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Sadie: A Novel

Sadie: A Novel

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Sadie: A Novel

4/5 (90 évaluations)
330 pages
4 heures
Sep 4, 2018


"Sadie: a novel for readers of any age, and a character as indelible as a scar. Flat-out dazzling." A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

A New York Times bestseller!

An Edgar Award Winner!

Appearing on over 30 Best Book of 2018 lists including The Boston Globe, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Globe and Mail, Good Morning America, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and more!
A YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick

4 Starred Reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly!

"Sadie: a novel for readers of any age, and a character as indelible as a scar. Flat-out dazzling." A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

"Sadie is an electrifying, high-stakes road trip. Clear your schedule. You're not going anywhere until you've reached the end." —Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of There's Someone Inside Your House and Anna and the French Kiss

"A haunting, gut-wrenching, and relentlessly compelling read." —Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent series

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial—like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

“Today, WNRK is launching the first episode of our new serialized podcast, The Girls, created and hosted by West McCray.”

When popular radio personality West McCray receives a desperate phone call from a stranger imploring him to find nineteen-year-old runaway Sadie Hunter, he’s not convinced there’s a story there; girls go missing all the time. But when it’s revealed that Sadie fled home after the brutal murder of her little sister, Mattie, West travels to the small town of Cold Creek, Colorado, to uncover what happened.

Sadie has no idea that her journey to avenge her sister will soon become the subject of a blockbuster podcast. Armed with a switchblade, Sadie follows meager clues hoping they’ll lead to the man who took Mattie’s life, because she’s determined to make him pay with his own. But as West traces her path to the darkest, most dangerous corners of big cities and small towns, a deeply unsettling mystery begins to unfold—one that’s bigger than them both. Can he find Sadie before it’s too late?

Alternating between Sadie’s unflinching voice as she hunts the killer and the podcast transcripts tracking the clues she’s left behind, Sadie is a breathless thriller about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love and the high price we pay when we can’t. It will haunt you long after you reach the final page.

Sep 4, 2018

À propos de l'auteur

Courtney Summers is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of several novels for young adults, including Cracked Up to Be, All the Rage and Sadie. Her work has been released to multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors--including the Edgar Award, John Spray Mystery Award, Cybils Award and Odyssey Award--and has been recognized by many library, 'Best Of' and Readers' Choice lists. She lives and writes in Canada.

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Sadie - Courtney Summers






Welcome to Cold Creek, Colorado. Population: eight hundred.

Do a Google Image search and you’ll see its main street, the barely beating heart of that tiny world, and find every other building vacant or boarded up. Cold Creek’s luckiest—the gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas station and a few other staple businesses along the strip. The rest have to look a town or two over for opportunity for themselves and for their children; the closest schools are in Parkdale, forty minutes away. They take in students from three other towns.

Beyond its main street, Cold Creek arteries out into worn and chipped Monopoly houses that no longer have a place upon the board. From there lies a rural sort of wilderness. The highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated houses or trailer parks in even worse shape. In the summertime, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until school resumes, where they are guaranteed at least two subsidized meals a day.

There’s a quiet to it that’s startling if you’ve lived your whole life in the city, like I have. Cold Creek is surrounded by a beautiful, uninterrupted expanse of land and sky that seem to go on forever. Its sunsets are spectacular: electric golds and oranges, pinks and purples, natural beauty unspoiled by the insult of skyscrapers. The sheer amount of space is humbling, almost divine. It’s hard to imagine feeling trapped here.

But most people here do.


You live in Cold Creek because you were born here, and if you’re born here, you’re probably never getting out.


That’s not entirely true. There have been some success stories, college graduates who moved on and found well-paying jobs in distant cities, but they tend to be the exception and not the rule. Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we’re raised to aspire beyond, if we’re born privileged enough to have the choice.

Here, everyone’s working so hard to care for their families and keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to define small towns in our nation’s imagination, they would not survive. That’s not to say there’s no drama, scandal or grudge—just that those things are usually more than residents of Cold Creek can afford to care about.

Until it happened.

The husk of an abandoned, turn-of-the-century one-room schoolhouse sits three miles outside of town, taken by fire. The roof is caved in and what’s left of the walls are charred. It sits next to an apple orchard that’s slowly being reclaimed by the nature that surrounds it: young overgrowth, new trees, wildflowers.

There’s almost something romantic about it, something that feels like respite from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect place to be alone with your thoughts. At least it was, before.

May Beth Foster—who you’ll come to know as this series goes on—took me there herself. I asked to see it. She’s a plump, white, sixty-eight-year-old woman with salt-and-pepper hair. She has a grandmotherly way about her, right down to a voice that’s so invitingly familiar it warms you from the inside out. May Beth is manager of Sparkling River Estates trailer park, a lifelong resident of Cold Creek, and when she talks, people listen. More often than not, they accept whatever she says as the truth.


Just about … here.

This is where they found the body.


911 dispatch. What’s your emergency?


On October third, forty-seven-year-old Carl Earl was on his way to work, a factory in Cofield. It’s an hour’s drive from Cold Creek. He’d barely begun his commute when he noticed black smoke marring the early morning horizon.


Started out like any other day. Least, I think it did. I imagine I got up, had breakfast and kissed my wife on my way out the door because that’s what I do every morning. But I honestly can’t remember a thing before I saw the smoke and everything that happened after that … well.

