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.