Sadie

Sadie

by Courtney Summers

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250214058
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/23/2018
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

COURTNEY SUMMERS lives and writes in Canada. She is the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, Please Remain Calm, and All the Rage.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

THE GIRLS

EPISODE 1

[THE GIRLS THEME]

WEST McCRAY:

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 the school year resumes, guaranteeing 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.

COLD CREEK RESIDENT [FEMALE]:

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

WEST McCRAY:

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.

MAY BETH FOSTER:

Just about ... here.

This is where they found the body.

911 DISPATCHER [PHONE]:

911 dispatch. What's your emergency?

WEST McCRAY:

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.

CARL EARL:

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.

CARL EARL [PHONE]:

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.

911 DISPATCHER [PHONE]:

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

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

CARL EARL [PHONE]:

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 —

911 DISPATCHER [PHONE]:

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

CARL EARL [PHONE]:

Oh, yeah, no — I wasn't going to —

CARL EARL:

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.

WEST McCRAY:

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.

Dead.

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:

MAY BETH FOSTER:

She was only thirteen years old.

CARL EARL:

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

WEST McCRAY:

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.

JOE HALLORAN:

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

WEST McCRAY:

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.

MAY BETH FOSTER [PHONE]:

Is this West McCray?

WEST McCRAY [PHONE]:

It is. How can I help you?

MAY BETH FOSTER [PHONE]:

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

WEST McCRAY:

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.

MAY BETH FOSTER [PHONE]:

I need your help.

WEST McCRAY:

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 affects 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 —

MAY BETH FOSTER [PHONE]:

I can't take another dead girl.

CHAPTER 2

sadie

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.

"— ead."

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.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Sadie"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Courtney Summers.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
The Girls,
Sadie,
The Girls,
Sadie,
The Girls,
Sadie,
Also by Courtney Summers,
About the Author,
Copyright,

