Sadie is fantastic. The titular character is a nineteen year old woman who goes on a road trip to track down and kill the man who murdered her thirteen year old sister. As someone who’s super close to my own younger sister, I loved Sadie from the start, and could sympathize with her quest all the way.
I particularly loved that Sadie was both a badass and totally vulnerable. As we learn more about her and her sister’s childhood, we come to realize why she’d been so protective of Mattie, to the point that she was often more of a mother figure than a sister. We also come to realize why she’s so wary of men, and why the fight part of her flight-or-flight response is so quick to be unleashed.
The story is told alternately in Sadie’s POV and through a podcast about her disappearance. I really liked this approach, as it kept the story moving very quickly. I also loved seeing how things unfold through Sadie’s eyes, and how we later see a different interpretation (or in some cases, a full-on re-packaging of the truth) with the people interviewed in the podcast. It reminds us that the truth is never neutral, and that whatever actually happens in real-life is always going to be remembered through a particular lens. For example, I like how Sadie’s protectiveness for her sister was seen a bit too possessive by her mother and grandmother, and how no matter how sympathetic we are to Sadie, this inevitably makes us question Sadie’s motives.
Finally, I liked that Sadie stuttered, and that this stutter was maintained throughout the entire novel. While I’ve read at least one novel where the heroine stuttered under stress, I don’t think I’ve read one before where the heroine stuttered all the time. I like that Sadie herself never let it hold her back, but that the author was realistic in her portrayal of how other people can be jerks about that kind of thing.
I’m not super keen on the ending, but that’s probably more a testament to how invested I’d become in Sadie and her story. My brain admits that the ending is pretty realistic, my heart wishes there had been more.
Thank you to Raincoast Books for an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.