Sadie

Sadie

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...

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Title:Sadie
Author:Courtney Summers
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Sadie Reviews

  • Emily May

    I've been reading Summers' books for seven years now and she is both consistently good and continually getting better. I remember thinking that

    was one of the most powerful and vicious books I'd ever read back in 2011. Then

    came along and destroyed me some more.

    Whether Summers is writing a contemporary high school novel, a mystery, or a zombie apocalypse, she crawls right inside

    I've been reading Summers' books for seven years now and she is both consistently good and continually getting better. I remember thinking that

    was one of the most powerful and vicious books I'd ever read back in 2011. Then

    came along and destroyed me some more.

    Whether Summers is writing a contemporary high school novel, a mystery, or a zombie apocalypse, she crawls right inside the deepest, darkest parts of teen girl minds. She explores their grief, their love, their hopes, fears and passions, and she does it in such a way that her characters become unforgettable, feeling at once completely unique AND universal.

    And this book?

    . I felt so deeply for Sadie as she goes in search of the man who hurt her sister. Her sister, Mattie, who was her whole world. And yeah, yeah, we've read the "doing it for my sister/brother" a million times in YA but here it's so different. Sadie played the role of mother to Mattie when their own mother disappeared. Their relationship is special; complicated.

    Sadie goes on a journey from place to place, fighting against her severe stutter along the way, all to find one man. And West McCray’s investigation leads him along the same trail, the before and after racing each other to the end.

    I think the framing of this story was PERFECT. The author splits the narrative between a radio presenter, West McCray, as he investigates Sadie’s disappearance, and the first person perspective of Sadie herself, as she hunts down her sister’s killer.

    The juxtaposition of McCray’s detached radio voice with the passion and determination in Sadie’s account works really well. You can just imagine it - Sadie’s story becoming the latest True Crime special - and it honestly hurts to read. You want McCray to just move faster, work harder,

    about this poor girl from a disadvantaged background.

    was running through my mind the whole time. I felt a little panicked while reading, especially as Sadie becomes ever more reckless. It’s heartbreaking to see this girl who believes she has lost everything important in her world.

    It could be likened to any book with a badass female character on a mission, from

    to

    , but really, it stands on its own. In the end, it feels like a book about all the ways Sadie is let down by the people who should have helped and protected her; all the ways poor young girls are let down by the people who should have helped and protected them.

    And still, despite it all, this is a Courtney Summers book, so even at her lowest, weakest moments, Sadie still has claws. The sad thing is that she ever had to use them.

    TW: Pedophilia; sexual abuse; drug abuse.

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  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    this book is such a ballpunch.

    i don’t even

    balls, but i felt it - the sharp whitehot flashes of sudden impact; boof, boof, boof, followed by a deep nausea.

    courtney summers is gonna ballpunch all of you.

    this book’s got some things in common with

    and

    , but it has a ferocity all its own, and as much as i loved the fierce energy of

    , with its teengirl vigilantism and

    revenge-killings,

    is much darker and more realistic, which makes it much, much scarier. and if there are still any adults out there who think they are 'too grown' for YA books, think again, because although this is targeted at a teen audience, the quality of summers’ writing is better than many adult-market books i’ve read, and she doesn’t pull any of those punches - they hit and hit hard.

    there are two narrative voices: the rawnerve howl of nineteen-year-old sadie, on the trail of the man she believes killed her thirteen-year-old sister mattie, and west mccray - the creator of the podcast

    , whose contributions are mostly in the form of transcripts from that podcast, with all the rounded-edged detached professional compassion of an NPR host.

    sadie has zero rounded edges left. all she has is a car, a backpack, some cash, and a plan:

    sadie dropped out of school at sixteen to raise her sister after their addict-mother left, both of their fathers long out of the picture, and she struggled for years to make ends meet with her truncated education and severe stutter in a small-town trailer park full of bad memories and no prospects for the future.

    what she did have was her devotion to mattie, and with mattie gone, she’s got nothing left to lose and she’s a mama-bear incandescent with vengeance.

    i'll say no more, but oh, man, this is a powerhouse of a book. it'll getcha.

