A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book you won’t be able to stop talking about.
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.
Wow. Just wow.
Courtney Summers is an incredible author. When you pick up one of her novels, you know you’re in for a treat; a deliciously dark treat because Summers doesn’t shy away from the seedy underbelly that this world has to offer.
Sadie is the perfect novel for fans of true crime podcasts; especially those who love serialized true crime. Sadie’s chapters alternate between Sadie’s point of view and episodes of a podcast dedicated to her disappearance.
Sadie’s chapters are heartbreaking. Everything about this book is heartbreaking, but her perspective is so raw, emotional, and driven that it’s hard to continue reading at some points, but Summers’ writing is so captivating that I couldn’t put the book down.
The podcast chapters are incredible. They read exactly like a serialized podcast. It’s written so authentically that I could actually hear the podcast as I read.
Sadie’s journey is a tough one. It’s a journey that hit me hard even though I have no personal connection to the story being told. I was a blubbering mess by the end. Sadie is an incredible character that you cannot help but feel sad and frustrated for her while also feeling proud. She’s one of those people you’d want in your corner while also expressing sympathy that she’s had to become the person she is.
Overall, Sadie is an incredible novel that hits it out of the park in every aspect of the novel.
As mentioned previously, Summers’ doesn’t shy away from darker topics so various trigger warnings for sexual abuse, addiction, and pedophilia.
*** I was provided an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
Have you read Sadie? What did you think? Have you read anything else by Courtney Summers?
[THE GIRLS THEME]
Welcome to Cold Creek, Colorado. Population: eight hun-
Do a Google Image search and you’ll see its main street, the
barely beating heart of that tiny world, and find every other
building vacant or boarded up. Cold Creek’s luckiest—the
gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas
station and a few other staple businesses along the strip. The
rest have to look a town or two over for opportunity for them-
selves and for their children; the closest schools are in Park-
dale, forty minutes away. They take in students from three
Beyond its main street, Cold Creek arteries out into worn and
chipped Monopoly houses that no longer have a place upon
the board. From there lies a rural sort of wilderness. The
highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to
nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated
houses or trailer parks in even worse shape. In the summer-
time, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until the
school year resumes, guaranteeing at least two subsidized
meals a day.
There’s a quiet to it that’s startling if you’ve lived your whole
life in the city, like I have. Cold Creek is surrounded by a beau-
tiful, uninterrupted expanse of land and sky that seem to go
on forever. Its sunsets are spectacular; electric golds and
oranges, pinks and purples, natural beauty unspoiled by the
insult of skyscrapers. The sheer amount of space is humbling,
almost divine. It’s hard to imagine feeling trapped here.
But most people here do.
COLD CREEK RESIDENT [FEMALE]:
You live in Cold Creek because you were born here and if
you’re born here, you’re probably never getting out.
That’s not entirely true. There have been some success sto-
ries, college graduates who moved on and found well-paying
jobs in distant cities, but they tend to be the exception and
not the rule. Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we’re
raised to aspire beyond, if we’re born privileged enough to
have the choice.
Here, everyone’s working so hard to care for their families and
keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the
petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to
define small towns in our nation’s imagination, they would
not survive. That’s not to say there’s no drama, scandal, or
grudge—just that those things are usually more than residents
of Cold Creek can afford to care about.
Until it happened.
The husk of an abandoned, turn-of-the-century one-room
schoolhouse sits three miles outside of town, taken by fire. The
roof is caved in and what’s left of the walls are charred. It sits
next to an apple orchard that’s slowly being reclaimed by the
nature that surrounds it: young overgrowth, new trees, wild-
There’s almost something romantic about it, something that
feels like respite from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect
place to be alone with your thoughts. At least it was, before.
May Beth Foster—who you’ll come to know as this series goes
on—took me there herself. I asked to see it. She’s a plump,
white, sixty-eight-year-old woman with salt-and-pepper hair.
She has a grandmotherly way about her, right down to a voice
that’s so invitingly familiar it warms you from the inside out.
May Beth is manager of Sparkling River Estates trailer park, a
lifelong resident of Cold Creek, and when she talks, people
listen. More often than not, they accept whatever she says as
MAY BETH FOSTER:
Just about . . . here.
This is where they found the body.
911 DISPATCHER [PHONE]:
911 dispatch. What’s your emergency?