Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing Sadie by Courtney Summers.
Sadie is a haunting tale exploring the lengths we are willing to go for those we love. It follows our protagonist, Sadie’s, journey to find her younger sister’s murderer, as well as radio personality West McCray’s hunt for Sadie before it’s too late to save her from herself and the dark route she is going down…
I don’t think words can truly express how heartwrenching and poignant this story was. Each page I read broke my heart just a little bit more, unveiling a spider web of secrets that were bigger and more dangerous than Sadie could ever have imagined. This book was certainly a difficult read, and the events Sadie faced were truly horrifying.
I think one of the things which made this book stand out from others in the same genre was Sadie’s truly remarkable character. Sadie was unflinchingly brave and determined to find the killer, no matter the consequences. I really admired how much she loved her younger sister and what she was willing to do for her. This really hit home for me as, although I’m certainly not in as difficult a situation as the two sisters, my sister and I are extremely close and reading Sadie’s grief was like a punch in the gut… I can’t imagine going through what Sadie did.
Of course, some of Sadie’s actions were extremely violent, and she became increasingly careless with her own life and desperate to find the murderer. This only added to my admiration of Summers – it was really refreshing to see an author who didn’t steer away from the realities of what ordinary people are capable of and read about a strong female character who was willing to fight back against some men’s vile actions. I loved the way Sadie rebelled against some of the men in her life, even if I would’ve used very different methods!
This book also covered a lot of uncomfortable topics (a full list of triggers can be found at the end of this review). This was actually quite new to me as until recently my primary genre was romance, but Summers handled the topics marvelously and, although it was difficult to read, I loved it. I think it’s really important that these topics are talked about as they are extremely relevant to society today and Summers didn’t flinch away from how truly horrifying some people’s experiences and overall lives are.
On a lighter note, another element Summers incorporated that I loved was the podcast aspect. This was one of the first books I read which used this (the first being A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder, which I also loved), and Summers executed it brilliantly, with dialogue that struck just the right balance and was, in all honesty, perfect. It was really interesting to read West’s hunt for Sadie, and how she remained ten steps ahead of him the whole book. After reading this I can’t wait to get my hands on more books which use podcasts!
The vast multitude of characters included also captured my interest and intrigued me. Every single character was individual and unique, while also giving Sadie helpful information for her search and revealing some interesting side-plots, each one becoming more and more disturbing. This book certainly had its fair share of grim stories, but I appreciated Summers addressing these head on instead of brushing prominent issues in society into the shadows, or sensationalizing them.
The whole book was masterfully crafted and full of twists and turns throughout. Once I started reading Sadie it was impossible to put down (I read it in one sitting), and I found myself drawn into Sadie’s dark world. Sadie is a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading, and gives a voice to girls who are normally brushed onto the sidelines.
The ending just about destroyed me, although I suppose I understand Summers’ reasoning. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that it left me with A LOT of questions.
Overall, I would recommend Sadie to anyone looking for a haunting combination of Thriller and Crime and a story that will leave your heart in your mouth and keep you guessing until the very end. Sadie has become a firm favourite of mine… I’ve truly never read anything like it and I will never stop recommending it.
However, please be mindful that this is a book for mature readers and has a lot of triggers: death, depression, drug abuse, murder, pedophilia, rape, sexual abuse and violence. If you are uncomfortable reading about any of those topics this definitely isn’t the book for you.
I hope you enjoyed this review!