    ***************************************

    might bump this up to five stars - gotta let it all settle.

    review to come, but in short: magnificent.

    ***************************************

    it's here!

    ***************************************

    YYYEEEAAAAHHHHH!!

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    19 year old, Sadie and her younger sister, Mattie struggled to get by. Cold Creek is a small town with very few opportunities for employment. Many have to go to a neighboring town for work and school.

    Mary Beth Foster was Mattie and Sadie's neighbor and the manager of the trailer park where they lived. Mary Beth tried to look out for the sisters but basically, it was just the two of them. Their mother, Claire had been out of

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    19 year old, Sadie and her younger sister, Mattie struggled to get by. Cold Creek is a small town with very few opportunities for employment. Many have to go to a neighboring town for work and school.

    Mary Beth Foster was Mattie and Sadie's neighbor and the manager of the trailer park where they lived. Mary Beth tried to look out for the sisters but basically, it was just the two of them. Their mother, Claire had been out of the picture for quite a while.

    The bond between the sisters was very strong, but something horrific happens that severs that bond forever. Now Sadie is missing and Mary Beth Foster just wants to find someone who can help. Someone who will give a damn...

    West McCray is a radio personality who just happens to overhear a little bit of Sadie and Mattie’s story. At first, he thinks what many others seem to be thinking…

    West and his producer have been talking about West hosting his own podcast. His producer is the one who suggests he dig a little deeper into Sadie's story. West doesn't really want to do it at first, but finds that he can't stop thinking about their story and ends up creating a serialized podcast called “

    After working on the story for awhile, West starts to get nervous. He's scared of what he might find.

    "

    So where is Sadie? What or who is she looking for?

    I thought this was an incredible read. A fantastic and powerfully written story. I was addicted and hated having to put the book down.

    I thought the layout of the novel was interesting and the characters all very well developed. We get to hear from many people that knew Sadie and Mattie which was a great addition to the story. The story jumps back and forth between Sadie’s journey and “

    ” podcast whose investigation retraces Sadie's steps. The novel deals with some tough subject matter, but I thought the author handled these issues with sensitivity and respect. I was hooked from start to finish.

    "

    " is a compelling and riveting story about love, loss, revenge, and the power of a sister's love.

    I'd like to thank Wednesday Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

    has lost herself and she doesn't want to be found. Not by the few remaining people in her life, not even by life itself. She lets the reader know right away that she is being fueled only by revenge, and there is no question that Sadie is surviving for the sole purpose of killing the man she believes murdered her little sister.

    has lost herself and she doesn't want to be found. Not by the few remaining people in her life, not even by life itself. She lets the reader know right away that she is being fueled only by revenge, and there is no question that Sadie is surviving for the sole purpose of killing the man she believes murdered her little sister.

    This was a heinous crime whose victim has obtained no justice; a case gone cold, until Sadie herself goes missing and the host of a serialized podcast is persuaded to revive it.

    The podcast portions are handled extremely well and are delivered in chapters that alternate with the saturated darkness of Sadie’s first-person narrative. We get right in her head, and it is wholly intense at the very least.

    I would say that Sadie’s falling apart, but that would imply she’d once had it all together, and she has

    . Not with an absentee father, and an addict of a mother. Not when she’d been forced to raise her younger sister as though she wasn't also just a child herself.

    Sadie has stripped away the outer layers of herself until all that remains is this primal, animalistic being whose desire to kill this man has become the only thing in life that matters. I could sense her wasting away, eating only because she has to and because not eating would steal the strength she needs to carry out her plan.

