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.
You know I’ve been a fan of Courtney Summers for a while now, I devour all her books as soon as I can get my hands on them, honestly sometimes I wonder why as inevitably I come out the other side entirely traumatised and with way too much on my mind. I don’t know any other author who writes with such huge depth, all wrapped up in a seemingly straightforward story. But they are never ever that..
Sadie, on the surface, would seem to be simply about a missing girl, we’ve all read that one, but there is nothing simple about this story and certainly nothing mainstream about Sadie herself, an intensely engaging young woman on a mission to track down her Sister’s killer. Courtney Summers takes us on a road trip through her life, through her psyche, into her head and heart and it is a dark, deeply personal journey that will leave you in tatters.
Following behind Sadie is West McCray, radio personality and podcaster, whose original investigation into small towns is sidelined when he stumbles onto Sadie’s story and slowly but surely becomes obsessed with finding her. His tale is taut and consuming, his initial reluctance slowly turning into Sadie’s last chance, as he tracks her both physically and mentally and in doing so learns some emotive life lessons.
As a reader you also will be consumed by this story, by the beautiful, intense prose that tells it, you may well find yourself having your own inner monologue as you beg West to catch up to Sadie before it’s too late.
The themes explored are entirely human, the dark side of nature and the evil that we do. It is thought provoking, scarily authentic, deeply immersive and completely fascinatingly addictive.
Courtney Summers as a writer pushes herself further with each novel – I genuinely didn’t believe she could ever top the genius that was “All the Rage” but here we have Sadie. Cleverly insightful, edgy and horribly truthful, this author pulls no punches and refuses to let you look away from the dark depths of human nature, showing us glimpses of lives less ordinary, the fact that she does this within the YA genre is all the more impressive.
The ending of this novel had me weeping into my pillow, distraught, because this is fiction that could so easily be fact, as such the truth of it hits hard in all our hidden emotional places. Sadie is a magnificent piece of storytelling – I’m not sure why I would ever expect anything less.
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