Written by: Courtney Sommers
Published: September 4, 2018 by Wednesday Books (Macmillan)
Synopsis: 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.
For the complete experience: The Girls Podcast
I was really interested in picking up a copy of this book at ALA because I have been wanting to read a Courtney Summers book for awhile. My friend Michelle is a huge fan of hers (her number 1 fan according to the signed ARC of this book she got at ALA), And I am so glad that I did read it because this book was really fantastic and totally the mystery I have been wanting to read.
Because seriously, this is a great mystery. It's one of those books with a lot of different layers and strylines all working together to create one over-arching mystery and it did that effortlessly. It's sometimes hard to do this because it's easy to make one more complicate which then pulls focus. But both of these were really interesting and engaging. I'm a bit of mystery snob. I like when a mystery is possible to solve but isn't too obvious. Here I felt like it wasn't at all obvious but it wasn't really solvable either and I still enjoyed it. As the book went on, elements of the mystery unfolded in ways that explained things but still left you wondering. It was so engrossing that I didn't want to put it down. I needed to keep reading to find out exactly what had happened. I appreciated that in a way I don't always because when everything was said and done I was still thinking about it. If you read my Monday review then you know sometimes being vague can go horribly wrong, but other times it can go right. Here it went right.
But I think what made the mystery so good was the format of this book. It was a completely unique and interesting format which I really enjoyed. Most of the book was about what happened to Mattie but it was told from the perspective of Sadie trying to hunt down her killing and get revenge and Wes McCray trying to find out what happened to Sadie. Wes' portion was probably the most unique part because it was told in a podcast format with interviews and his own interpretation. I really loved this aspect of the story. It had this fantastic True Crime feel in that way. I listened to the audiobook for this one because I saw that it had a full cast and the format was perfect for this book. It was like I was listening to the podcast and it really came alive with individual voices for the characters.
And as for those characters, these were really complex characters. What I liked most about them is that weren't perfect. The main character is obviously the titular one, Sadie. And Sadie was a really likable character who I empathized with pretty quickly. You are in her head for a lot of the book and she is very open about her rough childhood and how devastated she was by the loss of her sister. It made her easy to root for. But it wasn't a non-stop pity part with Sadie. She's tough and brash most of the time. The other interesting thing about Sadie is that she has a stutter. I loved the way her stutter was handled in the book. It was a part of her character and it made things challenging but she didn't let her stop her from doing what she set out to do. Courtney Summers is all abut the unlikable female protagonist and I feel like Sadie is a really good example on how a character who may otherwise be unlikable is a likable heroine.
Then there is the secondary characters. This book has some truly terrible characters. And I don't mean terrible in terms of how they are written. No, they are so well written that I hated them so much. Like a few characters in this book are the literal worst and it made the book all the more interesting. That being said, this is not the kind of book for the faint of heart. It is a book that deals with some really difficult and hard to read topics. It doesn't shy away from some of the more unsavory things that you can sometimes come across when it comes to True Crime. The secondary characters are terrible for a reason. If you don't like books that deal with abuse then this is not going to be the book for you, but if you want to read a difficult to read book which addresses issues in a sensitive way then you will like it.
On the whole I really enjoyed this book. It was difficult to read at times but it was incredibly engrossing with a great mystery, complex characters, and a unique format. It was the YA mystery I have definitely been wanting to read all summer.
I give Sadie by Courtney Summers 95 out of 10 stars
Have you read Sadie? What did you think about it? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!