    You will feel Sadie’s desperation as it all but suffocates her. You will witness her becoming a machine—one who feels only pain, if she feels anything at all. Her eyes are focused, and she’s seeing red as she paves her own way through the road splayed out in front of her—god help anyone who tries to stand in her way.

    writing continually impresses me, and frankly just keeps getting better. I’ve come to love the sharpened edges of her young adult stories, but this one in particular seems to break through the confines of YA altogether, targeting a much wider audience than teens.

    This plot is driven; a reckless drive, and it’s Sadie behind the wheel, the reader sitting shotgun alongside her. It’s brave and it’s raw and it feels so close to

    that you may just have to remind yourself to come up for air at times.

    Sadie’s character, with all of her pain, is sharp and witty, and even funny at times. She speaks with a stutter, which only endeared me to her even more, and she’s easy to love even though she’s not intentionally casting out lovable vibes.

    Every element in the story came to life—all of it—and it wasn't pretty to look at, but it was powerful and it was important. A mother’s addiction. A sister’s reliance. A child abused. A daughter, so in need of her mother’s love that the lack of it has hollowed out her insides, leaving a hole that can only be filled with pain and uncertainty.

    This book is more than a story—it is a voice, and it begs to be heard.

    Contemporary/Young Adult/Mystery

    Sadie's character is sole focus of story. She's painfully broken and highly driven in her pursuit.

     Sadie sets out to kill the man she believes murdered her sister.

    Edgy, witty, brilliant! This author is a favorite of mine!

    1st Person Perspective: Alternates between Sadie's POV and Podcast transcripts

    None. Standalone

  • Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

    Every now and then, I stumble upon a book that makes me wish to heap violence on my vocabulary, to wrench away words like “good” and “amazing” and excavate something more genuine, more raw, more appropriate to the experience of reading it.

    splintered in my heart, and I’m sure the author meant it to. I finished it, shivering with a chill inside me that nothing could possibly drive away. It’s been days and I still can’t swallow past the unaccountable lump in my throat. But I guess that’s just

    Every now and then, I stumble upon a book that makes me wish to heap violence on my vocabulary, to wrench away words like “good” and “amazing” and excavate something more genuine, more raw, more appropriate to the experience of reading it.

    splintered in my heart, and I’m sure the author meant it to. I finished it, shivering with a chill inside me that nothing could possibly drive away. It’s been days and I still can’t swallow past the unaccountable lump in my throat. But I guess that’s just it—

    .

    Nineteen-years-old Sadie has raised her little sister, thirteen-years-old Mattie, since she was born to Claire, their drug-addicted absent mother and a woman who belonged to them so little Sadie did not miss her. Sadie loved her sister something fierce that if you would swipe her heart searching for fingerprints, you’d find only Mattie’s. She had hung on so long by that single filament of purpose, and the moment she learned of Mattie’s murder, it snapped. Everything and everyone from then on has been lumped with the rest of the world as “

    ”, and Sadie’s grief, anger and hatred—as old as herself, and as pure as her love for her sister— lingered and ruled in her stead and prompted her to set out on a dangerous path to find her sister’s murderer…and kill him.

    Radio personality West McCray, enlisted by Sadie’s surrogate grandmother for help and goaded by his boss, starts a serialized podcast to track Sadie’s journey. McCray leans on the bits and pieces of Sadie’s story that are strewn all around him to learn, messily and gracelessly, the horrifying extent of what happened—truths and secrets that could never be shriven—and his desperation tapers down to a deep pit of need in his gut:

    .

    is, to be charitable, an uncomfortable book; but I entirely believe that it's meant to be discomfiting. It is haunting and creepy, a story of loss and lies and betrayal wrapped around a skeleton of heartache and grief. A tale of sisterly devotion that hasn’t tasted any real hope in so long and has been fed and nurtured on darker things—guilt and hurt and so much rage.

