Sadie Blog Tour! Review and Q&A with Courtney Summers

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Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 320
Source: ARC provided by Raincoast Books
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Overall: 5 STARS

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind.

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.

It's been three years since Courtney Summers' All the Rage was released. Three years! But the wait for her new book was oh so worth it. In the same vein as All the Rage, Sadie is an unflinching, emotionally-charged novel. It will make you feel angry. And helpless. Because Sadie may be a fictional novel, but the events that unfold aren't so far from reality.

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

When Sadie's thirteen-year-old sister Mattie is found dead just outside their small town, her world crumbles. Life in Cold Creek, Colorado has never been easy for Sadie and Mattie, not with an addict mother who was always high on drugs and switched boyfriends, but they had each other at least. When the police investigation goes cold, Sadie decides to take justice into her own hands and track down her sister's killer.

West McCray, a longtime radio producer, is working on a segment in nearby town when he overhears the tragedy of Mattie's death. However, it's not until a year later that he's contacted by May Beth Foster, Sadie and Mattie's neighbour and a grandmother figure in their lives. She asks him to help her find Sadie, who's been missing for three months. Girls go missing all the time. It's not a new story. Yet the more West McCray learns about Sadie through interviews and retracing her steps across thousands of miles, the more he's curious and invested in finding her.

The alternating POVs each chapter, from Sadie's perspective in real time to West McCray's podcast transcripts, made Sadie such a unique read. I wouldn't exactly call Sadie a thriller, yet there's a real sense of urgency in uncovering the truth. Why did Sadie run away? How did she know who killed her sister? It was like an addiction. I had to know what happened, even though I knew it wasn't going to pretty.

An unforgettable and gripping mystery, Sadie is Courtney Summers' best book yet. The ending was haunting and perfect, and when I turned the last few pages, I didn't even realize tears had welled up in my eyes. It was such an intense experience! I really can't imagine Sadie concluding any other way. If I had to pick some of my fave books of the year so far, Sadie would definitely be among them.

 Q&A With Courtney Summers
Sadie is not an ordinary YA thriller. While half the book is told in Sadie's perspective as she searches for her sister's murderer, the other half is written as podcast transcripts by West McCray, a popular radio journalist who learns about Sadie's disappearance and begins his own investigation. What were the challenges of writing two very different narratives styles--first person vs. transcript--for the book?

One of the greatest challenges switching between Sadie’s close, first person narrative and West’s podcast transcripts was making sure that each perspective propelled the other forward. It was a little complicated, because they both exist on different timelines and have access to different information at any given moment, but with the help of my editor, I think we achieved a great balance and I’m proud of it.

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