Customer Reviews

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Sadie 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Macsbooks 8 months ago
Sadie is a young girl set on revenge against the man she is certain has murdered her sister. Her life has been hard, the daughter of an alcoholic mother and non-existent father, Sadie has raised herself and her sister with the help of an older, loving neighbor. After her mother's disappearance from their lives, Sadie continues to take care of her sister alone until the fateful night that her sister is savagely murdered. Sadie knows who did it despite the fact that the police have done nothing and followed no leads. Sadie disappears into the night looking for the killer, leaving no clues behind and telling no one her destination. This is where the story begins: Sadie is missing and the loving neighbor wants to know where she is, what has happened to her. She elicits the help of a very skeptical podcast reporter who has done some podcasts about interesting people in rural areas. The author uses both first hand accounts from Sadie and the podcast episodes. While I'm beginning to think that the use of blogs and podcasts in literature are becoming a crutch and a little too overused, in this particular instance it works very well. The author uses the reporter to ask a question and then, seamlessly, flows into the character's response on the podcast. There were times that I could easily imagine how this would have sounded and what it would have looked like "on air." Rather than being a crutch, it became an enhancement to the story. The book also is specially geared toward "young adults" and I think this type of writing works for them. With that in mind - the "young adult" aspect of this book - I think this is the first time I've read something within this genre in which I truly felt that the story had merit. When I was a young adult or younger, we were offered amazing stories that told the grittier, darker side of being a teen. S E Hinton's series, The Outsiders, or the horrific tale, Go Ask Alice, were required reading for teens and young adults. Somewhere along the way, Harry Potter became the norm, for adults and kids alike, and I think that books with substance took a back seat. Sadie, however, is a real coming of age story about rural America, alcohol and drugs, runaways and the horror that far too many young people and young adults must deal with as a regular part of their existence. There is no sugar-coating here, no happy endings for everyone: this is life and it is told expertly. Sadie is a book that I will read again and again and recommend to every reader I know. It is a must read for teens and young adults. It is a story for this generation in today's society, a story that will stand the test of time. A million thanks to #CourtneySummers for writing such an astounding book; to #Netgalley and #StMartinsPress for my advanced copy.
Anonymous 18 days ago
A heartbreaking mystery! Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read and review Sadie by Courtney Summers! Sadie seems lost. She’s searching for her stepfather to exact revenge for her younger sister’s murder. As the story is told, Sadie’s background unfolds. She’s had a life of abuse and neglect along with several “stepdads”. Sadie raised her younger sister Mattie since their mother was usually high or nonexistent in their lives. Sadie is a difficult book to review because I don’t want to give anything away. The intensity and pain broke my heart but the unconditional love that Sadie has for Mattie warmed my heart back up again. Sadie’s stutter made it difficult for her to make friends and her tragic life made it impossible for her to even keep or have friends. She lives in painful loneliness and only has the idea of vengeance to keep her going. A difficult to put down mystery, Sadie pulled 100% of my attention until I finished reading the book, 5 heartbreaking stars! * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Booklover225 4 months ago
Courtney Summer's develps a great story. The way it's written is different going back and forth between a radio show and what is happening to Sadie was a little confusing at first but I figured it out and it keeps you interested. Sadie, is a book that will keep you thinking. I liked the strength and determination of Sadie. The terrible burdens pushed upon her so young by a hard life. Raising her younger sister is the brightest and happiest Sadie has ever been in her short years. She was happiest when taking care of her little sister. But bad things happen to good people and this is a book that describes how life can be brutal. Sadies mom is not present most of the time between one night boyfriends and drugs then live in boyfriends at times she is not capable of much but wanting her next fix. .Being so young left to raise a daughter is part of her problem weakness is another. The book starts off with the murder of Sadies little sister. Her whole world comes tumbling down. It continues with what she does to correct the fact it is an unsolved murder. Sadie disappears after a year of no one being caught. Her tracking around the country has a purpose that is learned slowly. She is smart and methodical and the things she learns along the way makes her more determined to keep on. Good read so glad I asked to review this book and NerGally allowed me too. I received this digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Cutiefulpink 6 months ago