I wish I could forget it.


Yeah, my name’s Carl Earl and I just want to report a fire. There’s an abandoned schoolhouse off Milner’s Road and it’s all lit up. It’s about three miles east of Cold Creek. I was just driving by and I noticed it. I pulled over to call. It’s lookin’ pretty bad.


Okay, Carl, we’re going to send someone out.

Are there any other people around? Anyone in need of assistance you can see?


Just me out here, far as I can tell, but I might not be close enough … I could maybe get a little closer and see—


Sir—Carl—please stay clear of the fire. I need you to do that for me, all right?


Oh, yeah, no—I wasn’t going to—


So I did as I was told, even though a part of me wanted to play hero. I’m still not sure what compelled me to stick around because I couldn’t afford to miss the work, but I stayed ’til the cops and the firemen came. I watched ’em go at it until the flames were under control and that’s when I noticed … just beyond the schoolhouse there, I saw—I was the, uh—I was the one that saw her first.


The body of Mattie Southern was discovered between the burning schoolhouse and the apple orchard, just out of sight. She’d been reported missing three days earlier and here she was, found.


I’ve decided the gruesome details of what was uncovered in that orchard will not be a part of this show. While the murder, the crime, might have captured your initial interest, its violence and brutality do not exist for your entertainment—so please don’t ask us. The details of this case are easy enough to find online. In my opinion, you only really need to know two things.

The first is the cause of her death was blunt force trauma to the head.

The second is this:


She was only thirteen years old.


I don’t sleep great anymore, since it happened.


Mattie left behind a nineteen-year-old sister, Sadie; a surrogate grandmother, May Beth; and her mother, Claire; but Claire’s been out of the picture for a while.

I first heard about the Southern murder at a gas station outside Abernathy, about thirty minutes from Cold Creek. I was with my crew in the eastern plains and we’d just wrapped interviews for a segment of an episode of Always Out There dedicated to profiling small towns in America. You know, the kind on a rambling decline. We wanted their residents to tell us what those places lost, not because we thought we could restore them to their former glory but simply so you knew they existed. We wanted to give them a voice before they disappeared.


It’s a nice thought, anyway. That somebody gives a damn.


That was Joe Halloran, one of the Abernathy residents we interviewed. I wasn’t thinking about his words when I was standing behind the guy ahead of me at the gas station, listening as he told the clerk exactly what happened to the Southern kid. The grisly facts didn’t inspire me to stick around. My crew and I had gotten what we came for and we were ready to go back home. It was a terrible thing, sure, but we live in a world that has no shortage of terrible things. You can’t stop for all of them.

A year later, I was sitting in my office in New York. It was October, a year to the day Mattie died, actually, the third—and my attention kept wandering from my computer screen to the window, where I could see the Empire State Building. I liked my job at WNRK, and I liked my life in the city, but maybe some part of me—the same part that let me walk away from Mattie’s story the first time without a second thought—was overdue for a shake-up.

It arrived in the form of a phone call.


Is this West McCray?


It is. How can I help you?


This is May Beth Foster. Joe Halloran told me you give a damn.


There’d been no new developments in the Mattie Southern case, no suspects named to the crime. The investigation seemed to have ground to a halt. But that wasn’t the reason May Beth contacted me.


I need your help.


Three months ago, in mid-July, she’d gotten a call from a police station in Farfield, Colorado, a town many, many miles from Cold Creek. They’d found a 2007 black Chevy parked on the side of the road and inside of it, a green bag full of personal effects belonging to Mattie’s older sister, Sadie Hunter, who had disappeared that June. Sadie herself was nowhere to be found. She still hasn’t been found. After a cursory investigation, Sadie was declared a runaway by local law enforcement, and, having exhausted all possible avenues available to her, May Beth Foster reached out to me. I was her last hope. She thought maybe I could bring Sadie back home to her alive. Because Sadie had to be alive, because—


I can’t take another dead girl.


I find the car on craigslist.

It doesn’t matter what kind, I don’t think, but if you need more than that to work with, it’s boxy, midnight black. The kind of color that disappears when it’s next to any other. Backseat big enough to sleep in. It was offered up in a hastily written ad in a sea of hastily written ads, but this one riddled with spelling errors that suggested a special kind of desperation. Make an offer, pleas settled it for me. It means I need money now which means someone’s in trouble or they’re hungry or they’ve got a chemical kind of itch. It means I’ve got the advantage, so what else can I do but take it?

It doesn’t occur to me that meeting someone on a road outside of town to buy a car for any amount of money I’m willing to pay might not be the safest thing in the world but that’s only because what I’m going to do once I have the car is even more dangerous than that.

You could die, I say, just to see if the clean weight of those words off my tongue will somehow shock their reality into me.

It doesn’t.

I could die.

I grab my green canvas backpack off the floor, shrug it over my shoulders and run my thumb over my bottom lip. May Beth gave me blueberries last night and I ate them for breakfast when I woke up today. I’m not sure if they’ve stained my mouth and I have a hard enough time with good first impressions as it is.

