If I had to choose one novel that was this summer’s must read and a top contender for the most anticipated read, it would have to be Courtney Summers Sadie. On nearly every platform I visited within the last few months, the buzz surrounding Sadie did not falter, and I would constantly encounter a variety of promotional content for its upcoming release. There was even a podcast published on Macmillan Podcasts entitled The Girls, in which fictional journalist West McCray’s launches an audio investigation into what happened to Sadie, allowing for a separate media to tie into the events of the novel while also bringing the story to life in an eerily realistic manner.
So, when I picked up the novel and settled in to read, there was one prominent question ringing in my mind: is this novel worth the hype?
My short answer: Yes. Yes, it is.
Having been born into a bleak life in Colorado, living in a trailer park with her drug-addict mother and facing a less than bright future, nineteen-year-old Sadie knows only one source of love: her thirteen-year-old sister, Mattie. When Mattie is murdered, and the following police investigation turns up nothing, Sadie’s grip on herself as a person is wrenched away, and she sets herself permanently down the path of finding her sister’s killer and bringing him to justice herself. After learning of her story, West McCray becomes obsessed not only with spreading Sadie’s story, but also in finding the girl before it’s too late.
“I’m going to kill a man. I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out. You aren’t supposed to answer violence with more violence but sometimes I think violence is the only answer.”
If you couldn’t tell from this line splayed on the back of the front cover, Sadie is, without a doubt, one of the most emotionally impacting, devastating, and uncomfortable books I’ve read in quite some time, and I feel that this was done by design. Summers definitely does not hold back in her description of the horror that fills these pages, and she ensures that she both enthralls and repulses her audience the entire time they are reading. I’ll willingly admit that I could not read through the entirety of this novel in one sitting, as it was difficult to read in the sense that the topics and psychology of Sadie’s journey and character are difficult to take in. This is by no means a criticism, but rather a compliment of the highest praise I can offer. Summers created a memorable novel here, and while it explores triggering topics that may not appeal to many people, Sadie is certainly a book that I would recommend for those that enjoy true crime stories that leave you reeling.
Sadie by Courtney Summers is now available for purchase.