Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Sisters Sadie and Mattie live in a small, impoverished town. With unknown fathers and an absent, drug-addicted mother, they only have each other. Even though their relationship isn’t perfect, the love between them is fierce, and Sadie feels that it is her job to care for Mattie and make her life easier than hers has been. So when Mattie is killed, Sadie’s whole life is upended. Though the local authorities conduct a cursory investigation into Mattie’s death, they don’t find any answers. Sadie, left without closure, goes on a mission to learn the truth and exact revenge for Mattie. Meanwhile, a radio station hears about the story, and the host begins doing some investigation of his own for his new podcast. Sadie certainly would rather be left to handle things on her own, but she leaves clues in her wake to keep the radio host intrigued as they find the answers to all these mysteries.
Sadie is a book that is riveting and well written. The story is a thriller with themes of addiction, loneliness, and desperation. Sadie is a complex character. Though she is a street-smart, hardened teenager, she also has a stutter, which keeps her from sounding as strong as she wants to and reflects some of her deeply-held insecurities. The story is told from two points of view. Some parts of the story are told through transcripts of a radio show, while other parts of the story follow Sadie and provide an intimate look into her plans and intentions. A huge theme of the book is that children are sometimes forced to live in a very adult world, which results in loss of innocence. Consequently, the book is very intense and Sadie’s journey is not an altogether pleasant one. Thus, this book is for more mature readers with capacity to handle the violence and suffering.
*Contains severe language, moderate sexual content, moderate drug abuse, and moderate violence.