Sadie by Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: 01 October 2018
Genre: Young adult contemporary
Page count: 320 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is a spoiler-free review.
Sadie is a book that is getting a whole lot of buzz right now. A dark contemporary YA novel centered around a sister going after her sister’s suspected killer and the true crime podcast inspired by Sadie and Mattie, this book is the perfect 2018 novel. I absolutely love true crime podcasts and was interested to see how this would translate into a printed format. I heard about the incredible audiobook after I purchased the hardcover edition. While I liked Sadie a lot, I feel like the audiobook is going to give the reader a different, and perhaps better, experience.
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 meagre 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.
Sadie is yet another book that I just don’t want to say too much about because watching the plot unfold is so rewarding — this will probably be a short review. This book is a strange one because it manages to be a really quick and compelling read, but also incredibly dark with some seriously heavy themes. I highly recommend checking the content warnings of this book before you start reading because I don’t think it will be suitable for every reader. However, Summers handles those dark themes with incredible grace and the gravity that they deserve.
The best part of the book was reading the transcript of The Girls, the podcast featured in the book. As horrible as it may sound, I was definitely more interested in these chapters than parts of Sadie’s story. The pacing of the podcast was just right, where I felt like Sadie’s story had some pacing issues. It is strange that I felt more of a connection to Sadie through the podcast and the people who love her than I did through her own eyes. This is where I felt like the audiobook would have really come through for me.
I really enjoyed reading Sadie, if ‘enjoy’ is the right word. In a way, it’s the perfect Halloween book. It is terrifying and claustrophobic because Sadie’s story is so visceral and real — it can happen, and has happened, in real life. The horrors that lurk behind every corner are people and the actions of people we are supposed to love. If you’re looking for a dark and insightful look at the lives of teens, you can’t do much better than Sadie.
Don’t forget to listen along with The Girls as you read! The publisher has created a fictional podcast to go along with the book.
CW: pedophilia, sexual abuse, drug abuse
Want to give Sadie a try? You can pick it up from the following sites (affiliate links):