Sadie | By Courtney Summers
About the Author
Courtney Summers is a critically acclaimed author who wrote her first novel at the age of 18. She is someone who loves to talk about books! In 2016, she was named as one of the Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30. Her current novel “Sadie” is one of the final round nominees in Best YA fiction category of Goodreads Choice Awards 2018.
Sadie is the story of a ninteen year old girl from Cold Creek who went missing after her sister died. West McCray , a radio personality, follows her story in the form of a podcast series. What he unwillingly discovers about Sadie, her life and her journey in search of the unknown is the rest of the book. Also, we follow Sadie and her own version of the same journey.
It is not everyday you find a book that aces in all departments. But reading this book I was just getting that excitement in my mind, you know, This is good!! So I have decided to discuss the various aspects that I liked in the book.
Narrative and plot
I have always been a fan of books with unique narratives. One of the reasons I love Sadie is that it explores the idea of audiobook and elevates it to a totally different platform. Never have I ever dealt with a situation where I would say, “Listen to this book rather than reading it.” And the narrative is only one factor.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a plot this compelling. So what you follow here is a podcast series with eight episodes called “The Girls” . By the end of the book you will be compelled to think that the author intentionally chose that name to call attention to all those girls out there. The book is divided between the podcast and Sadie’s own narrative.
Characters and conflict
Sadie is on a journey to avenge her sister’s killer. As the book progresses you learn about the varying dynamics between the two sisters and their relationships with everyone else around them. Now, I have a big sister. So I know that it is not all rosy and sunny everyday. Sisters fight bitterly! But no matter what, if someone else tries to hurt your sister the very first instinct is to protect her and instead hurt or at least threaten the person who dared to do that no matter who that is. This is an unwritten code in the world of sister bonding.
For that very reason you will be able to root for Sadie and her cause. It doesn’t matter what kind of a person she is. This is not just a simple revenge story. It has layers that will make you think about a lot of things. The things that we take for granted might be a dream for many others. You don’t even realise it at times. You look at the world through Sadie’s eyes. And her passion will somehow move your heart. It did for me.
We get a glimpse of how young and vibrant Mattie is. Maybeth, the mother hen and even Claire the mother is justified in her own ways somehow. The people Sadie meets in her journey, the way the react to her and then their account to McCray reflects a lot about themselves without making an expilicit display of who they are.
Premise and the reality factor
Another quite interesting thing the book shows is the difference between what actually happens and how people twist the facts conveniently for their benefit. McCray’s attempts to find Sadie are often hindered by such half cooked stories. If you isolate Sadie’s account and only listen to the podcast you might get a different picture of Sadie.
The book is open to interpretation in the end. It just tells a story as if stating mere facts. The notable thing is it is hard too think of it as a fictional story. You can easily connect this story to many such stories you know and there won’t be much difference.
The book doesn’t try to glorify anything. The violence or the intense moments present there are only for the sake of moving the plot forward. It is not there for sensationalism or to deliberately make the reader squirm. Rather much of it is being left unsaid leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination and that is more disturbing than anything else. Not because it is overimagination or some kind of weird thinking process but what we infer is quite real. The fact that all that happened in the book can be easily real is the most thought provoking part. And it hits you hard even days after you’ve read the book.
I recommend everyone, irrespective of gender, to read this book. It is a relevant story that need to be told in this time. If you have a teen girl or boy who is above the age discretion the book requires recommend this YA thriller to them too.
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