by Courtney Summers
read in September 2018
rating: rating: ★★★★★
This is a spoiler-free review!
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.
I have read many, many audiobooks and Sadie is hands down the best one I’ve ever listened to! Each character is narrated by a different person and there are sound effects! I know this is impossible, but I wish every audiobook was produced similarly to this one.
Another reason why you should pick up the audiobook, is the format. Half of the story is narrated by Sadie, the other by a podcast host named West McCray. As a fan of true crime, I absolutely adore how Courtney Summers structured this novel! It was nice to hear both Sadie’s version of events and uncovering the mystery alongside McCray.
This novel is not a fluffy read (check out my list of trigger and content warnings below!), but in my opinion, the author handled every topic respectfully. People are murdered, children are abused… but we don’t find out any details. I love that Summers didn’t sensationalize those horrifying events.
I think it’s the first time I’ve read a book where the protagonist stutters. I couldn’t find information whether the representation is #OwnVoices nor how readers who stutter felt about it, but I found it very refreshing and wish more authors added diversity without it being a huge part of the story. Characters can be disabled and the book doesn’t need to revolve around that.
The ending of Sadie is both frustrating and amazing. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I am going to think about it from time to time. I tend to dislike open endings, but as a fan of true crime, I know not every story wraps up perfectly.
content and trigger warnings for fire, murder, child abandonment, alcoholism, drug addiction/use, anti-addict rhetoric (“it’s a choice”), attempted rape, paedophilia, child abuse, physical injuries, PTSD, under-age drinking, starvation, poverty
Sadie is without a doubt the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to, so I’d highly recommend it if you can handle the heavy subject matter!
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