Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie By Courtney Summers

By Courtney Summers
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: no
Published: September 4th 2018
Rating: powerful and painful read
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Courtney Summers is an autobuy author for me.

Sadie is a primal scream, a primal scream that I did not even know that I needed until I read it. If you have ever thought to yourself, "Crush the patriarchy." this is the book for you. I don't want to give anything of the plot away. All I will say is that the events of the story are set off by the murder of a young girl and what happens to her sister Sadie.

The pace was breakneck. It isn't a particularly short book, but I tore through it in my desperate need to KNOW what happens. I read a whole lot of books, and because of this, I can generally see where a story is going, what and who is going to be important, what sort of a story it is going to be. Sadie wasn't like that. I never knew what was coming and that lent a very uneasy feeling to the reading that perfectly captured the mood of the book.

I listened to the audiobook. I have an e-book, but I saw a few people on twitter mention that the audiobook was excellent and upon seeing that it was full cast I decided to try it out. It was on par with the Illuminae Files audiobooks, and those are probably my favorite audiobooks of all time. An audiobook is the perfect medium for Sadie because at least half of the book is written as a podcast and listening to it gives it an authenticity that is almost uncomfortable.

And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.

What I have most appreciated about Courtney Summer's writing in every single book of hers that I have read (I am pretty sure I have read her whole backlist and if you haven't you should. Seriously, go now get ahold of all of them.) is the way she allows her characters to be angry. Like, burn the world down angry. So often in books, teenage girls anger is tempered by fear, or guilt, or self-consciousness. Even fictional girls exist in a reality where to be "nice" and to be "likable" Sadie is a nineteen-year-old girl who is running on rage. And as self-destructive as that rage can be, the underlying message is important, "Sometimes you will have this feeling. Sometimes you should have this feeling. What will you do with it? Who will it make you?"

The character of West McCray and his dawning realization of the dangers the world holds for girls and his own culpability as a man becomes the stable and emotional touchstone that the story desperately needs. This book is heartbreaking. I wanted Sadie to be real and with me, because I wanted to try to feed her, let her sleep, help her heal and keep her safe. I was more than healthily invested.

I highly recommend Sadie to any reader of YA. This story felt important, and I know that it is going to stay with me for a long time to come.

From Goodreads:

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.