5-Star · Book Reviews

Sadie by Courtney Summers | Spoiler Free Book Review

34810320Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Source: Won in giveaway
Pages: 311
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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 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.


Wow. I can see why so many people have been raving about this one.

And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.


Sadie — Sadie hasn’t had an easy life, and wow does it show. As an older sister myself, I completely related with her desire to Mattie safe, though they may fight at time. Sadie’s motive’s for going after Mattie’s killer are also so much more heartbreaking when you learn the truth of Sadie’s past.

Oh and I saw on twitter that Sadie may identify as multiple gender attracted. I personally don’t remember this, but I definitely may have missed it. Looking through the replies to the original tweet, Sadie has flirted with a girl and possibly kissed her. She also verbally discusses her sexuality in a sentence or two.

Another thing I really enjoyed about Sadie was that she had a disability I don’t see represented very often, Sadie had a stutter. I grew up with a pretty nasty speech impediment and I know how frustrating it is for people to not understand you or to not be able to pronounce a word correctly. Fortunately, early intervention speech therapy has helped me a lot, but I still have some struggles with certain words. I really related to Sadie in several scenes when she was trying to overcome a block or deal with how other people perceived her.

The Podcast — Okay, I should say those on the podcast, but the way the podcast was integrated into the story made it feel like another main character. I love how the podcast adds so much insight to what’s happening around Sadie and the authenticity of how they follow the path that Sadie left behind.

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. 


The plot for this one was super interesting! This starts off as your basic revenge story with some added oomph. Most of that was the podcast.

I really enjoy how Sadie’s story was delivered to readers as it could have very easily been a standard copy and paste narrative with a too familiar main character. At least for me, this was a pretty unique story.

Also, this is a love letter to true crime lovers. I’m a forensic psych graduate, so loving true crime is kind of a requirement. Even though this was a fictional story, this seriously could have been a true crime story captured by Courtney Summers. I loved how grounded this story felt, especially with the conclusion (I’ll talk a bit more about that below).

Girls go missing all the time.


As for the writing, it read fairly simple, but I think that made it read faster. I listened to the audiobook, and I think that was the best format for this one. I saw someone else mention this, but it was almost as if Courtney Summers wrote this book with the audio format in mind. It feels more like a transcript of an actual podcast, rather than the podcast being created for this book.

That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it! I don’t mind if books have “simple” writing, especially when it helps add more realism to the story.

Like all real monsters, he hides in plain sight.

–>that ending<–

Okay, we need to dip into some spoilers only because I feel like ending is almost as hyped as the book as a whole.

That being said, the ending is also quite divisive.

This book ends pretty open ended, and though many people prefer a more definite conclusion, I actually liked the ending a lot. I thought it was super authentic as in the real world, many crimes do end up going unsolved.

Though this is a standalone book, I love the opening for a sequel. There are many true crime stories that get an update years after the original crime and I would love it if Courtney Summers considers doing an update like this in the future! That or more books featuring the Girls podcast!

We’ve heard this story before. 

Final Thoughts

Sadie is the true crime story I’ve been wanting for a while. I don’t read much nonfiction, but when I do, it’s usually true crime. Though this book is a fictitious contemporary book, if it was put in the wrong section, someone could swear it was a true story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, I thought it was interesting, compelling, and had me eager to see how everything resolved! I can see why so many people are in love with this one and I can’t wait to read more from Courtney Summers in the future!


4.5 stars

5 thoughts on “Sadie by Courtney Summers | Spoiler Free Book Review

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