Project, and Bea's history. This story is painful--as Courtney Summer's books usually are--it is the story of seeking out acceptance and redemption and the ways we go about doing that. While some may put up breaks with giving this to young adults, I would say it walks that line of being appropriate for the upper end because acceptance is a universal theme that all students experience at some point in their lives--whether adults are ready to admit it or not.
I listened to this audiobook and I would say this is such a different book than Sadie, do not go into it expecting a similar audiobook production like it. The narrators do a great job of bringing the two girls to fruition and convey the appropriate emotion as needed. While it is not my favorite audiobook of the year, it is still a good one.