Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

I feel like everyone I’ve talked to who has read Sadie has said that this book hooks you and makes you have to finish reading in one sitting. I can agree with that. I missed breakfast and lunch for you Sadie.


A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book 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.


book review sadie by courtney summersBut that’s just a testament to how much this story grips you. You are hooked. And you have to keep reading. Summers establishes this dread in your stomach, this tension, that you feel you have to resolve. The book starts off captivating, but it utterly bewitches you around the halfway point when more and more events start happening. All these dominoes start falling down in rapid succession and you become mesmerized.

Sadie is such an empathetic character. She is driven by the love she has for her sister, but even that is not uncomplicated. There are many secrets, many cruel words we wish we never said, rifts we cannot fix. And that’s sisterhood. But no matter what, Sadie is devoted to her sister, even from beyond the grave. My concern, care, for Sadie only increased as you find out more about her – how resourceful she is – and you begin to truly care about her getting the justice she deserves. Is that even possible?

(Additionally Sadie is attracted to multiple genders, and there’s a scene off the page where she kisses another girl. The podcast presenter is also queer.)

From a writing perspective, which I was surprised by and enjoyed, Summers delights us. The simultaneous podcast recording sessions as West tries to piece together what happened mirrors our own experiences. His horror, his confusion, his questions all reflect our own. And while we have Sadie’s perspective, what West’s story allows is for us to see how people saw Sadie. We can see how Sadie was to others, not just in her own head.

Sadie is full of dark, dangerous, secrets. The story digs deeper and deeper, until you find yourself wanting to flip through just to find out what happens. The writing style combined with the character of Sadie, and the mystery aspect, creates this intoxicating read. Sadie is about family and bonds, but it’s nothing as simple as that. It tells a story both new and old, both terrifying and gripping, both emotional and tender. There’s a genuine love, a care and thought to the character of Sadie. While there’s also a darkness, a danger, a fear to the writing.

Check out Sadie on Goodreads.


What was the last thriller you read?

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