Sadie – Courtney Summers

Hi book friends!

I hope you are having a good day so far! I finished Sadie a little while back, but I haven’t been able to post about it just yet, so I figured that I should do that today, and I hope my review will make you want to pick it up and love it as much as I did! The Book Smugglers says in her review that she had to consider how to write this review, and when I now sit here myself I must agree…How can I give a book like this justice with words? Most likely I can’t, but I will give it a try! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

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.

Sadie is a curious and serious book in many aspects. When I first started reading it I was a bit unsure of what I had gotten myself into because the writing style was both unexpected and different. The book has two perspectives: Sadie’s and McCray’s. Part of it is written as a radio program where we as readers witness McCray’s interviews with possible witnesses to Mattie’s disappearance and the girls’ life in the small town they come from. In many ways, the radio program is tracing a long-lost trail of clues, somewhat desperately grasping for a happy ending without quite knowing what it is going to find where the clues stop. Fun fact: The podcast known as The Girls is, in fact, a real podcast one can listen to! The other part of the book is written as a revenge narrative narrated by Sadie herself. In this narrative, we follow Sadie in her hunt for her sister’s killer, and the clues and information she acquires takes her on a journey far away from her own trailer. The writing style confused me the first few chapters but when I understood the flow I was quickly glued to the pages from start to finish! You simply cannot read this book and not become thrilled by the writing style!

Another thing that stands out as curious is how our narratives are entangled in one way or the other without ever crossing each other’s path. Like the synopsis says, Sadie doesn’t have a lot of clues as she begins the hunt for her sister’s killer, but we as the readers get the whole perspective. It is important to mention at this point that Sadie can be interpreted in different ways depending on how you choose to see her. To many, I believe that she will come across as desperate to bring her sister’s killer to justice with no limits to what she is willing to go through in order to reach her goal, whilst other characters in the book portray her as strange. I can understand both perspectives because several times whilst reading I thought to myself “This isn’t normal for an average person to do” but then I suppose that if you’re desperate enough or obsessed with something then you are willing to take every necessary step to reach your goal. If your younger sister were the person you’ve ever loved, and she was murdered, and the culprit was never found, wouldn’t you take the necessary steps to find him too?

However, not everything is made clear to us whilst reading the book. I had to use more than a few brain cells to connect the dots whilst reading and it kept me engaged and interested in the story. I think this is the best possible way to write a book because the author provides their readers with a way to actively engage in both narratives and I sometimes felt like I had to hurry the story along because I HAD TO KNOW what was happening over the next few pages. This is also a book that touches upon difficult topics which are hot in our society today. I think Sadie gives a brilliant picture of how easily abuse can be to overlook. In many ways the term “Girls go missing all the time” is a theme that runs through the entire book, but what if “all the time” is a warning sign that the outer society doesn’t pick up on? Sadie is a story that might as well take place in real life, and it’s not until (at least it wasn’t for me) you put the book down after you’ve read the last page that you realize that this could have happened in real life. This is happening in real life!

Sadie is a harsh, dramatic and life-like story, but it is also filled with hope and love. Due to its true crime like the writing style, it is a book a lot of people today will find amusing to read in my opinion. If this is because true crime is in the wind now, or if it’s because people, in general, enjoy reading stories that could take place in real life I find hard to predict, but Sadie is none the less a masterpiece of a YA book. I’ll recommend this book further because I had a brilliant reading experience whilst reading it, and I think it is good for people to read life like books. Maybe we start thinking a bit more about the “girls who go missing all the time” and what we can do to help because this isn’t a sole American problem. It happens all over the world.

I’ll post the links to two reviews that gave me some inspo while writing this review. I hope you’ll want to pick up Sadie and have one of your best reading experiences of 2019!

Review by The Book Smuglers (might contain spoilers): 

Review by Ungdomsboka (might contain spoilers):

Published: 2018

Genre: Young Adult

Theme: Family, mystery, abuse

– The Book Reader

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