Review of Sadie

Sadie by [Summers, Courtney]


Courtney Summers

St. Martin’s Press

September 4, 2018

BlurbRead this gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love with an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.

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 by Courtney Summers is an unflinching novel that feels a lot like you’re watching a horrific accident occurring in real-time. You know that events can only worsen, but you can’t look away.

Sadie is devastated by the murder of her younger sister, Mattie, who she’s essentially mothered, and is determined to find Mattie’s killer and end his existence. Despite her intensity, the fact is that Sadie is only 19 and although rage can be a significant impetus, it doesn’t make up for a lack of street smarts or careful planning. Sadie is throwing herself into a situation in which she can only get hurt.

Sadie is told in alternating chapters from Sadie’s viewpoint and West McCray’s, a radio personality and podcaster who is trying to find Sadie for her surrogate grandmother. The telling is clever. Courtney Summers sparingly hands out little bits of information that, while surprising the reader, are not without grounding.

I felt so much for Sadie. She loved Mattie, but Mattie couldn’t see that it was Sadie who held things together and not their mother. Sadie sacrificed herself many times for Mattie. And after Mattie’s death, it is obvious that she would do anything to end Mattie’s killer. But Sadie is a teenager and reacts to cute boys and has tiny wishes for a different reality. One she doesn’t seem destined for.

Sadie is an interesting character study of what people respond to, what they’ll ignore, what destroys them, and what motivates them. And, it’s also an unfortunate study of sexual child abuse and how the perpetrators frequently are the ones you’d least expect.

I’d love to talk about the ending of this novel, but can’t do so in a spoiler-free review. Let’s just say that I was not disappointed by the ending, which I felt was sound, and yet…

Both Amazon and Goodreads list Sadie as a young adult novel, which is somewhat unfortunate. Yes, Sadie is a young adult, but by designating the novel as such means that it may be overlooked by the many of the people it would appeal to. It’s a mystery and thriller and just happens to involve a young adult. If you are a mystery and thriller reader, you will devour this novel.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Buy link:  Sadie

rating: 5-butterflies

5 out of 5 butterflies


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