My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Genre: YA Mystery
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.
Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.
“Imagine having to live every day knowing the person who killed your sister is breathing the air she can’t, filling his lungs with it, tasting its sweetness. Imagine him knowing the steady weight of the earth under his feet while her body is buried six feet below it.”
My overall opinion of this book is so mixed, and it’s hard to understand why when literally over 80% of reviews for this on goodreads are either 4 or 5 stars and I really don’t feel like i can give it anything over 3, and that’s being generous.
Sadie is a dual-perspective type of book, half of the story we are hearing from Sadie, and the other half we are listening to a radio show that focuses on the kidnapping of Sadie’s sister and while that sounds thrilling, it just seemed a bit odd when actually put in practice, the radio show was just odd, it didn’t seem very realistic with the ‘guests’ that were bought into the show and there seemed to be a lack of emotion coming from the characters related to Sadie making the whole situation seem pretty unrealistic.
Sadie herself was an interesting character but I found it so so difficult to care about her, to me, she had no characteristics that defined her except for her stutter and she was just kind of bland (and this was odd because we see her to be presented as caring and loving and passionate, but I just wasn’t getting that vibe from her, but I did see her struggles and empathise with her for that, my critique is simply that I didn’t really think there was anything too special about her to make me care more than I would any other character), that being said, the story itself was good; I really enjoyed going with Sadie on her little adventure to figure out all these different clues but even with that being said her interactions with other people made her even more unlikable to me and there is this scene in a club where she like? Dances? But not really? And it was so cringe and weird and unnecessary to me.
I think my main issue with this book is that all the events and the plot had so so so much potential and the characters involved really did it absolutely no justice and I feel as though a plot with so much potential has been somewhat wasted on Courtney Summers, so many important issues are touched on, but i don’t feel like they were explored or developed to their full potential.
I’m going to move on to some spoilers now, so if you haven’t read this book yet and want to, please stop here, however, if you have read the book or if you don’t care about being spoiled (there isn’t much to spoil tbh) then please continue reading.
I think maybe my biggest problem with this book was that, by the end, it was pointless. For me, there was no sense of resolution and nothing to make me feel like I didn’t just waste my time reading it, and I can see how it can be argued that in reality this is how things work and blah, but still; give me something.
I won’t, however, dismiss the extremely important issues dealt with in this book, particularly neglect and (sexual) abuse of young girls, however, my one slight complaint is the neglect of a mention that young boys can be abused in the same way, but I won’t dwell too much on that as this book is one that largely focuses on girls.
I DID ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT SEXUALITY DIDN’T DRIVE THE PLOT- there is a rather controversial post on this blog where I talk about my opinions on diversity in literature and I feel like a lot of people misunderstood me, but this is what I meant, for sexuality to be mentioned once, in a casual way, as normal as mentioning a hair colour, and not making a huge deal out of it to sell books or promote a book just because it is diverse.
To wrap up, I’d like to reiterate one point: nothing really happened, like I genuinely think everything could be explained in 20 pages, no resolution was met, we find out nothing new, there is no sense of justice and the whole thing was just a waste of time. And also, Sadie’s expectation of killing whoever hut her sister, though admirable, was just so unrealistic and it kind of just seemed like Sadie was very angsty and wanted to rebel and so took matters into her own hands and i just don’t get it, I would’ve much rather have seen a police investigation but i can once again understand that the police to not often deal with these matters and so once again I can see how this is a matter of personal preference, but still.
Okay so that’s all for my conflicting and slightly confused and a bit all over the place review, let me know what you thought of this book if you read it, because my opinion on it is pretty unheard of when you read all the reviews of people raving and sobbing over this book. Overall, I liked it, it was good, it could do with improvement and is seriously overhyped IN MY OPINION, but please feel free to let me know if you disagree and maybe you’ll be able to show me a take I didn’t realise. Anyways, thanks for reading and if you decide to read more of my blog, I’ll talk to you in my next post ❤