A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.
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 meager 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.
Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.
Sadie wasn’t your typically teen. She lived in a trailer park and her mom, who suffered from drug addiction, recently fled town. Because of this, she looked after her little sister Maddie on her own, and she was devastated when Maddie died. It took me a while to warm up to Sadie’s character, but I understood her more as the story progressed. She wasn’t the friendliest person, but deep down she cared for Maddie and would do anything to solve the mystery of her murder.
Other than Sadie, I liked the other characters in the story as well. I liked that each character lived their own lives and were multi-dimensional. There were true villains in this story but I appreciated that they had likeable qualities and even did some kind things, although this did not make up for their terrible crimes. Some of the characters who were initially unlikeable surprised me towards the end. Even the narrator — a journalist who investigated Sadie’s disappearance — had a story of his own that became apparent later.
The plot kept me guessing until the very end, and the outcome of the mystery managed to surprise me. I liked the ending which I found to be a good balance of satisfying and realistic.
I enjoyed the unique format of this novel. Half of the chapters were narrated from Sadie’s point of view, and these were interspersed by transcripts from the podcast “The Girls”. The audiobook was an excellent portrayal of the story, including a full cast and even a musical introduction for “The Girls” podcast which made the story come to life.
Overall I enjoyed this novel a lot so I don’t have many complaints.
One aspect I noticed was that there was a lot of focus on describing characters’ appearances — what they looked like and how they dressed. I didn’t care for these details much and never really remembered what the characters looked like.
One of the characters in this novel went by many names, which became confusing at one point. However it turned out to be an important crux of the story.
Sadie is a suspenseful and gripping YA mystery/thriller that I would recommend to any fans of this genre. I really enjoyed the multi-dimensional characters, the twisty mystery, and the unique format of this novel.