It is no secret that Sadie is easily one of my favourite books of all time and so, when I heard Courtney Summers had an equally devastating and brilliant book coming, I knew I had to pick it up. I’m the Girl is the type of book that breaks you completely, but leaves you with a slither of hope in your heart.
This post originally appeared on The Nerd Daily.
The new groundbreaking queer thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar-award Winning author Courtney Summers.
When sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty—but who is guiltiest.
A spiritual successor to the 2018 breakout hit, Sadie, I’m the Girl is a masterfully written, bold, and unflinching account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it?
Publication Date: 13th September
TW: murder, death, trafficking, rape, sexual assault, grooming, violence, abuse, toxic parent relationship, drugging, death of parent, gaslighting
- Incredibly compelling characters
It is no secret that Summers has such a gift for creating these intensely lovable, three-dimensional and deeply flawed characters. They are often immensely vulnerable and going through traumatic events. Summers never hesitates to show their full messiness and the complexity of reactions to trauma. These are not perfect people, they are just people trying to survive in an entirely broken system. Georgia is someone clouded by naivety and the desire to pursue her dream, but this makes her all the more painfully raw and Summers drops little hints through this blurred vision.
- A beautiful romance
For all of the stomach-churning uncomfortable scenes in this book, there is a gorgeously soft and sweet romance that provides sparks of hope and light. It evolves very naturally, with a chemistry and dynamic that just blossoms into something wonderful. As ever with Summers though, it is not without its emotional entanglements and messy nature interconnecting to other aspects of the book.
- A primal scream of a book
There is no other way to put it – this is an extremely difficult book to read at times. Summers excels in bringing these sensitive and emotional topics to the surface and highlights them in their grimy reality. This book deals with grooming, sexual abuse and murder in brutal depictions of the reality of sexual violence and exploitation. It is intense, gritty and unflinchingly honest. With these topics comes a variety of emotions, including that guttural punch of anger and sadness that Summers conveys so well. You can viscerally feel the disgust and rage resulting from these topics and that emotional power resonates so strongly.
- Some of the most riveting writing I have ever seen
Summers really knows how to write the most mesmeric books. You physically cannot tear yourself away, even as the whirlpool of her stories becomes even more tumultuous. This is yet another example of that, with a tightly plotted and constructed thriller story. The book is earmarked by death, blood and exploitation and the ghosts of the dead hang heavy over the central action. Every page brings the tension up that much more and hints at even deeper layers to the mystery. I also massively appreciated the occasional nods to Sadie, to which this definitely earns the title of spiritual successor.
- It will emotionally devastate you
Summers is one of the few authors that can make me cry. I’m The Girl took me on an emotional journey that I am still reeling from. It is in the way these impeccably constructed characters endure so much and the way it reflects reality far too accurately. These monsters are not fictional, they are recognisable and they are all too human. This book will stay with me forever.