Published by Wednesday Books on September 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
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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.
Trigger warnings: child sexual abuse, pedophilia, addiction
I was completely unprepared for the journey that Sadie would take me on. It was intense and uncomfortable, and the story built up to such emotional end that I have to admit I spilled a few tears at the closing lines of the novel. It covers an incredibly important topic, in a unique format, and I honestly a bit all over the place right now.
Sadie is written in wonderful format that alternates between a podcast that is being broadcast about the search for a missing girl, Sadie Hunter, and the perspective of Sadie herself. After the death of her younger sister, Mattie, Sadie leaves her small town in pursuit of a mystery man before disappearing herself. The podcast begins about a year after the disappearance of Sadie, and is hosted by West McCray who has spent the past year trying to search for Sadie at the request of her surrogate grandmother and putting together the podcast. As we ‘listen’ (in my case I actually did since I listened to the audiobook) to the podcast and all the clues that McCray has found and the witnesses he has interviewed, we also get to see Sadie’s side of the story and exactly what happened from the moment she left her small town of Cold Creek, until the moment she was last seen alive.
Because I can’t take another dead girl.
That’s about all that I can say about the plot because I do think it is best to experience the story without knowing much about it. I absolutely loved the way the story was told and the book alternated so seamlessly between the podcast and Sadie’s intense and raw first person narration of her own experience. I’m always a little bit cautious when there are alternating perspectives, simply because the timeline doesn’t always match up very well, but Sadie was definitely a masterfully composed novel in this regard. I enjoyed the pacing of the story and how it put me on the edge of my seat with every chapter and escalated to the perfect climax. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t fully invested in the story and I kinda of wished the book was longer because I loved it so much. It covers such an important topic and brings to light how each individual girl is important and worth looking for.
Sadie was perfectly imperfect as a character. She’s had a rough childhood and speaks with a stutter, making her believe that she’s not really deserving of love and care. It was completely heartbreaking to read about but it was also heartwarming to see how much love she had for Mattie and the lengths she would go through for those she cared about. She was a fully fleshed out character and I enjoyed reading from her point of view and being able to get a glimpse into her thought processes and the pain and suffering she’s had to go through. I also really enjoyed all of the other characters that were featured in the book. They all had their own unique personalities and each made a contribution to the plot.
I listened to this on audiobook because of all the wonderful things I had heard about it and I do have to say that I would recommend listening to Sadie over reading the physical book. The podcast format works wonderfully in audio format and there was a full cast of narrators (along with music) who made the listening experience a joy. The narrator for Sadie was perfect and brought all of the emotion and angst that the story required, and I highly enjoyed listening to West McCray’s narration.
I feel like I don’t even have the words to express how much I loved Sadie. It was an emotional ride but the story was extremely well written and beautifully narrated. It’s a mystery that is filled with twists and turns, and I couldn’t put it down. Get the audiobook, you won’t regret it!
Rating: 5 out of 5