The screen door on the trailer is rusted out, sparks a whine into all our surrounding Nowhere That Matters, but if you need a visual, picture a place far, far less than suburbia and then imagine me, a few more rungs down that ladder living in a trailer rented from Fed-Me-Blueberries May Beth for as long as I’ve been alive. I live in a place that’s only good for leaving, is all that needs to be said about it, and I don’t let myself look back. Doesn’t matter if I want to, it’s just better if I don’t.

I grab my bike and ride my way out of town, briefly stopping on the green bridge over Wicker’s River where I stare down at the water and feel the dizzying pull of its raging current in my gut. I dig through my bag, pushing aside clothes, bottles of water, some potato chips and my wallet until I find my cell phone tangled up in a ball of underwear. Cheap piece of plastic; doesn’t even have a touchscreen. I throw it in the water and then I get back on my bike and ride out to Meddler’s Road, off the highway, to meet the woman who wrote the craigslist ad. Her name is Becki with an i. She’d write that, with an i, like I couldn’t see it for myself in every email she sent. She’s standing next to the boxy, midnight-black car, one hand rested on its hood and the other on her pregnant belly. Behind her, another car is parked, a little newer. A man sits at the wheel with his arm hanging out the open window and he’s tense until he sees me and then all his tension seems to melt away. It’s offensive. I’m dangerous.

You shouldn’t underestimate people, I want to call out. I have a knife.

It’s true. There’s a switchblade in my back pocket, a leftover from one of my mother’s boyfriends, Keith. Long time ago. He had the nicest voice of all of them—so soft it was almost fuzzy—but he was not a nice man.

Lera? Becki asks, because that’s the name I gave her. It’s my middle name. It’s easier to say than my own. Becki surprises me, the way she sounds. Like a scraped knee. Longtime smoker, I’d bet. I nod and take the cash-fatted envelope from my pocket and hold it out. Eight hundred in all. Okay, so she countered my initial offer of five but I know it’s a good deal. I’m more or less paying for the repairs they made on the body. Becki says I should get a good year out of it at least. You sounded a lot older in your email.

I shrug and extend my arm a little farther. Take the money, Becki, I want to say, before I ask you what you need it for. Because the man in the car does look pretty itchy; unfixed. I know that look. I’d know it anywhere, on anyone. I could see it in the dark.

Becki rubs her swollen belly and moves a little closer.

Your mama know you’re out here? she asks and I settle on a shrug, which seems to satisfy her until suddenly it doesn’t anymore. She frowns, looking me up and down. No, she don’t. Why’d she let you come out here all alone to buy a car?

It’s not a question I can shake, nod, or shrug to. I lick my lips and steel myself for the fight. I have a knife, I want to tell the thing that likes to wrap its hands around my voice.

My m-mom’s d-d-d—

The more I d-d-d the redder her face gets, the less she knows where to look. Not at me, not directly in my eyes. My throat feels tight, too tight, choked, and the only way I can free myself is if I stop attempting to connect the letters altogether. No matter how hard I try in front of Becki, they’ll never connect. I’m only fluent when I’m alone.


The stutter’s hold loosens.

I breathe.

Jesus, Becki says and I know it’s not because of the inherent sadness of what I’ve just told her, it’s because of the broken way it came out of my mouth. She steps back a little because that shit is catching, you know, and if she gets it, there’s a 100 percent chance she’ll pass it on to her fetus. Should you—I mean, can you drive?

It’s one of the more subtle ways someone has asked me if I’m stupid, but that doesn’t make it any less maddening coming from a woman who can’t even spell the word please. I tuck the envelope back in my pocket, let that speak for me. Mattie used to say it was my stubbornness, not my stutter, that was my worst quality, but one wouldn’t exist without the other. Still. I can afford the risk of pretending Becki’s ignorance is more than I’m willing to fork over for her used-up car. She laughs a little, embarrassed. Says, What am I talking about? Of course you can… And again, less convincingly: Of course you can.

Yeah, I say, because not every word I speak turns itself into pieces. The vocal normalcy relaxes Becki and she quits wasting my time, shows me the car still works by bringing the engine alive. She tells me the spring on the trunk is busted and jokes she’ll let me keep the stick they use to prop it open at no extra charge.

I hmm and uh-huh my way through the transaction until it’s official and then I sit on the hood of my new car and watch them reverse out, turning left onto the highway. I twirl the car key around my finger while the early morning heat slowly envelops me. The bugs find me an affront to their territory and make a feast of my pale white, freckled skin. The dry, dusty smell of road tickles my nostrils, speaking to the part of me that’s ready to go, so I slide off the car and roll my bike into the brush, watching it fall unspectacularly on its side.

May Beth gives me blueberries sometimes, but she also collects expired license plates, displaying them proudly inside the shed behind her double-wide. All different colors and states, sometimes countries. May Beth has so many license plates, I don’t think she’ll miss two. The registration stickers are courtesy of old Mrs. Warner, three trailers down from mine. She’s too frail to drive and doesn’t need them anymore.

I muddy the plates up and wipe my dirty palms on my shorts as I round the car and get in the driver’s side. The seats are soft and low and a cigarette burn marks the space between my legs. I slip the key into the ignition and the motor growls. I push my foot against the gas and the car rolls over the uneven terrain, following the same path out Becki took, until I reach the highway and then I go in the opposite direction.