My Thoughts... for more check out www.amysbooketlist.blogspot.com There’s just something about Sadie. From the opening paragraph, you can tell this book is going to be different. This is a fairly original format, where not only is the main POV supplemented by a podcast investigation, but the podcast occurs after Sadie’s own story. So, there are multiple timelines involved in explaining the same series of events, one in the present where Sadie tells the audience what IS happening to her, and the podcast in their present describing the past and trying to uncover what DID happen. The actual plot was pretty great, with interesting twists and mysterious characters. Everyone’s motivations were constantly in doubt, keeping the reader on edge. The ending is where this book became amazing. Without giving away any spoilers, just know that you can’t possibly be disappointed about this conclusion. Especially, once you think about it and acknowledge how realistic it is. The Characters... In Sadie, the heroes and villains are pretty clearly defined, making this mystery different from most. Sadie is wonderfully written and obviously brave beyond measure. The events and people in her life dramatic and treacherous. Completely flawed human beings, some who were inherently evil and some who were just trying to make the best of terrible circumstances. Audiobook Review... This might be one of my favorite audiobooks ever! I mostly read audiobooks because I have young children, so not a lot of time to sit and read. Don’t’ get me wrong, I love them, but I won’t choose the audiobook over the print version…usually. This audiobook was so good, that I would suggest you listen to it even if you have already read this book. The production value was simply off the charts. Memorable Lines… “Every little thing about you can be a weapon, if you're clever enough.” ― Courtney Summers, Sadie “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.” ― Courtney Summers, Sadie
SarahJoint 6 months ago
One of the most fascinating characters I've read about recently and the most unique way of telling the story combines to make this a five star book for me. This would be memorable without the podcast aspect, but that's what makes it extra special. As we read the story from Sadie's point of view, we also get sections of a true crime podcast centered around the missing woman and her murdered sister. Both Sadie (the missing) and Wes, who runs the podcast, are searching for answers. He's always steps behind her, and we're left wondering what'll happen if he ever catches up. Mattie was Sadie's purpose in life. She was her little sister, but in many ways Sadie acted as her mother. She cared for her, made sure she ate and went to school. She kept her safe... until she couldn't. Until Mattie, only a young teenager, was found dead. Now Sadie has a new purpose: find the killer. Make him pay. No matter what the cost. No matter who she encounters on the way. No matter how dangerous it is. She'll make him pay. Bleak, heartwrenching, and undeniably powerful. This is one that will stay with me for some time and one I've already made a point to recommend to other readers. If you're not generally a YA reader, don't be afraid of this one. It stands on its own without ever relying on the usual YA troupes. It might feature characters in their teens, but it's a dark and moving story. One of my favorites this year. I received a copy to review from Wednesday Books. This in no way affects my opinion.
SchizanthusNerd 6 months ago
Content warnings include murder, missing persons, violence, addiction, sexual assault, grief, child abuse, and abandonment. “Sometimes I don’t know what I miss more: everything I’ve lost or everything I never had.” I don’t usually say this but for this book I will. Please don’t read too many reviews prior to reading this book, but please, read this book! I finished reading only a few minutes ago and the tears that haven’t been soaked up by several tissues are currently drying on my face, which I expect looks like a mess! “It’s not about finding peace. There will never be peace.” This was my first, but certainly not my last Courtney Summers book and I didn’t know what to expect other than knowing there was a mystery. I know Sadie, the book and the character, will haunt me. Before I’d finished the first 50 pages I was already searching my library catalogue for more of Courtney’s books. This surprised me because I often struggle with books that switch between formats; in this case some chapters are told from Sadie’s perspective in first person and others are transcripts of podcasts. In this book I loved the different voices that contributed to the story and never felt the jarring that can happen during transitions from one to the other. “Ever since Mattie died, it’s been like this, this surfacing of ugly things, forcing me to witness them because living through it all wasn’t enough. When Mattie was alive, I could push it down inside me because I had things to do, I had to look after her. And now … I still have things to do.” In the beginning the podcast is well behind Sadie as she searches for her sister’s killer. I both longed for and feared the podcast catching up to her in its timeline. This book tackles so many painful topics but for the most part I didn’t feel weighed down; instead I was bouyed by Sadie’s sarcasm, along with her perseverance and resilience. I will definitely remember “Becki with an i” and hold a place in my heart for Javi with the silent J, Cat, Nell, May Beth and even Claire. “I wish his darkness lived outside of him, because you have to know it’s there to see it. Like all real monsters, he hides in plain sight.” One of my favourite bookish things happened in this book; another much loved book was referenced in this one. I may have gotten a teensy bit excited when a character was seen reading The Baby-Sitters Club and I’m not ashamed to tell you that I knew the exact one they were reading from the description of the cover image alone. I did start to think I may have fallen into some plot holes but every one was filled in along the way. All of my questions were answered; all except for the most important one, but I was strangely satisfied with the ‘fill in the blanks yourself’ component. In the hands of a less capable writer I would have been really frustrated by this but with Sadie it only feels right that my heart should be conflicting with my mind.
