Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: September 4, 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.
***TW: This book deals with sexual assault and child pornography. Please take caution when reading***
Every so often a book comes along that leaves bruises on your very soul. It’s raw, ugly, and isn’t about anything enjoyable. But still, even though it leaves you reeling, it’s also left you thinking. Perhaps about the other side of life. The side you’d like to brush under the rug and act like it doesn’t exist because it’s too dark. Too scary. Too emotional to think about. But this book does that. It pulls you out of your warm, cozy house and places you someplace uncomfortable.
Sadie is the first book I’ve read by Courtney Summers and is an absolutely ingenious novel. Written through a first person narrative by Sadie herself, along with alternating podcasts that tells the story of Sadie and her sister through the eyes of May Beth, their pseudo grandmother, and eventually through those of their own mother. Deeply moving, Sadie touches on some hard topics. It’s uncomfortable, but instead of taking away from the story, it adds depth and layers and eventually your life is entwined with Sadie’s. You won’t be able to get her out of your head. It’s been a week since I finished this one, and I still find myself thinking about these girls during random times throughout the day. Summer’s writing is beyond incredible. It’s poignant and pivotable, and one of the best YA thrillers that I’ve ever read.
Honestly, I feel like the best thing to do with this one is to go into it blind. Don’t over research it and read a hundred different reviews. Let this one speak for itself. This is a really important story about a poor girl who has an intense, undying love for her sister, and who has suffered unspeakable traumas. While the story of Sadie herself is a work of fiction, turn on the news or open the paper and you’ll find hundreds of stories about girls just like her. It’s a blight upon our society and one that needs to be addressed more often.
If you only read one book this year, READ THIS ONE!