Sadieby Published 04 Sep 2018
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.
4.5 stars! I picked this book up on a whim and I GREATLY enjoyed it. This is a must-read for my fans of crime fiction.
CW: sexual abuse, pedophilia, violence, drug abuse, death/murder
I really did not know what to expect from this novel going in. All I knew was that it was half-podcast, half-novel which tells the story of a girl searching for her sister’s killer. I was totally unprepared for the true darkness of this book, which was a (weirdly) wonderful surprise. This is my first read from Courtney Summers, though I’m aware she does not shy away from tough topics in her books, and the same can be said for Sadie. This is an extremely heavy book that uncovers the evilier side of our society, but it is expressed in a way that is raw, authentic, and not at all sensationalized.
I feel the framing of the story is one of it’s shining points. The combination of Sadie’s first-person perspective with the podcast featuring interviews of those she encountered on her journey was truly mesmerizing. If you can, I’d highly recommend the audio version. Full casts are always enjoyable in my opinion, but the production value of this story is off the charts. From added tape-recording sounds to birds chirping in the background, it truly is a full-sensory experience that is far beyond what I typically get out of audiobooks. Piecing the story together through Sadie’s search and Wes’ investigation made for a unique and compelling reading experience. I can say with sincerity, I’ve never read anything like it.
The only thing I really struggled with in this novel is that it felt slow at some points. There are some high intensity moments that are true page-turners, but other moments were a little stagnant for me.
Overall, Sadie is truly a one-of-a-kind story. I can’t wait to read more from Courtney Summers after such a pleasant time reading my first work of hers.
Happy Pub Day!!!
"I'm going to kill a man. I'm going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out. You aren't supposed to answer violence with more violence but sometimes I think violence is the only answer."
Reading Sadie was the perfect example of why sometimes, the timing of picking up a book can make or break your experience. I tried to pick this one up months ago when I first received it and only made it about 25 pages before I had to place it to the side. I had some heavy stuff going on in my personal life, and I think a book of this calibre wasn't helping me to escape in the form that I needed at the moment. Fast forward to this week and I decided, at the recommendation of many bookstagram friends, to pick this one up again for my readathon. That choice ended up being one of the best decisions I made, as I connected so well to Sadie this go around. All this to say, if you're in a heavy or emotional place in your life right now, you may want to hold off until the opportune moment to pick this one up.
If you're looking for a unique novel that is a mature form of YA, this is it. The story is well written, gripping, and emotional, and the podcast format that is becoming so popular amongst authors and readers alike is a slam dunk here. I've heard also that Macmillan is releasing an actual podcast that coincides with the novel every Tuesday/Wednesday ish, and I plan on checking this out in greater detail over the weekend. Sadie, the novel, was an atmospheric read, and its claustrophobic nature had me tugging at the collar of my shirt by the end of the book to try and relieve the pressure that was building from my throat to my stomach. The pacing starts out very slowly, and builds momentum along with the tension that grows as our hearts become chained to Sadie's.
It's a tough read guys. I know I've said that about three times now, but I can't stress enough how heavy, yet timely this book is. If you're looking for a happily ever after, a story of redemption, or even just a book that will allow you to sleep again at night once you've finished it, you won't find that here. Without giving away any spoilers, you can expect some questions to be answered, but to be wrestling with the remainder for weeks to come after turning that final page. The alternating between podcast episodes and Sadie's own voice really worked well here, and toward the end there's a switch that just about crippled me once I realized what was being done. While not for the sensitive reader (CW for child abuse, pedophilia, rape, drug and alcohol abuse by minors and adults, graphic violence, etc.), I have to admit that this is a book that many people can learn from, both teens and adults alike. I have a sinking sensation that I'll be grappling with the effects of this book for months to come in my everyday life-when I'm in the shower or driving down the road-and I'll be reminded to hold my daughters a little more closely, because there are so many little girls out there who live a much different life than my babies do, and it's just not fair.
Book #1 in my August #25infive readathon.
Thank you Goodreads Giveaways for my review copy!
