Review: Four Reasons Why SADIE Should Be on Your Reading List
Published by Wednesday Books on September 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Sadie by Courtney Summers is, by far, one of the most heart-wrenching and unforgettable books I’ve read this year. Nineteen-year-old Sadie and her younger sister Mattie were abandoned by their mother. Sadie therefore has spent much of her young life acting as both mother and big sister to Mattie, even quitting school so that she could work to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Mattie is Sadie’s whole world, so when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s world comes crashing down around her.
Sadie is convinced she knows who killed Mattie and sets out after him, determined to bring Mattie’s killer to justice. When her neighbors realize Sadie has gone missing, in addition to contacting local law enforcement, they also begin talking to West McCray, a radio personality, in hopes that he will use his connections to help them find Sadie before something happens to her. While at first reluctant to get involved, West McCray soon becomes obsessed with tracking down the missing girl.
And so we follow Sadie as she tracks a killer, and we follow McCray as he tracks Sadie. And wow, what a journey this is. Sadie is dark, gritty, emotionally raw, and just downright brutal. I don’t want to give away any plot details so I’ll just say that Sadie is a powerful story that is going to stick with me for a long time and then I’m going to share some reasons why I think you should give Sadie a try as well.
4 REASONS WHY SADIE SHOULD BE ON YOUR READING LIST:
- Sadie. I don’t know that I’ve ever cared about a character as much as I cared about Sadie. She had already been through so much because her mother was such a dud, and then tried to make the best of a bad situation by throwing herself into taking care of her sister, only to have her sister taken away too. Who can come away from that intact? My heart just bled for this emotionally wrecked girl who makes the decision to go after her sister’s killer. She feels like she has absolutely nothing left to lose at this point because she’s already lost it all.
- Unique Storytelling Format. The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Sadie and from those who are involved in the search for her. The other perspectives are presented as part of an eight-episode podcast that West McCray has put together. He gives his thoughts as he searches for Sadie and he shares interviews with people he has encountered who can provide information on the whereabouts of both Sadie and the elusive man she is after. I liked this unique format and thought it very effectively moved both Sadie’s journey and McCray’s investigation along at a nice pace.
- The Suspense is Off the Charts. My fear for Sadie’s safety was the overall driving factor. The author paints Sadie’s desperation, despair, and determination so vividly that the suspense just built steadily throughout until the book reaches its unforgettable conclusion. I read this book in just a couple of sittings because I couldn’t put it down until I knew Sadie’s fate. The author also does a brilliant job of making both journeys equally compelling. Would Sadie catch the killer? And if so, then what? Or would McCray find Sadie first? And again, if so, then what?
- All the Feels. If you like a book that gets to you on this level, Sadie is a book that is pretty much guaranteed to get an emotional reaction of out you. It was an emotional roller coaster for me. Sometimes I was so angry and outraged, while at other times, I just felt so sad and heartbroken. And yes, there were tears. This book is by no means a light read; it deals with many dark themes, including abuse, and it’s a powerful read that won’t let go even after you finish. It’s actually quite haunting in that sense.
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.
This book. THIS BOOK. And Sadie. My goodness, she’s one of the most fully realised, flawed and fantastic characters I’ve read in forever, and I have not been able to let her go. And I agree with you about Sadie — she’s been through so much, I was fully invested in every part of her journey, and so afraid for her at the same time. I loved the complexity of her relationship with Mattie, and how the book revealed just what happened between them — and left me still sympathising with Sadie so much.
verushka recently posted…#5Books: Book recs and Daredevil
Yes, I have a feeling that Sadie is one of those characters that is going to stick with me for a while.
Suzanne recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: 10 BOOKISH ITEMS I’D LOVE TO OWN
Excellent review, Suzanne! I have the audiobook and you’ve convinced me to bump it up.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Christmas Miracle for the Doctor by Victoria James
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I really need to read this! I love the format and I’m a pretty character-driven reader. I didn’t know it was that short, maybe I’ll start the audio at work today!
Amber Elise @ Du Livre recently posted…Review: Umbertouched
It surprised me how short it was too. A lot goes on in such a short read.
I have this one on my shelves and really need to make time for it. I’ve heard only good things. Glad you enjoyed it.
Yes, I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a bad review for it yet. I hope it’s a great read for you too!
I’m definitely reading this next month, I want to get it in this year. I can hardly wait, I don’t think I’ve read a negative review yet😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…Blog Tour Guest Post: How DH Lawrence Shaped my Sci-Fi Life by Aliya Whiteley
I haven’t seen a negative review either. I think it’s one that lives up to all of the hype.
This sounds like such a hard read – it’s always so emotional for me when kids have crappy parents and they have to take care of themselves. I want to know what happens to Sadie, though!
It was a very powerful read. I had heard great things about it before I read it and it really exceeded all of my expectations.
Ooh five stars! I do really want to read this one, and I’m even more excited now. These are all fantastic reasons to read the book. 🙂
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
I hope it’s a great read for you as well!
This sounds like an amazing read, thanks for the recommendation!
bookworm recently posted…Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 11/11/18: I am back and baby it’s cold outside.
This sounds an awesome book and I really enjoyed your brilliant review. Thank you, Suzanne:)
You’re welcome! 🙂
I agree with you about all of it. Sadie was an amazing and complicated character, and Summers made her fully dimensional. I thought the format was brilliant, and loved the way it added to the tension. A tough read, but an amazing one at that.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Blog Tour: Your Own Worst Enemy – Gordon Jack
Yeah, definitely a tough read. I feel weird saying I “enjoyed” it just because it’s so gut wrenching and Sadie’s journey is filled with so much pain. It’s very well written though and that I definitely enjoyed.
Beautiful review of Sadie, and oh so very true. I felt the same way about her character and all those emotions.
Yes, I think Sadie is going to stick with me for a while. My heart just broke for her on so many levels.
I so agree with you Suzanne! And have you noticed that it is in the Goodreads finalists?
Sophie recently posted…Why living in my top 5 bookish world woud be Such A Bad Idea!
I did notice that. I voted for it too. 🙂
I also thought this was great. I had some issues with the way the ending was done, but she is one of my favorite YA writers!
Jen Ryland recently posted…Monday Mini-Reviews: Nine Perfect Strangers, Dark Sacred Night and more!
I really want to read more of her books after loving this one so much!