I’ve decided that from now on my reviews are going to be done in bullet point format and maybe with the addition of categories in future reviews. This format just makes me feel so much more comfortable because writing reviews gives me actual anxiety and makes me feel really self-conscious. Using bullet points takes the pressure off because it makes me feel as though I don’t have to be so formal or technical. I’ve done this format in the past (1, 2) and I’m not sure why I didn’t continue with it 😂
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.
I listened to this book via audiobook but I did also receive an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warnings: paedophilia, sexual abuse, drug abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence
“And it begins,
as so many stories do,
with a dead girl.”
🎒 This is the book that got me out an almost four month reading slump. Before reading this I had no desire to pick up any kind of book and I was convinced my blogging days were over. Then, everyone on Twitter was talking about how amazing the audiobook was and because I’m the kind of person that has to be in on what everyone else is talking about I decided to listen to it and wow, am I glad I did. It’s devastating, heartbreaking and it made me cry. A lot.
🎒 Listening to this via audiobook made it seem so real. It really feels like you’re listening to a true crime podcast. It was put together SO well! I had to remind myself that it was a fictional case. The podcast element in general was so cool.
🎒 I loved how complex and flawed Sadie was as a character. She mad a lot of impulse decisions but they weren’t for no reason? Yes, she obviously could have handled things better but I fully understood her motives especially as more and more was revealed. I found myself relating to her character a lot. My home life wasn’t physically abusive as hers, but I was always a parent to my younger siblings, so I really connected with that. It was good to see some representation for stuttering too because I don’t think that’s something that’s ever really talked about.
🎒 West McCray’s involvement in the story was great too, he was one of my favourite parts. He wasn’t just a “voice” telling a podcast. He was a really fleshed out character. The way he started off with “girls go missing all the time” and then evolved to “I can’t take another dead girl” (which Jesus, is such a HARD HITTING statement and such a reflection on the current state of society) and how much he grew to care for Sadie and her family and the case in general.
🎒 The small town atmosphere was done brilliantly too and it was another thing I found myself really relating to. The characters and the settings really bring it to life.
🎒 Courtney Summers never seems to shy away from confronting subjects and that’s why I want to read all her works. The other book I’ve read by her was All the Rage and it was so heartbreaking. I think she does a great job of handling all the subject matters in a really respectful, but realistic way. Nothing is glamourised or used for shock value. Nothing is sugarcoated though so please don’t get into this if you’re sensitive to any of the trigger warnings.
🎒 The ending. I loved it. Unpopular opinion time. I know everyone talks about how much they love this book “but the ending“. Maybe it’s because I have such a love for open endings because I just love the whole intrigue aspect and not fully knowing something is very unnerving. I really don’t think there could have been any other way for this book to end? Having everything tied up in a neat bow would have gone against everything the book was trying to tell.
˗ˏˋ read it if you like… ˎˊ˗
podcasts, true crime, dark contemporaries, small towns, flawed characters
˗ˏˋ liked it? try these… ˎˊ˗
Have you read Sadie or is it on your TBR?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I hope you’re all having a fantastic day.