Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Publication Date: September 4th 2018 (US)
Format: eARC (320 pages)
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.
My Rating: ★★★★★
“I’m going to kill a man. I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out.”
Powerful. Emotional. Gripping.
Just three words I would use to describe Sadie by Courtney Summers. I knew I needed this book after adoring All the Rage and I was not disappointed.
Sadie is a cleverly written YA thriller that had me gripped from the very beginning. We follow the story of Sadie who has gone missing whilst attempting to avenge the murder of her little sister Mattie. But this is so far from your usual ‘I’m getting revenge’ story. Sadie is fuelled by her anger, her disappointment, every emotion she has been left after being dealt a really rough hand in her young life. I very quickly learnt that I loved Sadie and no matter what she did, I was going to love her.
The story is told through two very different types of narrative. There are chapters told from Sadie’s point of view so we can see what she has been doing, where she is going next and we really do feel every ounce of her sadness, anger and emotion. Alternate chapters are then told in podcast transcripts as Marybeth, Sadie’s guardian of sorts, enlists the help of a podcaster to try and solve the mystery of where Sadie has gone. I really loved the way these contrasted against one another. Knowing what you know from Sadie’s POVs and then seeing the podcast on her tail really amped up the tension and excitement as I read. I’ve heard that MacMillan have actually made some podcasts too so I’m excited to check those out!
This story is just breathtaking. Courtney Summers is an exceptional writer who really crawls into the minds of her characters, making all of their emotions and choices feel so real. As a reader, I felt so strongly for Sadie and wanted to protect her but also felt complicit in her actions as I could completely understand why she was doing what she was doing. Mattie’s murder sparked something in Sadie and she will not rest until justice is served, but her own kind of justice. Her journey is something she is doing for herself and seeing her struggle but remain still and strong was remarkable and inspiring. It left me wondering what I could be capable of if my own sister was murdered.
Sadie is an absolutely captivating protagonist and I sobbed my heart out whilst reading this book because I could truly feel what she was feeling. I worried for her, I felt panicky as she became more and more reckless and heartbroken for this young girl who feels so strongly that the world is completely against her. There is something incredibly special about Sadie as a character and her story is going to stick with me for a very long time.
TW: Paedophilia; sexual abuse; drug abuse.
Thanks to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Courtney Summers for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Have you read Sadie? Is it on your TBR?
What are your favourite YA thrillers?