While I am a fan of Halloween, I am not someone who likes to be scared. I prefer media that makes me feel tense instead of terrified. When thinking about a piece that I felt perfectly on edge while reading, Sadie by Courtney Summers comes to mind.
Sadie is a novel about a teenage girl named Sadie who goes missing after leaving her hometown to find and bring her sister, Mattie, and her killer to justice. After radio personality West McCray hears about Sadie’s story at a gas station, he begins to investigate her life and journey to confront the person who murdered her sister through his own podcast. As he continues his inquiry into Sadie, he desperately hopes to track her down before it’s too late.
Sadie is a story comprised of podcast transcripts from McCray’s podcast, The Girls, and first-person chapters from Sadie herself, set before the podcast’s start. Both elements come together to create a compelling narrative that grabbed my attention from the first page. I consumed the physical version of this book, but have heard that the audiobook is fantastic, with a talented voice cast and interesting sounds. Neither method of reading this work is better than the other. It just depends on one’s personal preference.
While I highly recommend this book, it is important to acknowledge that Sadie has a lot of trigger warnings. A few of the intense topics present within this YA mystery include child sexual abuse and pedophilia, alcoholism, and drug abuse. There are no particularly graphic scenes, but these subjects are mentioned or alluded to. If you are concerned that this work will cause you distress, I would do some research before jumping into this novel.
Sadie is comprised of a unique structure, a troubled but lovable main character, heartbreaking, memorable moments, and surprising twists and turns. If you are looking for an impactful work that will spook rather than frighten you, I’d give this novel a chance.