I lick my lips; the taste of blueberries long since left them but not so long I can’t still imagine their puckered sweetness enough to miss it. May Beth will be so disappointed when she knocks on my door and finds me gone, but I don’t think she’ll be surprised. Last thing she said to me, my face cupped firmly in her hands, was, Whatever you’re thinking, you get it out of that damned foolish head of yours right now. Except it’s not in my head, it’s in my heart, and she’s the same woman who told me if you’re going to follow anything, it might as well be that.

Even if it is a mess.




Girls go missing all the time.

My boss, Danny Gilchrist, had been talking for a while about me hosting my own podcast, and when I told him about May Beth’s call, and about Mattie and Sadie, he urged me to look into it. It seemed a little kismet, he thought, that I was in the area when Mattie died. Still, those were the first words out of my mouth:

Girls go missing all the time.

Restless teenage girls, reckless teenage girls. Teenage girls and their inevitable drama. Sadie had survived a terrible loss, and with very little effort on my part, I dismissed it. Her. I wanted a story that felt fresh, new and exciting and what about a missing teenage girl was that?

We’ve heard this story before.

Danny immediately reminded me of why I was working for him, and not the other way around.


You owe it to yourself to dig a little deeper. Don’t decide what you don’t have before you know what you do. You’re better than that. Get down there, see what you find.


I left for Cold Creek the same week.


It broke Sadie, Mattie’s murder. She was never the same after, and rightfully so, but that the police never found the monster who did it, well. That had to have been the final straw.


Is that what Sadie said?


No, but she didn’t have to. You could tell just by lookin’ at her.


There’s been no justice for Mattie Southern.

It’s impossible for residents of Cold Creek to accept that a crime so heinously and chaotically executed would go unsolved. Television has provided their point of reference; after all, on shows like CSI, they’d catch the murderer within the hour, often working with less than what was discovered in that apple

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Ce que les gens pensent de Sadie

90 évaluations / 40 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    Good book...horrible ending. Felt unfinished and unsatisfying. Major cliff hanger.
  • (4/5)
    Riveting book as you follow Sadie and the podcast to find out what happened. The ending absolutely killed me!
  • (5/5)
    I didn’t know anything about this book other than it was a thriller and the tag line on the cover which says “If she dies, she takes the truth with her”. I NEVER read a book without having some idea about what the book is about. I did with this one and I highly recommend that you read this book knowing only what I did. You will not regret it.I know some people just hate going in blind and I can understand that. You don’t want to waste your time on something that you don’t know anything about. So I have left a full review below.19-year-old Sadie has had a hard life. She is raising her sister Mattie single-handed. Even before her druggie and alcoholic mother took off and left them without a word. Mattie is the only bright spot in Sadie’s life and she is completely devoted to her. When Mattie is murdered, Sadie is determined to find the man who killed her sister. Sadie’s story is told in a very unique way. This book switches between the PoV of Sadie who is looking for the man who killed her sister and the podcast The Girls which is about the journalist looking into the case of Sadie’s disappearance. I fell in love with Sadie’s character. Sadie is not an easy character to get to know. She doesn’t give up her secrets or her thoughts easily and even then you feel like she hates revealing them. I didn’t want to put this book down. I was so invested in Sadie and her story. This book has so many great twists and turns. I loved the writing especially Sadie’s chapters. I didn’t see the ending coming. This book is young adult but I think many adult readers will love it as well. I listened to the audiobook and followed along in my hardback. The audiobook is amazing. It is a full cast and one of the best I have ever listened too. I can’t wait to get my hands on All Cracked Up an older book by Courtney Summers which is being re-released in February by Wednesday Books.Rating: 5 stars
  • (4/5)
    Good read!Courtney Summers takes us through the story of a young girl who has run away from home with the thought of seeking revenge for the death of her younger sister. She is searching for the man responsible for her murder and so much more. Will Sadie complete her self-made task? And a better question, will anyone ever see Sadie again?This book is written in a very interesting way. There are two main perspectives in this book. One comes from Sadie herself and the other comes from a radio show host who interviews pertinent people to her case. As the book switches back and forth between the two perspectives you get a feel for both Sadie and her little sister Mattie as well as the people surrounding them in their lives and the people that Sadie comes in contact with in her relentless search for the man responsible for Mattie's murder. although the book switches back and forth between the two perspectives it is not difficult to follow the storyline. This is actually a very easy read.I personally thought this book was good but I'm just going to leave it at that. I don't quite understand all the hype over this book because it wasn't outstanding per se. It was written very well and forms a very unique perspective of the storyline. There were several parts where I felt like I just wanted the story to get on with it and get to the point. I felt that some parts lagged along a little. I also felt that the ending, though interesting, left the reader wanting. I felt that for a story such as this the reader needs a little bit more closure at the end instead of what we got which was "maybe" and "could be".I didn't dislike the book enough to give it a thumbs down however. And I would definitely recommend this book to people who like young adult and thriller books.
  • (4/5)
    WOW. this book is insane. i don't know how else to explain it. i was at a loss of words for the majority of time i was reading it. i didn't expect myself to like it, but as the plot developed, i grew to love it.

    but what happened to sadie?
  • (5/5)

    Powerful, thrilling, heart wrenching, and not for the faint of heart. Probably the best contemporary book I have read all year. This one will stick with me for quiet awhile.
  • (2/5)
    (This review will be on my blog All the Ups and Downs soon).

