The relatability in I Hope This Doesn’t Find You was honestly an attack. This YA Contemporary breezed by as I fell into Sadie’s character. Talk to me about my latest YA obsession! Keep reading this book review of I Hope This Doesn’t Find You for my full thoughts.
Sadie Wen is perfect on paper: school captain, valedictorian, and a “pleasure to have in class.” It’s not easy, but she has a trick to keep her model-student smile plastered on her face at all times: she channels all her frustrations into her email drafts. She’d never send them of course — she’d rather die than hurt anyone’s feelings — but it’s a relief to let loose on her power-hungry English teacher or a freeloading classmate taking credit for Sadie’s work.
All her most vehemently worded emails are directed at her infuriating cocaptain, Julius Gong, whose arrogance and competitive streak have irked Sadie since they were kids. “You’re attention starved and self-obsessed and unbearably vain . . . I really hope your comb breaks and you run out of whatever expensive hair products you’ve been using to make your hair appear deceptively soft…”
Sadie doesn’t have to hold back in her emails, because nobody will ever read them… that is, until they’re accidentally sent out.
Overnight, Sadie’s carefully crafted, conflict-free life is turned upside down. It’s her worst nightmare — now everyone at school knows what she really thinks of them, and they’re not afraid to tell her what they really think of her either. But amidst the chaos, there’s one person growing to appreciate the “real” Sadie — Julius, the only boy she’s sworn to hate…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I Hope This Doesn’t Find You is like my nightmares and personality splashed on the page. As someone who grew up pouring her heart out in emails which never got responses – talk about the early stages of ghosting am I right?? – this book was made for me. Sadie spoke to my own experiences growing up in the ways she feels awkward, struggles to fit in, and plans her own success. While I never was as successful in planning my success like Sadie, I deeply resonated with her character. These emails, the illusions and false images of being nice to everyone? Talk about my own teenage years.
And I Hope This Doesn’t Find You is 100% hilarious and heartfelt. There are forced proximity, scenes out of romcoms, and summer camp vibes. If you love pranks gone wrong, rivals who are forced to team up, and relatable characters, this is for you. I loved the way she’s afraid of people hating her and leaving her. As someone who is adopted and has been basically created with this fear, I felt Sadie to the core. To this idea of trying to be the ‘good one’. The one that no one leaves, that keeps people at a distance to stop us from the – maybe – inevitable pain of them leaving.
But to see Sadie’s emails, the ways she lets her true feelings show, felt cathartic. Almost like this was happening to me. In I Hope This Doesn’t Find You, Liang does a phenomenal job at showcasing the vulnerabilities behind fronts that we all feel. All the images and illusions we put on for the world.
About the Author
Ann Liang is a graduate of the University of Melbourne. Born in Beijing, she grew up traveling back and forth between China and Australia, but somehow ended up with an American accent. When she isn’t writing, she can be found making overambitious to-do lists, binge-watching dramas, and having profound conversations with her pet labradoodle about who’s a good dog. You can find her online at annliang.com.