Sadie – Courtney Summers

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

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.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Review:

Trigger Warnings: sexual abuse, pedophilia, drug abuse, violence, and murder

Wow. . . I don’t know what else to say. Sadie was an incredibly emotional, raw, and dark book. I applaud Courtney Summers for how she told this story of abuse unapologetically and without sensation. I know that true crime is all the rage lately (for myself included). Sometimes we can get too caught up in the offender and put the focus on them rather than the victims. Summers did not do this at all in Sadie. She never focused on the actual acts of abuse or the abuser, but rather the effects on the victims. I thought it was so important that Summers showed (through Keith) that abusers are so often a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Summers was able to tell a powerful and compelling story that is educational and also respectful.

I absolutely loved the way Sadie was written and how the story was told. The narrative is split between two alternating figures . . . West McCray, a podcast host who is investigating the disappearance of Sadie Hunter, and Sadie herself, who is on a mission to find her sister’s killer. West’s POV and investigation are a few months behind Sadie’s POV, but the two storylines worked together beautifully. I had never read anything like this before. It was so compelling and a perfect way to tell Sadie’s story.

Summers leaves the ending open without a definitive answer. I want to hold out hope for the outcome/answer that I so want to be true, but part of what I loved about Sadie is how realistic it was. I’m unfortunately inclined to think the worst. We will never know for sure. I do know that Sadie will stay with me forever.

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