    Sadie by Courtney Summers had an interesting synopsis. I was intrigued, and I knew it was a book I had to read. Unfortunately, this book left me feeling a bit empty.

    The pacing is okay enough. I did read this book quickly. However, I found myself bored a lot of the time. Sometimes, I even felt like giving up on Sadie.

    I found the plot to be lacking the action and mystery that I craved. I guess I felt that the plot was just too predictable. This is one plot twist although it's only a small one. I love plot twists, so Sadie left me disappointed. I also felt like their wasn't much of a plot or that the plot was too simple. Sadie is looking for her mom's ex-boyfriend, Keith, whom she is convinced killed her younger sister. Meanwhile, there are people trying to find out where Sadie is in the form of a podcast (which is strange for a book, but it is different). That's pretty much everything. I was also confused a little by the podcast at first. The podcast seems to make Sadie's story feel like it is a work of fiction especially when some of the podcast chapters start out with "The Girls is brought to you by Macillian Publishers." The Girls, as the podcast about Sadie is called, even has its own special theme tune. This helps add to the confusion. It's only later that I realized this book is actually written to look like a true story and not fiction within fiction.

    The world building was a little shaky. There were some parts that just felt far fetched like the podcast. I just have a hard time believing that people would give up so much information to a random stranger doing a podcast. Also, it just seemed a little too easy for West McCray, the podcast's presenter, to get the information he wanted. I also found it a bit unrealistic that no one called the police on Sadie at all. People always took her at face value.

    I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I felt like they just weren't fleshed out enough. Like I said before, this book is just about Sadie finding her mom's ex-boyfriend, and the podcast presenter trying to find her. I would have liked to know more about Mattie. She sounded like the most interesting character. I really wish there was also more information about Mattie's and Sadie's home life. I would have liked Claire, the girls' mom, and Keith to be more fleshed out. I would have even liked to know more about West McCray since he was the presenter of the podcast. While it is explained very briefly why West took on Sadie's story, I would have like a more in-depth look into his reasoning for taking on the story and just more about West's life in general.

    There are themes of child molestation, violence, underage drinking, and references to drug use. There is a lot of swearing in Sadie by Courtney Summers. I think the swearing is a little over the top, and a lot of the time, a swear word is thrown in there just because. I feel like although swearing does work in this kind of book, it is way overdone.

    All in all, Sadie by Courtney Summers is just an okay book. It's one that I will most likely forget in a month or two. I feel like there's nothing special about it that sticks out. The characters are too bland, and the plot is just too predictable and boring. Sadie by Courtney Summers is one of those books that I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend to others, but I would encourage others to read it if they really want to.

    (Thanks to St. Martin's Press for a free ARC copy of Sadie by Courtney Summers in exchange for an honest review).
  • (5/5)
    19-year-old Sadie has grown up without a father and for the most part, without a mother as well. She's managed to bring up her younger 13-year-old sister Mattie despite this. Until the day Mattie is found murdered nearby. Sadie is devastated, and shortly afterward, disappears. West McCray, a New York radio producer, happens upon the story and eventually turns the mystery into a podcast, presenting the facts and retracing Sadie's path as she seems to hunt down clues to her sister's disappearance, as well as some ghosts from her past. The story alternates between Sadie's search and McCray's podcast presentations.This may be one of my favorite reads of the year. It's gotten consistent good reviews, but is not necessarily a well-known or publicized book. Besides being a good story, told in a unique format, with just enough mystery thrown in, it is an exceptionally good presentation in audiobook format -- probably one of the best I've ever listened to. With a variety of readers and sound effects, it truly is a masterful audio presentation. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone, and if you can get your hands on an audio copy, definitely go that route.
  • (4/5)
    I’m a sucker for anything structurally interesting and Courtney Summers pulled me in right away with the podcast format that composes most of her YA novel Sadie. This is a depressing tale of complete family dysfunction with drugs, abuse and death so be forewarned. The podcast follows the trail of Sadie who disappeared from her trailer park home soon after her sister was killed. Interspersed with the podcast is Sadie’s first-person narrative as she crosses the country in an $800 used car trying to find the man she believes killed her sister. These sections were not as successful for me, but they did fill in the blanks of Sadie’s actions and her inner thoughts play a necessary foil to the outsider narrative of the podcast. Sadie is not a book for the faint of heart, but readers looking for a thought-provoking murder mystery with a unique format will not be disappointed.
  • (5/5)
    wow oh wow
  • (2/5)
    Another DNF cause of language plus subject matter and I didn’t like what I did read very much.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! Disturbing, but beautifully done, this book took a piece of me. I listened to the audio because it was recommended that way and it was fantastic! The full cast podcast made it all seem so real. I think that is one reason it was so powerful. I don't have enough words...just wow.
  • (4/5)
    Sadie is a YA book about child abuse and pedophilia. I believe it is important for books to cover difficult subjects, especially when the audience is young. Overall, I felt Courtney Summers handled the material well. There were moments of great tension and I loved the idea of Sadie as a young vigilante, although there could be some parents who think otherwise.I had a couple of issues with the novel. First of all, it started fast, with a murder, but after that it began to drag until the pace picked up about a third into the story. Secondly, the male characters are mostly immoral, with the exception of Javi, a teenager who finds Sadie attractive. Javi steps up, does the right thing and pays the price. The main character of West McCray is a caring and dedicated person, but may or may not be male. This brings me to my third issue, the podcast personality who follows Sadie. Here is a line from the Goodreads description of the book:“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.”This description uses the word “he,” yet Summers is not so clear about West's gender. About three quarters of the way through the book West delivers the line: “I married him.” When I read that I wondered if West was a woman or a gay man. Like most readers, I picture the characters while I'm reading, so it bothered me and I looked back.I could not find a clear answer to this main character's gender. In either case, Summers should have made West's gender clear. West spoke about his or her daughter a few times throughout the story, but not in a way that would answer my question. Overall, I found the subject material and the tension in the latter part of the novel to make this a worthwhile read.Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul, White Horse Regressions, Hopatcong Vision Quest, and Under a Warped Cross.
  • (5/5)
    This was an emotional book and it was a haunting book and the story was such an experience and it was so real. The complexity of the story and the details were so so so real. I felt so deeply for Sadie throughout the entirety of the novel and there were points when she would say something and I would just say "YEAH" out loud to myself. This book was so !!!!! It covers difficult and sad topics but this is such an important novel and I'm really happy it exists out there in the world. Please read Sadie.
  • (4/5)
    Another very hyped book, another one I was hesitant about trying. I have tried several Courtney Summers books previously and have never been able to get into them. I love hard hitting contemporary reads though and this one interested me especially with a full cast of narratives for the audiobook.I really enjoyed how this one started. I did not think I would like the podcast addition to the story and thought it would be repetitive. It was not and it worked very well. I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend the audiobook as it really differentiates between the Podcast and Sadie’s sections.This does hit on very serious issues such as drug addiction and sexual abuse. It was very sad to see how everything unfolded. I was not a huge fan of the ending, but still enjoyed the story as a whole.Overall, I recommend this one and really enjoyed it!
  • (5/5)