I'm THRILLED to share Sadie is a nominee in the Best YA Fiction category in the opening round of the Goodreads Choice Awards!!! 😱 You can vote right here:
The Goodreads Choice Awards is a wonderful opportunity for readers to make their voices heard about books they've loved each year and a chance for authors to have the books they've written reach an even wider audience. I'd be so happy to see Sadie's gritty story of revenge, sisterhood, love and survival progress to the semifinals and if her story has meant something to you, I hope it's earned your vote there. 😊 And thank you so much if it has--I'm grateful for your continued support of Sadie and for the incredible things you've helped to make happen this year. They would've never been possible without you. ❤️ CONGRATS to all nominees across all categories and yay for Reader's Choice!!! 🎉
In our last episode, I introduced you to the two girls at the center of this podcast, Mattie Southern and Sadie Hunter. Mattie was murdered, her body left just outside her hometown of Cold Creek, Colorado. Sadie is missing, her car found, abandoned, thousands of miles away, with all her personal belongings still inside it. The girls’ surrogate grandmother, May Beth Foster, has enlisted my help in finding Sadie and bringing her home.
For those of you just tuning in, this is a serialized podcast, so if you haven’t listened to our first episode, you should do that now. We have more story than time to tell it - but I suppose that’s true for all of us.
this book is such a ballpunch.
i don’t even have balls, but i felt it - the sharp whitehot flashes of sudden impact; boof, boof, boof, followed by a deep nausea.
courtney summers is gonna ballpunch all of you.
this book’s got some things in common with The Female of the Species and Are You Sleeping, but it has a ferocity all its own, and as much as i loved the fierce energy of The Female of the Species, with its teengirl vigilantism and Hard Candy revenge-killings, Sadie is much darker and more realistic, which makes it much, much scarier. and if there are still any adults out there who think they are 'too grown' for YA books, think again, because although this is targeted at a teen audience, the quality of summers’ writing is better than many adult-market books i’ve read, and she doesn’t pull any of those punches - they hit and hit hard.
there are two narrative voices: the rawnerve howl of nineteen-year-old sadie, on the trail of the man she believes killed her thirteen-year-old sister mattie, and west mccray - the creator of the podcast The Girls, whose contributions are mostly in the form of transcripts from that podcast, with all the rounded-edged detached professional compassion of an NPR host.
sadie has zero rounded edges left. all she has is a car, a backpack, some cash, and a plan:
”She’s dead,” I whisper and I don’t know why this is the thing I choose to say out loud because it hurts to say it, to feel the truth of those words pass my lips, to have them be real in this world. But She’s dead is the reason I’m still alive.
She’s dead is the reason I’m going to kill a man.
sadie dropped out of school at sixteen to raise her sister after their addict-mother left, both of their fathers long out of the picture, and she struggled for years to make ends meet with her truncated education and severe stutter in a small-town trailer park full of bad memories and no prospects for the future.
For some people, the future ahead is opportunity. For others, it’s only time you haven’t met and where I lived, it was only time. You don’t waste your breath trying to protect it. You just try to survive it until one day, you don’t.
what she did have was her devotion to mattie, and with mattie gone, she’s got nothing left to lose and she’s a mama-bear incandescent with vengeance.
i'll say no more, but oh, man, this is a powerhouse of a book. it'll getcha.
might bump this up to five stars - gotta let it all settle.
review to come, but in short: magnificent.
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CW: Pedophilia, sexual abuse, drug abuse, murder
This was a raw, emotional, and incredibly dark book. There are zero moments of levity and as someone who reads a lot of contemporary romances, it took a lot out of me to get through it. I am grateful that Courtney Summers did not sensationalize any of the abuse that went on before and during the events of this book. Though it's definitely present, it happens off of the page. She focuses on the toll it took on the victims rather than the acts themselves. If you can handle the subject matter (which I wasn't sure I could at first), I'd highly recommend it!
Sadie reads like a puzzle, with half of the story being told from Sadie's perspective and half from the perspective of a man doing a podcast on Sadie's disappearance. It's partially up to you to piece together the timeline, which I loved!
Make sure you listen to it as an audiobook as it's partially told in the style of a podcast with a large cast of voice actors! They even added ambient noises to set the scenes during interviews. I mean WOW - one of the best audiobook experiences ever.