Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers
Blog Tour: Review

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Sadie blog tour hosted by St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you! Sadie will be released into the world on September 4th, but you can also preorder a copy here on Amazon.

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.

"I close my eyes and I let the music own me, turning myself into the idea of a girl, or an idea of an idea -- a Manic Pixie Dream, I guess, the kind everyone says they're tired of but I don't know that they really mean it. The girl nobody ends up loving long or loving well, but nobody wants to give up either."
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I don't think I'll ever recover from reading this book. Sadie was hard to read and even harder to put down. Her past and present were difficult to stomach, and I'm positive her story will stay with me for the rest of my life. No child should have to endure or experience what she did, and I think that's why this story was so impactful -- it's something that happens every day. Children are neglected, taken advantage of, abused in unimaginable ways, and the perpetrators are not always caught.

I want to be able to tell you that Sadie's story has a happy ending, but I can't do that. Regardless of how her story plays out, she's lost something irreplaceable. There was nothing about Sadie's life worth celebrating, and the one thing she loved, her sister, was stolen from her in the middle of the night. She loved Mattie more than life itself, and was like a mother to her sister. It was a difficult relationship, but Sadie did everything in her power to make sure her sister had a better life than she did growing up.

I really enjoyed the layout for this book. The chapters alternate between Sadie's perspective and West McCray. West works for a radio station, and he was tasked with the story of Sadie's disappearance. We see his story unfold through podcast-like interviews and his own personal experiences over time. It was unique and really offered a different side to the overall story. It allowed characters Sadie interreacted with to have a second chance to share their perspectives, and it was usually one we didn't see when they were with Sadie herself.

If you start this book, be prepared to read it all the way through. It's almost impossible to put down. There's this need to know aspect about the story, and I felt like everything would be okay if I just kept going. I had to see Sadie's story through to the end. I had to make sure everything worked out the way it was supposed to. I had to know.

Courtney Summers has woven an incredibly complex and horrific story. I can't say that I enjoyed reading it, because the content was too disturbing and left a bitter taste in my mouth. I really thought things would get better if I kept reading, but how can they when you're only uncovering more lies and dirty secrets? Sadie is a hard read. It's dark and it's twisted, but the scariest aspect is how true it could be. There are people in this world living that life, and...  and I really don't want to think about it anymore.

Going into this one, I assumed Sadie was going to be a murder mystery set in a small town, but it is so much more than that. Her story makes me want to cry and scream at the world we live in, and I cannot imagine the pain Sadie must have endured during her childhood and throughout this book. Courtney Summers has written a life-changing story that left me feeling angry, hollow, and irreparably broken.
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More about THE GIRLS podcast:

THE GIRLS: Find Sadie is the first-ever YA thriller podcast. The Serial-like show is based off the novel Sadie by Courtney Summers. In a brilliant move, Summers scripted periodic chapters of the novel like a podcast script, hosted by fictional radio personality West McCray. The six-part podcast series brings these chapters to life with a 30+ person cast, music, and sound effects and was a collaboration between Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Podcasts, and Wednesday Books. Episode 1 launches on August 1st, and the show will air seven weekly episodes available on all the major podcast platforms. The final episode will feature a bonus interview with Courtney Summers and her editor Sara Goodman.

About the author: 
COURTNEY SUMMERS lives and writes in Canada. She is the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, Please Remain Calm, and All the Rage.

25 comments:

  1. This book is everywhere! I need to get it. I like the way the layout sounds and that it is a page turner. Sounds like a rough read though. Great review!

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    1. Sadie was one of my most anticipated reads this year. A few of the authors I follow on Twitter were raving about it, and after reading the synopsis I was even more interested in the story. I'm also a fan of Courtney Summers, so my expectations were already high. It definitely kept me turning the pages. I read the entire thing during one nap time and after the kids went to bed. My husband kept trying to talk to me, and I would shush him. The content is hard to read about, but it's impossible to look away from the story.

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  2. I absolutely LOVED this so much more than I was expecting. It really was done so well.

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    1. Courtney Summers did an amazing job writing this! I honestly thought it was going to be a murder mystery, but it ended up being so much more than that. I love that Sadie was so devoted to her sister from the very beginning. It was heartbreaking when Mattie did or said things to hurt Sadie, because she was Sadie's entire world.

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  3. I really need to read this, and others by Summers (I've only read This Is Not a Test so far). Sadie (the book) sounds horrific, but sometimes those are my favorite because they do reflect the real world, even if it's dark and ugly. I love that the publishers created a podcast!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I haven't read all of Courtney Summer's books, but I want to. I don't know if she'll be able to top this one... it's going to stick with me forever. Sadie's story was horrific, and it's because it reflects the ugliness of the world.

