I received a free copy of this book, thanks to Wednesday Books(an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) and NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.
A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.
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.
Rating: 4.8/5 Stars
Tags: Thriller, Podcast, True-Crime, Suspense, OwnVoices, Missing Persons, Young Adult, Psychological Thriller, Coming of Age
Usually, I’d rate books either half star or full, nothing in between. But this time it only feels right to break that rule.
I practically wolfed down this book in two big bites. This was the first time such a phenomenon has happened ever since I started reviewing books! My eyes did not thank me for it >.<
Sadie by Courtney Summers is a YA thriller presented in a podcast/radio show format and before you get turned off by that let me say that it read very much like a novel. The story is told half the time in Sadie’s POV and the other half as a radio show(personally, I thought it came off more like a podcast) hosted by West McCray. Sadie is an unsociable teen with a troubled childhood, pushed to take on responsibilities before her time. She also has a stammer. Not long after her sister is murdered, she goes missing. This is the story of tracing her footsteps through cities and described by diverse people she touched along the way. It’s also about what really happened.
‘Or maybe you get so used to the mess of home you convince yourself over time everything’s exactly where it belongs.’
(isn’t that so relatable?)
You watch as Sadie struggles with her mission and the temptations of ordinary teenage life that she’s missed out on. Her narrative is biased, just as you’ll notice the other characters’ opinions on her are formulated through their personal lenses. One thing is made expressively clear, this is not a thriller with explicit scenes of any kind. Courtney Summers nuances as to what went down and leaves the rest to the reader’s imagination.
Some minor misgivings I had about the book were:
- There were two instances where I thought the cliffhangers were merely put for dramatic purposes that weren’t realistic had it taken place in real life.
- ‘Cute little lawn ornaments adorn one, while a rotting couch surrounded by garbage accents another.’ Tell me who speaks like that? Naturally?
- The ending. Without spoiling it for you, I’ll just say that it was fitting(I say it begrudgingly). It’s also why I took off 0.2 stars from my rating(because I’m petty like that).
I glance at the gas gauge. Half empty.
I wonder if the author deliberately chose a negative wording of ‘half empty‘ instead of ‘half full‘ to show the character’s state of mind.
Sadie is gritty in its believability and heartbreaking in its emotions. It’s a tale of coming-of-age and identity struggle. And it’s one helluva addictive read!
Parental Guidance: 15+
Violence – Some lines implying violence
Sex – Contains pedophilia themes and murder
Religion – Nope
Profanity – Lots, but never felt excessive
- those who wish to read representation of people with speech disorders
- if you love true-crime podcasts
- realistic YA novels
- riveting Thriller seekers