CalsConstantRavingReviews 6 months ago
✨ For more book-focused fun, check out my socials: ✨ https://constantravingreviews.com MY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS BOOK: I gobbled this audiobook up in one day. The entire thing was brilliant. Bloody Brilliant. The voice acting is what took it from 4 stars to 5. It truly felt like I was witnessing everything unfold. It was beautifully worded and should never read this: unless it's in audiobook form! CHARACTERS/DYNAMICS: Sadie: I kid you not, after listening to this podcast, I kept stuttering over my words. I appreciate the unique and largely under-discussed disability: speech impediments. This was perfectly powerful in this novel. Sadie, overall, was flawless. What a beautiful human. I truly hope she is alive. This story is too ambiguous to truly tell us. Mattie: Congrats, Mattie. You win the Worst Sibling or Family Member Ever Award. I get Sadie is being selfish, wanting somebody to worship her, but Sadie's acts for Mattie were anything but selfish. Mattie acts 1000x more irrational than Sadie, even when Sadie was half Mattie's age. I think there's a fault at crediting Mattie as "just a kid." That reduces pre-teens/pre-adults as these part-human things. Not fully human, but almost developed to reach the label. Mattie was 13, god damn it. She was her own person, not some uncontrollable beast that had no conscious. She had more education than Sadie, yet continued to be so... stupid. So blind. Perhaps it's willfully blind? Who knows. Mattie is not worth the love that Sadie devoted upon her. Claire: I was expecting Claire to end up being the killer. Maybeth: What a great surrogate grandmother. I absolutely love that Summers' created one too-- my family is the only time I've ever been exposed to "surrogate grandmothers". I wish Maybeth wasn't religious, but this is sticking true to the stereotype of Southern trailer trash. Podcast Guy, West: what a lil bitch at the beginning, aye? He gets better. I appreciate how self aware he is, and how often he self-reflects. He asked great questions and didn't dumb down the investigation. Darren/Christopher/Keith/Jack: I wish he had a crueller death, that SOB. All the friends Sadie made along the way: Harvey, Kerri, Kat... they were amazing characters. I wish we could have an alternate universe where Sadi, Harvey, Kerri and Kat go to high school. That'd be amazing. PLOT: I was swept up in all of it. It was not as mysterious or plot twisting as I expected it to be, but I loved her quest and adventure. Who she met. Who she confronted. So powerful. STRUCTURE: The structure flips between Sadie's perspective (in the past), and the podcast, The Girls (set in present time). THEMES: - Pedophilia. - Graphic violence and swearing. - Blood. - Angst. - Revenge. - Sisterhood. - Substance abuse. THE ENDING: I was expecting a few more plot twists, but nothing came. That's okay. My expectations were set to Monday's Not Coming's level. Where the mum was the killer, and that our narrator was actually in some psych-stand still, reliving her search for her dead best friend. IMPACT: This book leads me questioning: 1. Is Sadie dead? 2. Will the podcast continue with a season 2, with another load of dead girls? 3. What happened in the forest? 4. Why would Keith kill Mattie? Why? 5. Did Keith kill any of the other girls?
bjneary 6 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for the advance reader copy Sadie by Courtney Summers in exchange for an honest review. Summers’ Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be were always being passed around and constantly checked out by students. Sadie is a compelling, tense novel detailing Sadie’s self-hatred for failing to keep her sister safe. After her sister, Mattie, is murdered, the reader follows this tense mystery from Sadie’s point-of-view and through a podcast, The Girls, narrated by famed journalist, West McCray, as he searches for Sadie. I could not put this book down; Sadie’s life is hell; her mother is drug addicted and derelict. Sadie has a severe stutter and suffers from abuse; I rooted for her as she used her wits to follow clues. Mattie was the center of Sadie’s life and when her mother takes off; Sadie takes over the care of her little sister. With the police no help, and an absent mother, will Sadie find her sister’s murderer? Will McCray find Sadie? Courtney Summers has written an explosive, riveting novel.
MaleehaS 7 months ago
I don't know how to summarize my feelings on this book. The subject matter that it deals with is incredibly ugly. Ugly, but unfortunately so, so real for many girls. For many kids. It was heartbreaking to read. That said, I really enjoyed the podcast format of this book. Those chapters were more fast-paced and interesting to me than reading from Sadie's POV. And the ending... I think the ending is the reason why I'm left feeling so uncertain. The lack of closure is hard to grasp and actually quite haunting.
Sandy5 8 months ago