      I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast myself, but I'm going to!

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  4. Gah, this sounds so cool. Definitely will be checking this out!

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    1. Happy to bring it to your attention! <3

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  5. It looks good there and I didn't know about this one

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    1. I hope you have a chance to read it! It was a page-turner for sure.

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  6. I just finished this and am on the blog tour next week. It's defintiely a dark read!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. What did you think? I'll definitely look for your review next week, but I was curious what your overall thoughts were. It's been awhile since I've read something so sinister. Despite the darker aspects, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.

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  7. I was like you. I was so angry for the life Sadie had to live, and it was a really difficult read, as I am not great with dark books, but man! So compelling and the format just made it even better.

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    1. I was incredibly pissed at their mom. Yes, she was a child when her addiction started, and her addiction was a disease, but that doesn't excuse how she treated her children. She clearly favored one over the other, and what sort of mother does that? Ugh, I hated that Sadie had to fend for herself the majority of the time, and everything that she had to do/be for Mattie. The stupid post card... and Claire showing up when she did... there were so many things about this that made me angry on behalf of those girls.

      I really liked how the book was formatted! It was like seeing the before and after, but through a different lens.

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  8. I’ve only read one of Summer’s books and I really didn’t like it. Her books are too hopeless. I don’t need things tied in a pretty bow but I’m not sure what her aim is. Why right such depressing books with no answers, no hope, and no inspiration to make anything better? I just don’t get her. This one sound way too depressing for me.

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    1. I haven't read all of her books, so I cannot speak for those, but I think there was a lot of hope written into Sadie. Sadie herself may have been in a hopeless situation, but she was able to give hope to others. She gave her sister (Mattie) hope for a better future. Her sister may not have appreciated it at the time, but Sadie did more for her than she realized. She gave her hope for their mother, a person that didn't deserve anything from either of them. Sadie also managed to give hope to people she'd never met. They will probably never know what she did for them, her name, or that she even existed.

      There were sad and awful truths to this book, but I think those stories need to be told, too. There are people in this world that probably live similar lives, or share the same circumstances. I think Summers writes books for us as well as them. Not everyone has a life that we want to read about, but that doesn't mean their stories shouldn't be told (even a fictional version).

      I don't think we are supposed to feel inspired to be like Sadie. I think her story is supposed to make us more aware of our world and its more sinister aspects. I think we're supposed to feel inspired to help others like her. There were answers given, even if they weren't the answers we wanted, and sometimes things never get better. It's a truth and a fact of life, whether we want to believe it or not. It's okay if her books aren't a good fit for you, but someone else may be able to relate to them in a way we could never imagine.

      I guess what I'm trying to say is... while Sadie may have been depressing and hard to read at times, I think it was an honest portrayal of our world. Child abuse, neglect, and abandonment are all things other people experience every day. We may not have lived through those experiences, but we should acknowledge that they exist. I believe that's exactly what Summers is doing -- she's acknowledging the people we often forget to think about.

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  9. This book just sounds powerful. I especially like the second chance perspectives gained through the podcaster guy's POV, how you stated that people came across differently to him than when they were with Sadie. That seems so true to life, how people can show different faces to different people, or just be perceived differently.

    I had the same assumption too, that this was essentially a murder mystery with maybe some real world relevance, but it sounds way more powerful than that. And I guess I'm not surprised- I've only read two of her books (the This Is Not A test book and the novella) but they were definitely stories that KEPT me reading.

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    1. Yes! They acted one way with Sadie because she was vague and didn't say much about herself, but then when they discover she's a missing girl, it's like their perspectives are suddenly different. We get to see who they were with her and what they thought, but also who they were after meeting her and how she impacted their lives (however briefly). It was an awesome addition to the story, and was done in alternating chapters... like a before and after type thing.

      It was way more than just a murder mystery. It left a mark on my soul, and has forever changed how I view the world. I knew beforehand that the world has a shitty side, but it's not often that I really see it.

      Her books are so addicting, even when the content is hard to read. Summers definitely knows how to tell a story.

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  10. I'm intrigued by this book and I've been seeing it a lot, but I don't know if the dark, twisty content is really for me.

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    1. It was really hard to read at times, and Summers was able to elicit some really strong emotions from me. I think she handled the content well, and it's something we should all be aware of, but it was difficult to stomach. It's personal preference, so it's okay if it's not for you! You know what you like better than anyone else. :)

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  11. This is one of my most anticipated reads so I'm glad to hear it was a good one for you. It sounds so intense!

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    1. Intense is a good way to describe it! I hope you have a chance to read it soon. :)

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  12. I loved this one too! Great review. :)

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