    This book gutted me!
    The life joureny of Sadie has been a very difficult one with a lot of odds stacked against her and her sister Maddie.
    When Maddie is murdered, Sadie goes searching for her number one suspect.

    I loved the writing style of this book. Having listened to the Serial podcasts in the past made it relatable. And as a reader I enjoyed this new perspectice of storytelling.

    This book will make you think about a lot of different topics and is well worth the read.

    Quotes, notes and snippets:
    He blinks at my stutter, recovers quickly, in his mind.
    You can't really recover from the moment you make someone feel like freak you just have to hope the person you made feel that way extends a level of grace towards you that you probably don't deserve.
  • (5/5)
    Sadie was a book that lived up to all the hype. It is told in two parts. In one part West McCray is a radio personality who hears Sadie's story and becomes obsessed with learning her story and finding her. His section is in the form of a script or transcript of the podcast he creates.The second part is told from Sadie's point of view as she searches for the man she blames for the death of her younger sister Mattie. Mattie had been Sadie's whole life and reason for living since she was born when Sadie was six. Sadie and Mattie's mother was a drug addict who brought home a series of men and then abandoned her kids when Sadie was sixteen. The girls lived in a dying trailer park in a dying town under the loose supervision of an older woman who rented them the trailer they lived in. After Mattie was found murdered, Sadie lost her reason for living.Sadie's story gradually unfolds as she follows the trail becoming sadder and more harrowing as each page is turned. Her voice is compelling and engaging. I liked that she righted a number of wrongs along her journey and changed a number of lives.One of the lives she changed, even though she never met him, was West McCray's. You could feel his initial reluctance to get involved in the story at all and then feel how he was pulled into Sadie and Mattie's story until it became almost a compulsion to find out what happened.
  • (4/5)
    Good read!Courtney Summers takes us through the story of a young girl who has run away from home with the thought of seeking revenge for the death of her younger sister. She is searching for the man responsible for her murder and so much more. Will Sadie complete her self-made task? And a better question, will anyone ever see Sadie again?This book is written in a very interesting way. There are two main perspectives in this book. One comes from Sadie herself and the other comes from a radio show host who interviews pertinent people to her case. As the book switches back and forth between the two perspectives you get a feel for both Sadie and her little sister Mattie as well as the people surrounding them in their lives and the people that Sadie comes in contact with in her relentless search for the man responsible for Mattie's murder. although the book switches back and forth between the two perspectives it is not difficult to follow the storyline. This is actually a very easy read.I personally thought this book was good but I'm just going to leave it at that. I don't quite understand all the hype over this book because it wasn't outstanding per se. It was written very well and forms a very unique perspective of the storyline. There were several parts where I felt like I just wanted the story to get on with it and get to the point. I felt that some parts lagged along a little. I also felt that the ending, though interesting, left the reader wanting. I felt that for a story such as this the reader needs a little bit more closure at the end instead of what we got which was "maybe" and "could be".I didn't dislike the book enough to give it a thumbs down however. And I would definitely recommend this book to people who like young adult and thriller books.
  • (5/5)
    CW/TW: Rape, pedophilia, murder

    First up listen to this in audio form if you can. This isn't exactly an easy read but it's a really engaging read. I blew through the audiobook in one day. Wow. This was a ride and so well done.