I think there has been a lot said about this novel so I won’t rehash what this novel is all about. This novel is about a topic that I am drawn to. As I read this topic: I want to see justice served, I want the pain to go away, and I want the fear to vanish. I liked how Courtney Summers set up this novel. Alternating chapters between serial podcasts and Sadie’s perspective, it was different than other novels I have read pertaining to this topic. As I read Sadie’s portion of the novel, I felt more emotional and more in tune with the events that affected her. The material felt heavy and I understood exactly what Sadie was going through. As I read through the podcasts, these sections helped piece the story together but they didn’t seem to carry the emotional elements that I felt as I read Sadie’s own words. These podcasts were important to the story as they helped me catch my breath but they were, “like giving me the facts or weeding through the information,” for they were reporting and I just couldn’t find any emotion in them. Although some individuals didn’t care for the ending, I enjoyed it. I thought it went well with how the novel was set up. I thought the author addressed the topics inside this novel very well and I was hooked from the beginning pages. This novel is not for everyone because of its tough issues. I feel that the author tackled these tough issues in a unique style, producing a wonderful novel. I received a copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Caroldaz 8 months ago
The death of Sadie’s sister was devastating to her. She could not stand the thought that the killer was still living, still breathing, so she set out to find the killer. Sadie was in a very dark place but I loved her, loved the character. Beautifully written!
alyssayuri 8 months ago
Having a druggie for a mom made Sadie take care of her younger sister, Mattie, at a young age. And Sadie truly loves Mattie no matter what. But when Mattie was found dead, Sadie will do anything to get her revenge. This book tackles issues that a lot of people don't even talk about. And I thought that this book was so brave in telling that story. I find it amazing that even the most vulnerable girl can find that thing that can make them snap. I liked Sadie. She's very independent from the beginning and seeing her grow, and fighting for what she cares for is amazing! This was a hard read though. There's just parts where I cringed. But this thing is reality. It was just a slow read for me though. There's a huge part where it was dragging. And the changing point of views wasn't something I appreciated. But it did work. All in all, it was an okay read. I just wish there was more to Sadie's side of the story. *I received an ARC for this book
AmberK1120 8 months ago
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book. I have been struggling for the last several days to come up with a way to explain my reaction to this book. It rocked my world, but it also destroyed me. I mean, Sadie as a narrator was both brilliant and devastating. Seriously. I'm fairly certain Summers ripped my heart out, threw it on the ground, stomped on it with soccer cleats, then walked away leaving me to put myself back together. 
First, let's talk about the format. Loved it! This mix of media's was such a fun and engaging way to tell the story; a podcast coming at the story from "now", and Sadie's viewpoint coming from "then". I've always enjoyed stories that have two timelines meeting in the middle, if you will. 
Second, the characters. The topic of the story was pretty intense in itself, but the characters, especially Sadie, brought it to life in such a vivid way. To the point that I can picture every single one of the people who had a role in this book. They came alive for me so quickly and stayed planted in my mind. 
And finally, the storyline. Brilliant and devastating, with an ending that still guys me every time I think of that one scene. (If you've read the book, you know exactly which one I'm talking about.) This book is officially taking up residence on my "Top Reads of 2018" list.
DressedToRead 8 months ago
Grabbed my heart! Sadie is nineteen and she is on a mission to hunt down the man who she is convinced murdered her little sister, Mattie. She is a power house of energy and she touched my heart with her overwhelming love for Mattie. Their single mom, Claire was addicted to drugs, so Sadie was her fill in "parent." The chapters switch from Sadie's account to a pod-cast serial called The Girls that follows the case and features some interviews. This gave he story such a "real-life" feel that was absolutely riveting. Sadie has not had an easy life and has seen and experienced things that no child should have to. It truly is a dark, heart-breaking account. I'm not sure why this is considered YA because it deals with a lot of sensitive issues, but sadly some will be able to relate to her abusive home life. Her journey takes her down on a dangerous road. At times I felt "crushed", Sadie was both brave and vulnerable. She had a plan and nothing was going to get in her way. Such a memorable character with her own inner light that shined throughout the pages. Oh, that ending! If you like gripping, emotional reads, don't miss this one. Courtney Summers is a brilliant writer.
Anonymous 8 months ago
"I turn the switchblade one more time in my sweaty palm, feeling the weight of it's neat black handle and the unforgiving blade tucked inside. It was his a long time ago. It's mine now. I'm going to carve my name into his soul." Sadie is going to crawl around in my consciousness for a long time. I don't know if I'll ever be able shake the profound grief it has left in it's wake. I felt like I was drowning the entire read, sinking lower and lower, flailing and gasping for air that's not there, air that will never be there. It's taken me longer to write this review than it took me to read the book because I am at a loss for words. There are no words to explain how this book affected me. For an author to be able to conjur up such emotion with words alone is a true gift. I can't recommend this book enough. It will join the select few on my list of favorite books of all time I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Twink 8 months ago