    Sadie has turned her heart out for the reader to examine the contents. Her voice is visceral, conveying her emotions with startling physicality. It was so deeply heartbreaking to see how much Sadie’s love for her sister inflects her narration, and that sense of marveling at what multitudes could come from one person remained with me throughout the entire book. My desolation deepened at the knowledge that each day, the crank will turn anew, and the gears of the world will lurch into motion but the broken edges of her little sister’s sundered name will not grow smooth with time; Sadie's guilt and grief were corrosive, and she was a husk.

    Reading this book felt as though I was clinging to the edge of reason by my fingertips, and the spinning world might at any given moment shake me off and hurl me. All I could feel was the approach, the closing-in, and

    —a clinging, muttering dread, tenacious as cobwebs. My heart was wild with it, and with anguish too, and every new page was scraping a place already raw. I was feeling the story's urgency pull me deeper and deeper inside it and there was only horror as every new truth came clear to me. I genuinely wished that I could somehow form each new revelation into a different picture and disprove my dark suspicions.

    If you’ve read a Courtney Summers novel, you know that she never pulls her punches, condescends, softens it up or sugarcoats. She knows what teenagers are capable of and what her teenage readers can bear, and she brings both past the very edge of comfort; the result would be either short and abrupt as a firework, or long and spun-out, and you never knew which, the ending might be soft or brutal, and you never knew which.

    is a story that confronts you with the gruesome truth that the monsters we conceive in our imagination are not nearly as frightening as the monstrous acts perpetrated by ordinary human beings. That when there isn't even a wisp of humanity to grasp at, let alone a strand to hang on to and follow into the dark, you are only plucking at strings of conscience that will yield no sound.

     still keeps replaying itself over and over, relentless, so many questions coiling tightly in my mind, boiling down to one terrible conviction:

    .

    pedophilia, child sexual abuse, parental neglect, mentions and descriptions of substance abuse.

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  • Melissa

    To say I’m not much of a YA reader is underplaying reality a bit. To say that I’m extremely choosy, ready to renege at the first sign of any juvenile antics and pretty much dragging my feet through the first few chapters, when I do finally cave, is all too accurate. My point being, if you’ve hesitated to pick up

    because you don’t frequent YA reads, let those preconceived notions go and take a chance. Live life through Sadie’s eyes—I'm betting you

    regret it. Hers is a bleak and tormen

    To say I’m not much of a YA reader is underplaying reality a bit. To say that I’m extremely choosy, ready to renege at the first sign of any juvenile antics and pretty much dragging my feet through the first few chapters, when I do finally cave, is all too accurate. My point being, if you’ve hesitated to pick up

    because you don’t frequent YA reads, let those preconceived notions go and take a chance. Live life through Sadie’s eyes—I'm betting you

    regret it. Hers is a bleak and tormenting reality at times, but one worth acknowledging.

    Sometimes the story isn’t about the dead 13-year-old girl, left in a field behind a burned out schoolhouse, but rather the disappearance of her nineteen-year-old sister. A girl that took on the mothering role when her own drunk and drugged out mother didn’t care enough to bother. An older sister that did

    in her power to keep her little sister safe . . . until that one moment she took a beat for herself and wasn’t there. One single night—a time out of sorts—that spelled goodbye.

    Armed with a switchblade to do the dirty work and driven by a thirst for revenge, Sadie sets out to find the monster responsible for killing her sister. She’s gutsy and reckless, but raw and so darn young. Left with a gaping hole her sister once occupied, will happiness ever be an option or is Sadie’s final act imminent?

    It’s a podcaster that finds himself playing detective, piecing together Sadie’s disappearance for her pseudo-grandmother and his listeners—dueling Sadie’s timeline along the way. Initially denying there was even a story to tell—

    —until the evidence left him no choice but to succumb to the hunt.

    The truth is harsh, soul-crushing and just downright awful. I think we can all agree, there’s nothing worse than innocent children being hurt at the hands of a demon and even more so when their parents don’t care enough to pay attention. Knowing there are kids out there living this life right now, makes this story that much harder to stomach.

    gives just enough of the story to make assumptions about the finale—all of the pieces are there, waiting to be assembled as the reader sees fit. My optimistic side liked that she left the door slightly cracked for the teeniest tiniest bit of hope to slip through—although probably

    unlikely given the evidence—with the only other option being one no one wants to consider.