  • (5/5)
    "And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl."I just finished Sadie by Courtney Summers, and I'm still breathless - in that way where you're so consumed by the story that you forget to exist for a moment. This story was dark, heartbreaking, twisted, and so REAL. It's sad when you realize that so many women can relate to this story; I know I can. The story focuses on a teenager who leaves home in search of revenge for her dead sister. She's searching for the man that she believes murdered her sister, but she finds so much more along the way. The storytelling is quite unique, switching between Sadie's narrative and West McCray's podcast. I loved the switch, because it gives the reader a chance to get to know everyone involved in the story. It adds so much depth Sadie's journey. Each chapter ended the same way - with me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. This one hit me hard, and I grew to care for Sadie on a deep level. I'm not sure if we were meant to like Sadie, but I loved her from the beginning. I'll recommend this book a million times, but be warned that it is graphic. If you're easily triggered by subjects of rape, murder, or pedophilia, you might want to skip this one.
  • (5/5)
    I received this ARC from Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.


    TRIGGER WARNING sexual assault, molestation, pedophilia, rape, physical assault, murder

    I always forget fear is a conquerable thing but I learn it over and over again and that, I guess, is better than never learning it.
    Obligatory Summary

    Sadie is a thriller. A very intense thriller. Told in two perspectives—Sadie herself, and West McCray, the host of a radio podcast series—this book chronicles the missing person and murder investigations of two sisters, Sadie and Mattie.

    As Sadie travels from city to city in search of the man who killed her sister, West is close on her trail, hunting her down and unraveling the case. Dark secrets are revealed, and you never know what's going to happen next.

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

    I was a HUGE fan of the writing. It was deeply personal and extremely atmospheric. I felt a part of the mystery, and lost myself in Sadie's revenge.

    The podcast element was super unique—I've never read anything with something like that in it. It was like NPR but actually interesting (sorry, dad).

    The mystery itself was expertly crafted. Nothing was given away too early. Nothing was too vague or too detailed. It was mature and profound, but not too gritty or preachy. It shied away from stereotypes, and didn't dumb anything down for the young adult audience. I loved everything about it.

    For some people, the future ahead is opportunity. For others, it's only time you haven't met and where I lived, it was only time. You don't waste your breath trying to protect it. You just try to survive it until one day, you don't.
    The Characters

    Sadie: Strong, resilient, and persistent, Sadie was a powerful protagonist to follow. She is impulsive in her grief, but so realistic. I particularly appreciated her stutter, as it added to her character without pandering.

    West: His character arc throughout this book is phenomenal. Starting off as a reluctant journalist, just doing what his boss ordered, he becomes deeply invested in Sadie's story. He wasn't just a placeholder character. He was real, and personal, and wonderful.

    May Beth and Claire: I loved these characters. They were so interesting.

    Keith and Silas: Oh man. I'm going to kill a man.

    There are also a lot of people who you meet along the way, but suffice it to say that they are all great, well rounded, believable, real, flawed characters. I love (and hate in some cases, but in a good way) every single character in this book.

    How do you forgive the people who are supposed to protect you? Sometimes I don't know what I miss more; everything I've lost or everything I never had.

    I don't read contemporary. Not really. Not often. But when I do, I read the dark stuff. The real stuff. This is as dark and as real as they get. I truly loved everything about this book. It's depressing, and hopeful, and oh so heartbreaking. I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved it.

    Buy this and read this so we can discuss, mmkay?

