If you love true crime podcasts and books with fascinating and troubled protagonists, put Sadie on pre-order right now. It comes out this September, but I received an ARC from Wednesday Books and I finally understand why everyone is talking about this book! I flew through it because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen, and I loved every second of it.
Sadie is told in two parts. One of those parts is the present-tense narration of, you guessed it, Sadie, who is on a mission after the murder of her younger sister, Mattie. The other part is a true crime-esque podcast investigating the disappearance of Sadie, who left a few months after her sister was murdered and whose car was found abandoned. In Sadie’s chapters, we see her journey and begin to understand why she is doing what she is doing and what she believes happened to Mattie and what she is going to do about it. In the podcast chapters, which are presented in well done script formatting, we get to learn about Mattie and Sadie from the woman who basically raised them. We get their backstory about their druggie mom and stories from their childhood and a better explanation about their relationship. The podcast chapters also follow right behind Sadie on her journey, tracing her trail through Colorado as West McCray, the podcast host, tries to find Sadie, hopefully alive, because as one character puts it early on, “I can’t take another dead girl.”
It’s hard to put into words what is so great about this book. I love the podcast element. It’s unique and well done and really draws you into the story from a new angle. I also just adored Sadie as a character. She was so interesting and seeing her journey to get revenge was great. She’s not some delicate flowers, but she is broken and has moments of weakness and those of strength. The people she meets, including other teenagers, restaurant owners, runaways, et cetera, all feel fully entrenched in the story and I like how the loose ends are tied up (kind of) and the narratives come full circle. The entire time you don’t know how Sadie’s story will end, if she’ll find what she’s looking for, and the podcast pacing mirrors that. They don’t know what they’re going to find, but when they do, you’ll be crying and so glad you spent however many hours with this book because it’s wonderful. It’s not lighthearted and it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s well told and uniquely done and I can’t wait for more people to read this book come September!
Also, Macmillan is putting out the podcast element of Sadie, The Girls, as an actual podcast! As of the writing of this review, two episodes are out already and you can download them wherever you get your podcast. You obviously don’t have to have read the book to listen to the podcast, but you’ll want to as soon as you listen because it hooks you.