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!
Disturbia0509 8 months ago
This book was my first Courtney Summers book and it will not be my last! I want to thank Wednesday Books & St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this book for review. As always, receiving this book free for review, has not influenced my opinions! I thought the way that Summer's wrote this book is brilliant. There's a podcast within this story that helps you fill in the clues. West McCray, a radio personality, interviews people and helps figure out what happens. At the same time, we are getting Sadie's point of the story. You get to see what really has happened. You know how people like to misconstrue the truth, right? I'm so thankful for her side of the story. I really felt for Sadie. Oh, how I felt for her. This poor girl is just looking for love and attention from anywhere. She's had a really troubled background and we learn so much of it, by the end of this book. The one person that was her world, Mattie, was killed. She goes on a journey to find the murderer and intends to kill him. There's all these things that come to light throughout this book that will break your heart. I'm not going to lie. I was on the edge of my seat. I really was hoping the whole time, FIND SADIE!! Save her! The writing in this book was just so great. I started it with the intention of only reading about 100 pages. Yeah, right! I read this book in one sitting! In a few hours because I could not put it down. There's so many things talked about this book that are so important. There's so many heavy issues but Summer's did an amazing job tackling them. ex: abuse, addiction, pedophilia My only issue with this book is the ending. Ugh. I don't know if I hate it or if I think it's absolutely brilliant. I don't want to give anything away but I'm just left with no closure. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I had a one sided conversation with my husband, for half an hour, trying to convince myself one way or the other. He's a good listener. hahaha! Seriously, a great book! I really want to pick up more by this author now. Thanks again to St. Martin's Press/ Wednesday Books! #findsadie #readsadie
Disturbia0509 8 months ago
This book was my first Courtney Summers book and it will not be my last! I want to thank Wednesday Books & St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this book for review. As always, receiving this book free for review, has not influenced my opinions! I thought the way that Summer's wrote this book is brilliant. There's a podcast within this story that helps you fill in the clues. West McCray, a radio personality, interviews people and helps figure out what happens. At the same time, we are getting Sadie's point of the story. You get to see what really has happened. You know how people like to misconstrue the truth, right? I'm so thankful for her side of the story. I really felt for Sadie. Oh, how I felt for her. This poor girl is just looking for love and attention from anywhere. She's had a really troubled background and we learn so much of it, by the end of this book. The one person that was her world, Mattie, was killed. She goes on a journey to find the murderer and intends to kill him. There's all these things that come to light throughout this book that will break your heart. I'm not going to lie. I was on the edge of my seat. I really was hoping the whole time, FIND SADIE!! Save her! The writing in this book was just so great. I started it with the intention of only reading about 100 pages. Yeah, right! I read this book in one sitting! In a few hours because I could not put it down. There's so many things talked about this book that are so important. There's so many heavy issues but Summer's did an amazing job tackling them. ex: abuse, addiction, pedophilia My only issue with this book is the ending. Ugh. I don't know if I hate it or if I think it's absolutely brilliant. I don't want to give anything away but I'm just left with no closure. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I had a one sided conversation with my husband, for half an hour, trying to convince myself one way or the other. He's a good listener. hahaha! Seriously, a great book! I really want to pick up more by this author now. Thanks again to St. Martin's Press/ Wednesday Books! #findsadie #readsadie
Aimal 8 months ago
Sadie is one of my favorite reads of the year, and is definitely my favorite YA thriller of all time. It is atmospheric, beautifully written, gut-wrenchingly heart-breaking with a tragically strong and brave and wonderful main character. Its structure is unique, because not only does it jump back and forth between podcast format and narrative format, but it also jumps between time. The podcast is told in the relative future of the novel where Sadie is missing and podcast reporter has been hired by her family to look for her. The narrative is through Sadie's perspective, and it follows the timeline of her running away from home and setting out to avenge her sister. This format serves the story well; it allows for a cohesive, well-rounded look at this girl's life and the events before, during and after the main crux of the novel. The structure also makes the book extremely hard to put down. I'm not sure if it was done on purpose, but there's something about alternating formats that's all-consuming. I haven't finished a book in one day since I read You by Caroline Kepnes very early on in the year, but I flew through this one. Plus, Summers is skilled at captivating readers; each chapter ends at the perfect point, in the way that not all of them end on cliffhangers (which makes the reading experience gimicky), but they still end in places that makes you want to turn the page. Her storytelling is often nonlinear; you discover pieces of information from Sadie's past much later into the novel than you would otherwise expect. But it works very, very well. And as if all this gushing wasn't enough, you haven't even heard me talk about Sadie. God, Sadie Hunter is a masterpiece of a character. She's tragic, but not in the way that you feel bad for her. You feel bad because you know there are so many girls out there like her with difficult backgrounds, put into unimaginable situations out of no fault of their own. Yet, they continue to breathe, survive and fight back. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the novel was a small one, and that was Sadie's fear. Her sheer love for her sister is the driving force for all her actions, and though she's very hesitant to admit it, Sadie is scared. She continues to try and convince herself and others around her that she's dangerous. A repeated line in the novel is "I'm dangerous. I have a knife." It's as if she's not sure, but she wants to be. But as the novel progresses, you realize that sure, Sadie's bad-ass and fierce, but she's also just a kid. She's a kid in a situation no kid should be in. And when her vulnerabilities start to show, that's when Sadie's character truly becomes powerful. There's extreme power and fierceness in the cracks in her armor. It's what makes the book so breathtaking. There were moments when I cried just because of this character and how she made me feel about the Sadies of the world. I finished Sadie awe-struck and shaking. The ending is artistic and masterful but painful, and you won't see it coming from a mile away. This story is one that will stick with me for a long, long time. And despite having finished it just two days ago, I want to buy myself a finished copy and read it all over again. Because it was just that good, and you all need it in your lives.
Jolie 8 months ago
4.5 stars I had seen reviews for Sadie on various blogs that I follow. All them good. I thought to myself “This book can’t be THAT good.” I had gotten Sadie as an ARC a few months back but due to school vacation, I fell behind on my reviews. So I went into reading this book with a fair amount of skepticism. Well, let me take back everything I thought to myself. Sadie was amazing. There are very few books that I will get completely immersed in and Sadie was one. I loved the way it was written. It was split between being told as a podcast and from Sadie’s POV. Not only did I get to see the effect of Sadie’s leaving had on people. But I also got to read about what Sadie was thinking when she started off on her journey to find Keith. I loved how the author dangled parts of the plotline. Instead of giving everything all at once, she broke things up into little pieces. You know that Mattie, Sadie’s younger sister, was killed. You know that Sadie didn’t deal with it well. It’s the underneath that the author takes her time revealing. It was drawn out. Sadie would reveal something then it would switch to McCray as he is doing this podcast. What was revealed was explained after the fact, by the people affected. It was interesting because not everything was told to McCray. McCray was trying to do good with his podcast but it seemed like he was always 3 steps behind Sadie. At one point, I got mad because he kept running into dead ends. But, Sadie did make it easy for him to follow her. She left clues. I could see McCray getting more and more involved in this case the more time he spent on it. He went from an impersonal radio host to a human being trying his best to find a missing girl. It was interesting to see that transformation. I should have seen what Keith did to Sadie coming. It wasn’t addressed until after Sadie found those pictures. Then, I understood while she was doing this for Mattie, she was also doing it for herself and the other girls that Keith victimized. If Keith had stayed away, Sadie would have gone on with her life, caring for Mattie. But he came back and bad things happened. That broke Sadie. So yes, I wasn’t surprised that she decided to go after him. I was angry with Sadie’s mother. She was the catalyst for everything. Either she didn’t know or she turned a blind eye to what was going on. But, when he dared to attempt something on Mattie, she threw him out. Even with Mattie dead and Sadie gone, her mother mourned only for Mattie. I don’t think she had it in her to love Sadie (even though she said she did). May Beth, the surrogate grandmother, shed more tears for Sadie than her own mother. That showed how empty Sadie’s life was. I couldn’t believe the ending. I tried to flip to the next page because I refused to believe that the author ended it that way. I might have shouted “Seriously!!!” Talking about frustrating. But genius of the author. Because it made you think. And, unfortunately, it ended as it would have in real life. With more questions than answers.
FyreKatz 8 months ago
OMG how to review this... let just say- Why haven't I read a Courtney Summers book before this. Such a tragedy. I couldn't put the book down after the 40 percent mark and read it until I finished it with tears in my eyes. Such a sad story... my heart is broken. But please pick up the book because its a really good book and everyone must read it like yesterday!
DiiMI 8 months ago
