September 2018 Book of the Month: Sadie by Courtney Summers
Published: September 4, 2018
CW: abuse (child & sexual), addiction, & violence
(note this is a dark novel and has many serious themes so if you have triggers be aware)
EPISODE ONE: SADIE
[WORDS ABOUT WORDS THEME]
ANNOUNCER: This review is brought to you by Words About Words. We would like to thank Wednesday Books and Macmillan Publishers for providing us with Advanced Readers Copies at YALLWEST.
BREE: Thank you for tuning in for this review of Sadie by Courtney Summers.
TREE: The following is a transcript of us discussing the novel, we were in an agreement about our thoughts so instead of listing our individual thoughts, we wanted to try a different format. We hope you enjoy.
BREE: So, I only recently finished my read-though, but what were your first thoughts upon finishing this highly-anticipated YA Thriller?
TREE: I enjoyed it, not as much as I wanted to or thought I would [laughs]. But, I overall enjoyed it and had a fun time reading it. It wasn’t what I expected though.
BREE: I totally agree. I went into it expecting a hardcore thriller, with edge-of-seat, page-flipping suspense, but walked away with more of a slow-building mystery.
TREE: Yeah, the last thriller I read was Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, which I literally could not put down and finished in three hours and was freaked out by the time I was done. So, I was expecting something like that. I think where they went wrong was the marketing, thus we started with the wrong expectations?
BREE: I see what you’re saying. I feel like if I went into Sadie with expectations that were more aligned with a mystery genre book, I would have enjoyed the story more. When you start reading with certain plot expectations, and they don’t deliver on that, you have to readjust your expectations, and it’s kind of a letdown when you’re super hyped about it.
TREE: Yeah, this was a total slow burn mystery. You follow the mystery of what happened to Sadie with the podcast and with Sadie, as she tries to find the man who killed her sister. What did you think of the whole dual podcast/ Sadie POV format?
BREE: It was weird. When I first started reading it really didn’t enjoy the switching between 1st person present tense, and semi-omniscient past tense writing. I feel like this is one of the reasons it didn’t work as a thriller. The two types of storytelling really broke up the building suspense.
TREE: [murmurs in agreement] I would end a chapter being like “what is going to happen next” and then would forget what the heck was happening by the time we got back to Sadie’s POV. I will say, I really enjoyed the podcast part. I thought Courtney Summers did an amazing job making it feel authentic. I could physically picture what was going on, but it did take me some time to get used to the formatting.
BREE: I felt the same way about the format. And I agree, her writing is excellent. It’s actually one of the main things in this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t pin down exactly what about it made it so good though.
TREE: I really liked how she was able to write short descriptive sentences that packed a punch. It wasn’t overly flowy, it seemed natural, yet her writing is extremely vivid. The only other thing I want to mention is that that it wasn’t creepy. I mean not all mysteries need to be scary per se, but again, this was marketed to be “creepy” and “eerie” and it wasn’t, at least not to me.
BREE: Or me. [laughs]
TREE: It does deal with some dark and serious issues, but that doesn’t instantly translate into scary vibes.
BREE: I want to mention that a lot of the plot twists I did see coming, but not exactly in the way they played out.
TREE: You are good at guessing plots though.
BREE: [laughs] Too true.
TREE: As we are approaching the end of this episode, the ending of the book wasn’t my favorite. No spoilers but—
BREE: —they do begin to jump around on the timeline in the podcast, which made it a little confusing to follow along with, right?
TREE: Yeah, I would’ve liked them to mention dates or something to let you know when they jump forward or backwards. Okay, we are running out of time, but any last thoughts before we share our star ratings?
BREE: Last thoughts, huh? Am I about to go missing?
TREE: We’ll see…
BREE: Uh oh, I’m in trouble now…But I’ll wrap up with this. I enjoyed the book well enough, but the letdown of the genre made it hard for me to enjoy it in the fullest sense. The writing style was great, and I enjoyed that, but the plot did remind me of the YA book Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, which is pretty good company to be in. Overall, my rating is about 4/5 stars.
TREE: I would agree. I think my final rating would be 3.5/5 stars.
BREE: That’s all we have time for today! Thanks so much for listening.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for tuning in for this review of Sadie by Courtney Summers.
TREE: Make sure to tune in next month when we review The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas.
BREE: Now, why does that name sound so familiar?
TREE: She’s the author of Little Monsters which I mentioned earlier.
BREE: So, we’re expecting big thriller vibes then?
TREE: You’ll have to tune in to find out…
xoxo, Bree & Tree
Goodreads Link: Sadie