Publisher : Wednesday Books | Penguin Random House
Genre : Young Adult | Thriller
Page Count: 311
Synopsis : 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. (From Goodreads)
TW: Child neglect, sexual assault, mention of parental physical abuse, pedophilia, child sexual abuse, physical assault, murder.
*I received an early ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*
Here’s the truth about me… I do not read thrillers. Thrillers bore me. The element of surprise doesn’t really work on me so when that’s all that the book has going for it…it just flops. And here comes Sadie on her shiny white cover and I LOVED IT. The premise pulled me in and then the more I heard about it the more excited I was to read it, which…took me by surprise and my love for it took me by surprise, Because holy mother of twisted books, Sadie did not disappoint or bore me in the slightest.
This was my first time reading a Courtney Summers book (and you bet, I want to go through all of them now) and the writing style is absolutely amazing, it’s gripping, honest and most times harsh. The author doesn’t shy away from saying things as they are, which makes Sadie, with its subject matter quite heavy and hard to read at time (re: most of the time). Another thing that made this book such a unique and good experience is its format: It’s written from two vastly different perspectives. The first is Sadie’s as she’s road tripping through the country, trying to find her sister’s killer and avenge her death. And the other one is an other format entirely, it’s a podcast script where a guy retraces Sadie’s footsteps trying to find her months after she disappears.
I haven’t cared about a character as much as I cared about Sadie, reading her story, in a while. Maybe it’s because I saw parts of me in her, maybe because she didn’t deserve all the shit life threw at her, but for some reason I felt very protective of her. I’m not joking, you should see my texts to the friend who got me to read it, it was a bunch of yelling about wanting to wrap Sadie in a blanket, feed her and just let the girl get some sleep for God’s sake. Reading from her perspective was what made this book for me, she’s blunt, honest, incredibly strong and driven. Driven by revenge and grief. By all the ugliness in her life and the world.
Sadie‘s story is heartbreaking and made to make the reader uncomfortable, Sadie’s life is a shitshow and…that’s putting it nicely. There are so many things going wrong with her and the most heartwrenching out of all of it is that she accepts it with finality, she doesn’t really complain or try to get out. It is what is it. Growing up with a mother who’s an addict, having to raise her own sister, and even being molested and raped by her mom’s boyfriend. It just is what it is. And her POV consists of a lot of introspection on her part, thinking about her past, her sister, her mom, her life and just how deeply fucked up all of it is.
I hadn’t read the synopsis right before starting the book so I knew next to nothing about it when I picked it up (which I recommend) and at first, you don’t really know what’s happening or which way the story is headed but it’s quickly cleared up. Sadie is out to kill. And knowing how things probably ends makes for an intriguing and compelling story that’s moved by its characters and their motives instead of the element of surprise (which I dislike, like I said before). The story has so many layers to it that I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next layer to be unveiled, for Sadie’s next move and eventhough the book is anything but fast paced but it doesn’t get boring for even one second.
Another thing that was incredibly interesting about this book is that on one hand we get Sadie’s POV on the events that lead up to her disappearance and on the other, we get a collection of people’s perception of those events, how they remember them or even lie about them and we see this reporter, West McCray, trying to piece everything together despite being mislead or lead to a dead end more than once. Not just that but also how things really went down versus how Sadie thought they went. It was just fascinating to get multiple perspective on one event and and see an exploration of that on page.
The ending was equally amazing and frustrating and those conflicting feels are what made me not give it 5 stars. But otherwise, Sadie messed with my brain in all the best and worst ways. It’s heartbreaking, haunting and absolutely twisted but hopeful as well, when you dig. This book will stay with me for a while.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Sadie? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.