Powerful beyond words.


Sadie has lived a hard life in the small town of Cold Creek. The combination of her mother being a drug addict and her own battle with stuttering has made the idea of a "normal life" difficult to imagine. There is one source of happiness in her life: her little sister Mattie. For all intents and purposes, Sadie has been Mattie's mother. She always took care of Maddie, knowing her mother couldn’t step up.

When Mattie is found dead, life takes yet another turn for the worse. Desperate and determined, Sadie embarks on a vengeful journey to find her sister’s killer. When West McCray (radio journalist and podcaster) hears Sadie's story, he tracks her down. Sadie is on the run, with only one emotion: revenge. Together, McCray and Sadie are intent on finding the person who murdered Mattie. What they didn't realize is that this astounding story is bigger than them both. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
Sadie’s story is a truly captivating one. I could not put this book down and kept thinking about how the mystery would unfold. This story drew me in, analyzing the clues in McCray's podcasts and the information Saide found. It didn’t let me go until the end. It was crazy. So many things came to light and I found myself shocked when all the puzzle pieces fell into place.

Summers incorporates a very important issue in her story, and I appreciate her ability to bring light to the trauma and tragedy of sexual abuse. It is important for people to understand this issue, as well as the suffering of its victims. Sadie and all the characters are very realistic; each has his/her own flaws, beliefs, and emotions. Sadie for one, never let her stutter stop her, even in her worst moments.

Some books that are told in different perspectives make it difficult for the reader to follow along. But Summers does an amazing job putting together the different perspectives in a way that makes sense. The different narratives left me feeling a flurry of emotions like panic, sadness, anger, and so much more. Sadie is an unforgettable story. Hers is a story of a girl seeking justice, the love she has for her sister, and the sad reality of sexual abuse.

Because of the mature themes and events (violence, drugs, sexual abuse, pedophilia), I recommend this book for anyone 16 years or older. While this book has much tragedy and negativity, it still has an incredibly important message. I highly suggest reading it. The story will whisk you away into another world, a world that is, unfortunately, a part of ours and very real.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Powerful, thought-provoking, heart-breaking and very real. Readers will be drawn in on the first page and won't stop reading until the very last word. They want to be there to support Sadie and help her through this unforgettable story. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Despite the 5th-grade reading level, this is a book for high school-aged teens and young adults. There are a few things to watch out for, as they are prevalent in the story: violence, drugs, sexual abuse, and pedophilia.

Type of Book:
The mystery of a young girl's murder is the center of the story, but it is mostly about the personal journey of a teen girl's life of tragedy and overcoming its traumas.
Educational Themes:

From emotional dilemmas and recovery to topical discussions about child abuse, there is no shortage of content to talk about with your teens.

  • Talk about the story itself and the events: what was West McCray's motivation? Did it change as he got to know Sadie? 
  • Was revenge the right emotion for Sadie? Did it help or hinder her efforts to find Mattie's killer?
  • What was the clue/event that put all of the pieces in place for you (as a reader)?
  • Did it end like you expected? or hoped? How would you have ended the story?
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. You'll read this and want to share it with someone else who loves powerful books.

Title Sadie
Author Courtney Summers
Publisher Wednesday Books © 2018
ISBN 9781250105714
Material Hard Cover
Cost $12.59
Genres Family, Mystery
be the star you are Cybils
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