ARC Review: “Sadie” by Courtney Summers

I’m trying to catch up on the ARCs I have backlisted, but life has really gotten in the way of my reading time. Husband and I bought a house and we’re closing this week, which means we’ll be moving throughout the next couple of weeks. I’m definitely not looking forward to the actual move, but I’m very excited to move into my house. I’ll do what I can to schedule blog posts this and next week, but it’s not a guarantee! 😛

A special thank you to Wednesday books for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Pedophilia, detailed descriptions of self-harm-like behavior (just one scene. The narrator herself doesn’t self-harm, but there is a moment where her arm is damaged and she thinks very much like a self-harmer with intense description of all the blood on her arm).

SadieTitle: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, mystery
Length: 311 pages
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”

two starsMy Thoughts

I’d like to give a huge shoutout to the marketing campaign for this book. I’d never even heard of Courtney Summers before this book, but I saw how widespread the publicity was for this book, whether it was on Instagram or Twitter or at book festivals. To be honest, I can’t remember how I put my name in the hat to get this book but when I did, I was very excited. I’m actually not one to read mysteries or thrillers, but this book sounded haunting and I felt an itch my hands because I needed it.

While I didn’t go into this book with many expectations, I still find myself completely disappointed by it. The main reason why is the ending. It’s not a cliffhanger, per se, but it’s quite open-ended, and we’re never quite sure what exactly happened. There’s a lot of build-up and tension, too, but I still couldn’t connect to any character. Sadie has lived a hard life, and as the story progresses, you really start sympathizing for her (even though that’s most likely the last thing she wants). She’s determine do find the person who killed her sister, and she’d led on a wild goose chase, talking to people with the most random connections to who the possible killer is. I’m really surprised at how gutsy Sadie was, but I’m also disturbed by her thoughts, especially in regards to the killer.

We follow Sadie uncover the pieces of her sister’s possible killer, and we come across people who play a role in her story as West McCray starts to investigate. I thought the whole concept of including a pod cast in this story, and the way it’s done was unique. I’m all about using different formats to tell a story, and we also get dual POVs as well. But I simply didn’t find any of it engaging or engrossing. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. In fact I found myself quite bored and begrudgingly returning to this novel just so I could finish it. I did want to find out what Sadie discovered and if she managed to reach her goal… I guess my main problem is that I was left completely dissatisfied and disappointed, with a bit of a funny feeling in my stomach.

I almost feel like we don’t get the truth–not fully. I can understand how this might be a metaphor for the families in real life who never get the answer to their stories. I can almost appreciate that as well. However, this is not something I would have picked up from the shelves of a bookstore.

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Indie Bound, and other major booksellers.

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