Review of ‘Sadie’

In this tension-driven and heartbreaking thriller, Sadie is split between a podcast investigation and one girl’s hunt for her sister’s killer.

Sadie is both groundbreaking and an emotionally devastating novel that, while I love it, is not for the faint of heart.


Sadie begins with a podcast on a beautiful morning day. West McCray introduces readers to the story behind Sadie as he begins to look for her, unveiling pieces of a broken girl and her past. But the story is not told in a singular podcast fashion.

This is a split POV story, going between Sadie on the hunt for her sister’s killer, a man she knew as a child, and the podcast on the hunt for her after her car turns up empty on the side of the road.

As the reader is pulled between the dual POV, author Courtney Summers gets the reader’s heart racing. We learn about Sadie’s hard life with a mother who was in and out of rehab, bringing home new boyfriends. Keith is the most dangerous of all.

Summers doesn’t have to explicitly tell readers the kind of monster that Keith is, leaving it up to the context clues and narrative to fill in the gaps. Summers relies on tension to drive her story forward to grip the reader, and she does a fantastic job capturing the reader’s attention.

So many times, I wanted to scream at some of the characters; every single character that said Keith was “a great guy.” He was a monster, and only Sadie knew. How? Because she experienced his monstrosity as a child.

It’s a gut-wrenching read that relentlessly settles into the pit of the reader. Every new scene, revelation, and challenge that Sadie faced had me at the end of my seat. I was invested from beginning to end.

Final Thoughts

I was emotionally invested in Sadie. Sadie is a fantastic novel; no wonder it won the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. But reader, tread carefully. Sadie deals with topics such as child abuse and molestation; it is emotionally frustrating and draining but opens up topics for discussion and, in so many heartbreaking ways, is one of the most realistic Young Adult Mysteries I have read to date. Sadie broke my heart; while I may never recover from it, I will always recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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