    I have to admit, there’s something truly engaging about the author’s style. There’s almost a quiet beauty to the way

    strings thoughts together, while simultaneously working to keep the reader in the dark. A few times her words made me pause, reread and reflect—making it easy to see what all the fuss has been about. Like this lovely passage:

    Regardless of the genre label, Sadie left a mark on my heart. To say that I’m a YA convert—

    . A new

    fan—

  • Zoë

    CW: Pedophilia, sexual abuse, drug abuse, murder

    This was a raw, emotional, and incredibly dark book. There are zero moments of levity and as someone who reads a lot of contemporary romances, it took a lot out of me to get through it. I am grateful that Courtney Summers did not sensationalize any of the abuse that went on before and during the events of this book. Though it's definitely present, it happens off of the page. She focuses on the toll it took on the victims rather than the

    CW: Pedophilia, sexual abuse, drug abuse, murder

    This was a raw, emotional, and incredibly dark book. There are zero moments of levity and as someone who reads a lot of contemporary romances, it took a lot out of me to get through it. I am grateful that Courtney Summers did not sensationalize any of the abuse that went on before and during the events of this book. Though it's definitely present, it happens off of the page. She focuses on the toll it took on the victims rather than the acts themselves. If you can handle the subject matter (which I wasn't sure I could at first), I'd highly recommend it!

    reads like a puzzle, with half of the story being told from Sadie's perspective and half from the perspective of a man doing a podcast on Sadie's disappearance. It's partially up to you to piece together the timeline, which I loved!

    as it's partially told in the style of a podcast with a large cast of voice actors! They even added ambient noises to set the scenes during interviews. I mean WOW - one of the best audiobook experiences ever.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    but what happpppppppened?????

  • Emma Giordano

    4.5 stars! I picked this book up on a whim and I GREATLY enjoyed it. This is a must-read for my fans of crime fiction.

    CW: sexual abuse, pedophilia, violence, drug abuse, death/murder

    I really did not know what to expect from this novel going in. All I knew was that it was half-podcast, half-novel which tells the story of a girl searching for her sister’s killer. I was totally unprepared for the true darkness of this book, which was a (weirdly) wonderful surprise. This is my first read from Courtn

    4.5 stars! I picked this book up on a whim and I GREATLY enjoyed it. This is a must-read for my fans of crime fiction.

    CW: sexual abuse, pedophilia, violence, drug abuse, death/murder

    I really did not know what to expect from this novel going in. All I knew was that it was half-podcast, half-novel which tells the story of a girl searching for her sister’s killer. I was totally unprepared for the true darkness of this book, which was a (weirdly) wonderful surprise. This is my first read from Courtney Summers, though I’m aware she does not shy away from tough topics in her books, and the same can be said for

    . This is an extremely heavy book that uncovers the evilier side of our society, but it is expressed in a way that is raw, authentic, and not at all sensationalized.

    I feel the framing of the story is one of it’s shining points. The combination of Sadie’s first-person perspective with the podcast featuring interviews of those she encountered on her journey was truly mesmerizing. If you can, I’d

    recommend the audio version. Full casts are always enjoyable in my opinion, but the production value of this story is off the charts. From added tape-recording sounds to birds chirping in the background, it truly is a full-sensory experience that is far beyond what I typically get out of audiobooks. Piecing the story together through Sadie’s search and Wes’ investigation made for a unique and compelling reading experience. I can say with sincerity, I’ve never read anything like it.

    The only thing I really struggled with in this novel is that it felt slow at some points. There are some high intensity moments that are true page-turners, but other moments were a little stagnant for me.

    Overall,

    is truly a one-of-a-kind story. I can’t wait to read more from Courtney Summers after such a pleasant time reading my first work of hers.

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