Review of SADIE by Courtney Summers
“People don’t change. They just get better at hiding who they really are.”
A heartbreaking story about the ugly world we live in. SADIE is a book I will not soon forget
Wow, this book is so powerful. SADIE is full of catchy passages. Furthermore, the book also enjoys interesting characters. Everyone plays an important role in the book, no matter how briefly some are speaking at times. The world-building was also well done. I would say that I would love to see this book made into a movie, but the truth is that I feel like I have already seen the movie. And this just by reading the book. SADIE is definitely a must-read!
A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.
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 meager 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.
What a terrible book. By this, I do not mean that the book is bad, absolutely not. By this I mean that the story is terrible, the events in SADIE are anything but fun, but that is what makes the book so gripping and powerful.
In SADIE we follow two main characters. We follow Sadie, the girl the book is about. These chapters are written in the way you’re used to; blocks of text in first person. But we also follow West McCray, and West is working on a program about Sadie’s disappearance. Now, the parts where West McCray is on offer are formatted in podcast transcripts. You know, FORENAME NAME and then text.
The construction of this book is so special and unique. I think the difference in narrative style for each chapter is very fitting, and it made me fly through the book. I enjoyed following Sadie, but also seeing the case from a different point of view.
In the chapters where Sadie is speaking, the world-building is very well done. I felt every detail and saw every scene in front of me. At times, it felt like I was in the car with Sadie.
There are a lot of characters that come up in SADIE and each of those characters has their own role in the story. Sometimes they only come up for a small moment, but they are all part of the big picture and I loved that. As you read, all the puzzle pieces fall into place. Each chapter gives you new pieces of information that you can link to what you already know. But The Breadcrumbs are not enough, which just keeps you reading.
A lot of people say you have to read the original, but I don’t think this is necessary with SADIE. The translation was so good that I definitely recommend the Dutch version.
I had trouble getting into the book at first. I picked up SADIE, but didn’t immediately get warmed up by the story. That’s why this review is only now appearing on my blog. This is entirely down to me as I am a huge mood reader. I was not so in the mood for a mystery back in July – when the book came out. I then picked up SADIE a second time – yesterday – and finished the book in one day. I restarted the book when I was snuggled up in bed with a tea and that was the perfect setting.
The ending of SADIE is perfect. It completely fits the book, and I’m glad the author chose to end the book that way. Be sure to let me know in the comments what you thought of the ending!
Would I recommend it?
Yes, without a doubt. Do check out the trigger warnings before you start the book.
Abandonment, ableism, death, depression, drug abuse, dysfunctional family, loss of a family member, murder, pedophilia, rape, sexual abuse (of a child), violence
Bisexual mc, mc with a stutter, gay mc (mlm)
Mystery (young adult)
September 4th 2018
About the author
Courtney Summers is the bestselling author of several novels. Her work has been released to critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors–including the Edgar Award, the John Spray Mystery Award, the Cybils Award, the Odyssey Award, the Audie Award–and has enjoyed the recognition of many library, state, ‘Best Of’ and Readers’ Choice lists. Courtney has reviewed for The New York Times, is the founder of the 2015 worldwide trending hashtag #ToTheGirls, and in 2016, she was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30. She lives and writes in Canada.