Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date published: September 4th 2018
Page Count: 308
Trigger Warnings: abandonment, pedophilia, sexual assault, murder
If you love listening to podcasts about murder mysteries, this is the book for you. Sadie by Courtney Summers is about a girl who sets out on a search for the man who killed her sister and a podcast narrator who is out on the search for the girl.
Sadie is the main character of the story, who has a strong personality that can be off-putting at first, but is reflection of her resilient nature. She grew up in an unhappy household and lacked the stability in a family. All she had was Mattie, her younger sister. So when Mattie was murdered, well, you can expect more terrible things to happen.
Very little is revealed at the beginning of the book other than the fact that Sadie sets out to look for the killer. As the story progresses, more is revealed about what happened to Mattie and what will happen to Sadie.
The story is split into two parts, on in perspective of Sadie and a podcast. The two distinctly different yet parallel story lines were both so captivating and they fit so well with each other. Each story line were paced and written so strategically to flow with each other and to reveal crucial information at critical points in the story.
The addition of the podcast offers that enigmatic sense of mystery as West McCray, the host, learns more about the forgotten town and its past, while bringing the readers along in trying to piece together clues left behind, only to uncover more questions under every answer. Meanwhile, Sadie’s perspective provides some insight to those questions that are left hanging during the podcast. The two complementary perspectives provided a great deal of intrigue and suspense.
The plot is fast-paced and full of twists and turns. It keeps you on the edge as Sadie plants herself into near-death experiences, putting herself face to face with potential killers and in less than legal situations. It’s a gritty story, with. She’s willing to do anything for Mattie; even if it’ll kill her.
But whether it’s recklessness driving her, or love for her sister, Sadie is still a frustrating main character to deal with. I can’t help but get angry whenever she does something she shouldn’t. (It’s like that iconic moment when you know that character shouldn’t open the door to that closet but they do anyway? but repeatedly.) Sadie wasn’t the funnest protagonist to deal with. But once you learn her back story and the trauma she’s gone through, you do feel sympathy and admiration for her.
The ending was really abrupt and to say the least ambiguous. But in hindsight, it was probably the best way to go. There’s an unfinished feel to the story and leaves the readers hanging, but just as a podcast would leave listeners in suspense even at the very end. There’s a sense of realism and raw truth that Courtney Summers adamantly maintains throughout the book, and she stays true to it until the very last sentence.