ARC Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers
ashley | I love Courtney Summers. Sadly, I haven’t read all her books yet, but those that I have, have cut real deep. I was super excited to get an ARC of Summers’ new book Sadie, which is far more than just a book. There’s also an accompanying podcast called The Girls, which doesn’t spoil the book, but more so adds a bit more depth and brings the book to life. This entire experience is exactly what I was hoping for and I just love how Summers takes things a step further with the podcast, really adding a whole other level of realism to this story. It’s hard not to be affected by it, hard not to be pulled into it.
I listened to the first episode of the podcast before cracking open the book. I knew the two went hand in hand, but I didn’t realize the book itself was partially written in the format of a podcast. The book delves much deeper into the story and the real podcast doesn’t spoil anything from the book, but compliments the story. Because I received an advance copy of the book, not all the episodes of the podcast were available by the time I started reading it, unfortunately. I think it would have been really cool to listen to the podcast ahead of the part in the book and hear the words come alive in actual podcast form. However, I was far too impatient and excited to read the book itself that I didn’t want to wait for all the episodes. But if you get a chance to do it this way, I think it would be worth it.
I was born and raised in a small Canadian town. Not as small as Cold Creek, but it was very easy to relate to the setting and I was really able to immerse myself in the story, though this isn’t a story anyone would want to fully immerse themselves in. A lot of characters seemed familiar and easy to relate to and the situation itself, while not something I’ve experienced firsthand, was definitely written in a way that could also be easily related to, which is what makes this book so damn heartbreaking. Because frankly, the content is awful. So many heartbreaks and a sad and awful dose of so many people’s reality. This was a tough read, but the way Summers cut it up with the investigative podcast not only added a unique angle to a sad story, but it made the heavy topics a little bit lighter. There was a bit of a break between the intensity so the reader could actually let go of the breath they were holding.
I really liked all the characters that Sadie met along the way, though a lot of them weren’t what you’d call likeable. I just enjoyed how they all had a little bit of a part in Sadie’s destiny, even if it wasn’t always a good helping hand. It was interesting to follow the podcast host as he followed Sadie’s trail and ran into these characters again as he tried to track her down. The format was really strong and worked really well.
Usually I don’t like when books end like this, and while it was hard this time around, I thought it worked really well for what this story was. I can’t say this was my favourite Summer’s read, I’ve read a few that punched me a lot harder than this did, I think this carefully danced around a lot of the graphic details that would make it a much harder and heavier book to read. But what was left was still heartbreaking, almost more so since you don’t necessarily know what is happening or driving Sadie’s determination until closer to the end. I really applaud Summers for taking sort of a known story line and adding some more modern elements like the podcast and investigative journalism aspect to add a bit more life to the concept. It was a short, but not very sweet read and I definitely recommend it.
september 4, 2018