Genre: Young Adult Thriller, Mystery, Audiobook
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.
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.
I’m really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this story. I had seen very mixed reviews and the more people said they were disappointed by it, the more I hesitated to read it, but I started it on a whim and I certainly don’t regret the decision! Sadie is a young adult mystery/crime thriller told through an interesting format: a mix of podcast and first person POV. It delves into pretty dark topics including child abuse (off page) and drug/alcohol abuse and addiction. It’s not a happy story by any means and there isn’t much of a happy ending (though tbh, I’m still a little salty about that ending!), but I think it’s worth the read.
I’m glad I chose to listen to the audiobook because it helped me get into the story and connect with the characters and their journeys. The audiobook is a full-cast production and I think the voice actors did an amazing job–especially the ones who played Sadie and West McCray, the radio personality who investigates Sadie’s disappearance.
“I realized pretty early on that the who didn’t really matter so much. That anybody who listens to me, I end up loving them just a little.”
Sadie was such a troubled young woman, and my heart went out to her and all she’s been through. It’s dark and painful to read. You can sense how much Sadie treasured her sister, Mattie, and you could feel how Mattie’s death drove Sadie right to the edge. There’s a certain desperation about her character that stems from not caring about living anymore, and it was so hard to witness it unfold… But this desperation to bring the killer to justice was also what drove Sadie on. That said, it took a while for her character to grow on me. Her bitterness and rage was often a lot to take but ultimately my heart broke for her because of how little she asked for and was given in her life, and how much she had to give in return, despite that.
My favorite part of the audiobook was the podcast sections. Listening to McCray follow the trail and becoming more invested in Sadie’s well-being happened at the same pace as my own attachment to the story. It felt real and believable, and like I was really listening to a IRL podcast. When the pieces started coming together you could feel how it shook McCray especially since he had his own daughter. His plea at the end really had me tearing up a bit too because it was heartbreaking. That said, that open ending was a bit of a … disappointment? I mean, it was satisfying because justice was served, but I also had so many questions that went unanswered… I just wanted to know and I’m upset that we won’t ever. This might be more of a personal preferences as I don’t like open endings, but I wish it was a clean resolution.
“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.”
If you’re curious and have access to or the means to purchase the audiobook, I would highly recommend it. Summers successfully drew me in and kept me hooked until the very end. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next!
Have you read Sadie or is it on your TBR?