I picked an ARC of this up at YALC, but with only two weeks to go until publication, I figured it was close enough that I could post my review of it.
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.
I really, really enjoyed this book. Told in alternating chapters, one half tracking Sadie as she journeys to solve a mystery, and the other told in podcast scripts as West McCray tries to solve the mystery of another missing girl, the story unfolded together and I was utterly hooked.
Sadie is dark, mysterious, utterly compelling, and packed with sisterly love and compassion. It paints a portrait of a young woman who’s had an incredibly difficult life, lost her mother, her sister, and is on her way to resolve things the only way she knows how.
This entire book was electric. It was packed with tension, clever plotting, mysteries unravelling, and a main character with a stutter for no reason other than she had a stutter. That kind of representation, and a book about a complex, layered female character who’s come from the wrong side of the tracks was so refreshing to read. Sadie hasn’t had an easy life, but she’s in no way one-dimensional or lacking in complexity.
It’s hard to put into words just why I liked this book so much. I think Courtney Summers is a brilliant writer, who really gets into the head of complex, nuanced, and sometimes utterly unlikeable characters, brings you with her, and makes you see out of their eyes.
I absolutely devoured this book, staying up late and sitting in the car to read it, and I don’t regret a second of it.
Interestingly, West McCray’s chapters (which are presented as a podcast in the book) have been adapted into an actual podcast, which is available on iTunes/Stitcher/whatever. Having read the book first, the podcast is all the more interesting, but if you need something to tide you over until release day, I suggest you listen to the podcast, and have a think about what parts of the story you might be missing, and what you’ll see when you experience the book as a whole.
Sadie is fantastic, dark, gritty, true crime, true to life, and beautifully presented. The stark white of the cover against the popping red of Sadie’s hoodie, the lack of facial features as they’re obscured by her hair – everything about this book is carefully thought out, and extremely well-presented. I thoroughly recommend this one.