Posted in Book Review

Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers


Sadie by Courtney Summers, Wednesday Books, 320 pp., On Sale September 4, 2018

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

CW: Murder, blood/gore, violence, child pornography, child sexual abuse, extreme poverty, drug use/addiction

Representation: MC has a stutter

If I was being totally honest, this review would just be me mashing my keyboard and screaming and then driving to the houses of everyone I know in the middle of the night and throwing a copy of this gorgeous, masterful book at them. But that’s not a way to write a review and I can’t drive, so I’m going to have to do this the old-fashioned way. Courtney Summers’ new novel Sadie is amazing. The hype is real. The hype is deserved. This book is everything.

I have a lot of friends who love True Crime and detective stories. If that’s you, why are you still here? You’re going to love Sadie, hands down. This is the feminist, voicey, twisty book of your dreams, the book you’ve practically been waiting for. Go buy this book now from IndieBound, Amazon or Barnes & Noble right now. You’ll thank me later.

If you’re still here because you need a little more convincing, let me tell you about this lovely freaking book: it starts with a dead girl. Thirteen-year-old Mattie is found murdered and her nineteen-year-old sister, Sadie, takes off in a beat-up car and a few belongings, thirsty for revenge. The whole plot is framed and paralleled by a podcast called The Girls, in which a reluctant journalist tries to unearth the truth of what happened to Sadie and track her down. Fun fact: Macmillan is producing a real version of The Girls, all about YA thrillers, and you can find more info about that here.

I loved Sadie as a character. Her voice is so strong and so complex. She’s the kind of character that makes shitty choice after shitty choice but every feeling she has jumps off the page and you feel it all alongside her. She also has a severe stutter, which is shown in the dialogue throughout the book and influences how Sadie sees herself and how others loved her.

Sadie is a gritty book that tackles issues like addiction, child sexual abuse, child pornography and emotional abuse with the compassion they deserve and the empathy crucial to showing how these issues psychologically affect an individual. This is a book about the destructive power of the love we have for family and about the strength of girls to get what they want. It’s about the deterioration of families and the impact of abuse on the teen psyche. It’s simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking. I couldn’t put it down.

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would call it multifaceted. This book honestly has so many different sides to it and it’s told in a non-linear format that is nothing short of a masterful display of craft and form. I’ve heard such wonderful things about Courney Summers’ books, but you don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve read one. They are masterpieces.

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