    Thank you SO MUCH, Macmillan!!! THANK YOU
  • (5/5)
    Holy hell, I am NOT okay. I'm going to need some time to process this one.
  • (4/5)
    Sadie is a book with a lot of hype surrounding it, and it more than earns all that hype. Putting a spin on the true crime podcast, Sadie tells the story of the murder of a younger sister, and the lengths the older sister will go to get revenge on the murderer. Chapters alternate between Sadie's point of view and that of a podcaster, who has found much more of a story then he ever expected. This is not an easy read, full of very difficult topics, but it is absolutely a haunting book worth reading. I couldn't put it down, and the last sentence is still with me.
  • (5/5)
    Oh, my goodness! "Sadie" is an incredibly dark, emotional, hard-hitting novel, but I can't say I enjoyed it despite being totally invested in Sadie's story. It is not a 'nice' read, but it is a very realistic one. There are references to child sexual, verbal and physical abuse along with drug addiction and substance abuse. However, "Sadie" is also about the power of sisterly love which is extremely moving.Sadie's journey is totally horrifying. It is one of despair and heartbreak as she seeks revenge for the death of her beloved younger sister, Mattie, whom she has raised since birth. Sadie has an incredible maternal determination to destroy, and the reader can feel her pain and desperation. My heart bled for her. Her backstory was so hard to read. In fact, there were times I wasn't sure I could finish the book knowing what she endured as a young girl. However, Sadie could also be quite witty at times and her stutter just made her more endearing.I also liked the format of the book. As well as Sadie's narrative, the author gives West McCray, a radio personality, a voice. McCray becomes obsessed with Mattie and Sadie's story. While trying to find Sadie, McCray interviews a great number of people and he reports his findings to listeners via a serialised podcasts he creates called The Girls. The use of the podcasts was a great addition by the author as it allows people who know, or have met, the sisters to have a voice and shed light on their story as MaCray gets closer to finding Sadie. As for the ending, the last podcast episode had me in tears."Sadie" is a painful, but necessary read, and is one of those rare books that will rip our your heart and leave an impression on you long after the final pages. Highly recommended for mature readers.
  • (5/5)
    Sadie is on a mission... to find the man who abused her and killed her younger sister. She is angry and driven and arguably more violent than the guy she is pursuing. This is a cat-and-mouse game: Sadie's journey paralleling a podcast investigation of the crime. Compelling, suspenseful yet very dark. Probes the notion of how far one might go when victimized by a crime. The heroes are few and far between in this novel and the end is jarring.
  • (3/5)
    Narrated by Rebecca Soler, Gabra Zackman, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner. There are two storylines told in alternating perspectives: Nineteen-year-old Sadie sets out on the road to track down the person who killed her younger sister Maddie. She is sure it is Keith, one of her mother's former boyfriends and who sexually abused both girls when he lived with the family. In the second storyline, a radio broadcaster is developing a podcast serial looking into Sadie's disappearance after her car is found abandoned. Whoever is voicing Sadie's part portrays her with a hard exterior driven by desperation. The podcast chapters work to a certain extent; some of the characters seem stiffly rendered, not sounding the way you would expect to hear in a radio interview. The podcast host however, has the timbre and pacing of NPR's Steve Inskeep or David Greene (can't recall which one at the moment) and that lends an air of realness to the serial. Overall, a suspenseful work which grows even more so as Sadie gets deeper into her leads and closer to her target.
  • (5/5)
    Sadie has been raising her little sister Mattie all of her life. Their addict mother left and Sadie has been trying to give her the best life she can. When Mattie is found murdered, Sadie is devastated. The police investigation is going nowhere, so Sadie decides to find the killer herself.Now here's the fun part. Sadie is told as a podcast. A brilliant idea Courtney! I love listening to podcasts and starting 'hearing' the book as I read. We come to know the host, West McCray, and follow along with the investigation week to week (chapter to chapter)."...The Girls explores what happens when a devastating crime reveals a deeply unsettling mystery. It's a story about family, about sisters, and the untold lives lived in small town America. It's about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love...and the high price we pay when we can's. And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl."Now I don't know about you, but I was hooked by that introduction from the podcast.Alternating are chapters from Sadie in real time as she pursues the killer. We get to know her more intimately in her chapters and become privy to her inner thoughts, worries, hopes and more. I liked her as a lead character very much and was firmly in her corner as she set out. But oh, some of it's downright gut-wrenching. (And don't even get me started on the ending!)Sadie turned into a one sitting read for me - I just couldn't put it down, caught up in Sadie's pursuit and West's exploration of what happened. Such a great read!
  • (5/5)
    SadieByCourtney SummersWhat it's all about...Sadie and her sister Maddie are left on their own with only a neighbor to watch over them. Maddie is found dead. Sadie disappears without a trace. What is her motivation? Where did she go? She wants to find out who killed her sister and she won’t stop until she does. Why I wanted to read it...This book is told from a unique perspective. An interviewer with a popular podcast is trying to find out what happened to Sadie. Sadie is on the hunt for a man in a photo. But what does this have to do with what happened to Maddie or to her? This all slowly unravels on Sadie’s road trip. What made me truly enjoy this book...I loved the way this incredibly sad story is told. It drew me in immediately. It was really fast paced in a good good way.Why you should read it, too...It’s a mystery. It’s a complicated story of a sad family. It’s different in the way it is written. That’s why I was fascinated by this book. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
  • (5/5)
    I love fiction, true crime, podcasts and this book because it has all three (it's true crime-esque). I received a free copy from NetGalley to provide a honest review. I've been hearing about this book for some time now, so when I got the approval to read Sadie I could not wait. THEN THEY RELEASE AN ACTUAL PODCAST BASED ON THE BOOK. My excitement cannot be described. The premise of the book is that Sadie is looking for her sister's killer and then there's McCray, he's doing a podcast about finding Sadie. The story is told from Sadie's perspective and her method of hunting down the man she thinks is responsible and McCray looking into clues of what path Sadie took in a podcast format. It's an interesting place for the reader to be because they know Sadie's actions before McCray figures it out, but the podcast portions still manage to add information to the plot. There are uncomfortable parts to read due to the nature of the book and what Sadie went through. There isn't any graphic detail, but the emotions Sadie is going through in her thoughts can be triggering for some people. The actual podcast they released for the book is a great marketing tool, it does not spoil the book (at least night the first episode, not sure if they are going to tell the entire podcast part of the book in the recordings) it is a great addition to the book. YA fans will love Sadie and true crime fans may want to check it out for the way the story unfolds and it being similar to true crime podcast.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! Even though this book was written for teens, I found it riveting. Sadie and all those around her, have rough lives. Her mother, Claire, started off drinking and then moved on to hard drugs. She all but abandoned Sadie for men and drugs. Mattie was born when Sadie was six and Sadie immediately became Mattie's surrogate mother. The only stable figure in the girls' lives was an older woman who lived in the trailer park with them named May Beth Foster. When Claire ran away and deserted the girls, May took them in and took care of them.West McCray is a journalist who is pressed into investigating and producing a podcast about the death and/or disappearance of Sadie and Mattie. What he finds is disturbing to say the least, and tragic.Written alternately between Sadie's personal account and West's interviews, this is a taut and brilliantly told mystery.