Courtney Summers has created a haunting and gut-wrenching tale of the dark side of life, the ugly side that will scrape one’s sensibilities raw. SADIE is that nightmare that we prefer never to think about, that children could ever have to live this way or that one teen should have to take the weight of love and loss on her soul alone. Written through the eyes and actions of Sadie, interspersed with the accounting of West McCray, a radio personality chasing a mystery that has become an obsession, we are witnesses to a painful life, devastating loss and the need to seek revenge. Written for a young adult audience, there is a universal appeal for all readers that is magnetic in its telling as this mystery slowly unravels. SADIE is a haunting tale, one that will stick with readers long after that final page has been turned as the dark side of desperation and the abuse of power and indifference push one girl beyond her limits in a world that failed to protect her.
heatherheartsbooksHK 8 months ago
In April, my mom and I had the privilege of going to a Veronica Roth event where we got to hear her speak and then meet her. One of the questions someone had for her was "What are you reading right now?" The first book that came to her mind was Sadie by Courtney Summers. She said she absolutely couldn't put it down. I trust recommendations from authors I love so much. If they recommend something and I love their writing, I figure I'll LOVE their favorites. So naturally, Sadie jumped to the top of my list. I was lucky enough to get a copy of Sadie, which chronicles the story of the titular character as she goes on a road trip to track down who killed her younger sister, Mattie. The book is split between chapters by Sadie, and chapters by West McCray, who is trying to solve the mystery of Sadie and Mattie via a special program meant to capitalize on the success of the "Serial" podcast for a fictional radio station in New York City. As I've mentioned before, my goal this year is to find and read books that remind me of nothing I've ever read before. Sadie fits the bill -- it's unlike anything I've read and it was easily the fastest I've read a book all year. It took me just a little under 24 hours and every single minute was well spent. I couldn't believe how fast the book was slipping away as I devoured it. I wanted there to be more of it and I both dreaded and equally -- I wanted answers, yet I didn't want the book to end. This is where things start to enter the spoiler realm, so if you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading here ... One thing I really admired about Sadie is her bravery in trying to find her sister -- I would never have had the courage to do what she did. I was also wildly impressed by what we knew of Sadie as a child and a teenager, basically raising Mattie on her own. As a 10 year old, I never would've know what to do to raise my brother. Sadie ALWAYS tried to give Mattie the absolute best and BE her best self for her, even if Mattie didn't appreciate it. But for as much as she did for Mattie, to try to make her feel whole and be her best self, poor Sadie didn't feel like a whole person. That's not an insult to the author or the writing. It's just that Sadie seemed kind of hollow, except for this deep love of her sister and her absolute, dire need to find the man she is SURE killed Mattie. Sadie takes an enormous amount of risks in this book trying to find the man her mother once dated and who Sadie knew as Keith. Keith, the child abuser, who abused Sadie. As she travels, she learns he goes by more than one name and she even comes in contact with some of his cohorts, one of whom is just as vile as Keith himself. Throughout the book this ideal is consistently on display: The power of a name and what it can contain. A great example of this is Silas Baker, a friend of Keith's who lives in a picture-perfect, idealistic suburb, Montgomery, where he as held up and revered as one of the great men in the city. He family started a marijuana dispensary that brought them tons of money and Silas reinvested it into the city, buying bars and grocery stores, and donating money to worthy causes. He even coached t-ball. He was looked at as an example of what Montgomery was all about ... Read the rest of this at www.heatherheartsbooks.com
Melissa Hawkins 8 months ago
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This is the first book I’ve read by Courtney Summers and it left me a bit heartbroken, and appropriately so. This isn’t a happily-ever-after, although, I’m not sure the story could have or rather, should have, ended any other way. Its overall theme is pretty much a tragedy. Sadie knows nothing except to live for her sister Maddie. Sadie is not just well-written, it is very uniquely written. Alternating between Sadie’s POV as she tracks down the mystery surrounding her sister’s murder, and a transcript-like narrative of a podcast showcasing Sadie and Maddie’s story, you’re able to piece together the story from every possible angle and see it from the point of view of everyone involved. Yet, ultimately, you’re constantly left wondering what will happen next and where the story will lead. As if the writing wasn’t unique enough – an extra-special addition to this novel is an actual podcast which has been released on iTunes entitled The Girls, just as it is in the book. Take a listen here! For the most part, I’ve moved on from reading YA. However, this wasn’t your typical angsty and unrealistic YA romance. It was a very real and gritty read; a suspenseful mystery with a touch of thriller. Anyone who loves true crime, vigilante justice, and strong female characters will love this book.
DJTP 8 months ago
Sadie by Courtney Summer's a new to me author. A roller-coaster of a storyline. I was glad I got the chance to read this book. It was good but not a top rater for me. It could have been how it went and forth with the chapters and the conversations on a podcast or maybe my mood. I look forward to checking out more the the author to see how her other books are.