Sadie By Courtney Summers

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Publisher: Wednesday Books

First Published: 4th September 2018

Audiobook Narrator: Full Cast

Blurb:

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page. (From Goodreads, 11th March 2019)

Review:

First things first – GET the audiobook of this novel! It is fantastic! One of the best audiobooks I have listened to – this is due to the full cast and the novel being told through podcasts, the audiobook just brings this novel to life!

Sadie is a story told in multiple perspectives. We have Sadie herself who has left her home to find the man who killed her sister. We see her work through clues to find the man responsible for her sisters death. In doing so Sadie comes across multiple situations blocking her from achieving her goal.

The next perspective comes from West McCray, who develops a podcast about disappearances and unsolved crimes. West undertakes interviews with MayBeth, Sadie’s for all intents and purposes, foster grandmother. We hear about Sadie as a child and her relationships with her mother and sister. West tried to get clues to where Sadie might have gone, and soon begins to follow the trail Sadie has left behind. It is interesting because we hear the story through interviews and also see what Sadie leaves behind from her encounters.

This is a novel that draws you into the mystery, it is not a complex mystery but it would be a good novel for those wanting to try a young adult crime novel for the first time. It takes a look at human relationships and the need to find justice in the world. This is a novel that deals with some hard topics and therefore I will highlight the triggers of abuse, drug abuse and violence here. It is not graphic but it could be a trigger for some. Sadie also has a stutter, but the author does a fantastic job of making this just one attribute of Sadie and not a focus. Sadie is definitely a multi-dimensional character and has dealt with a lot in her young life. Sadie may not always do the right things but you are rooting for her throughout this novel.

I think what I most enjoyed about this novel is the unique way it was told, and this was, as I have already said, brought to life by the audiobook. Sadie is a flawed character, she does things that are not always right but they are done for the right reasons. Trouble seems to always come her way but she keeps going despite this.

Sadie is a novel that will keep you wanting more and is a fast read, but if you take anything from this review it is that you should give the audiobook a try. It is worth it, I promise.

4 out of 5 stars.

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If You Find Me By Emily Murdoch

Title: If You Find Me

Author: Emily Murdoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Expected Publication Date: 26th March 2013

Blurb:

There are some things you can’t leave behind…

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down (From Goodreads, 11th March 2013)

Review:

If You Find Me reminded me of Room By Emma Donoghue but only really in the overriding topic – children being hidden away from society. Carey was taken by her mother when she was young and taken away to live in the forest. Now fourteen she looks after her little sister Jenessa. Jenessa has never been in the ‘real world’ and does not speak. After her mother being away for longer than usual both Jenessa and Carey are surprised when a man and women appear at their camp site. Carey’s father has found them and the adventure into the real world is beginning. Carey does not know if she should believe what her mother said about her father – that she saved her from him. And so we journey into the adjustments both her fathers family and Jenessa and Carey must make.

This is an exciting novel. It captures you from the beginning. Fast paced then dealing with the difficulties of adjusting to the new life Carey is now leading. Carey is the protagonist and we see the world from her eyes. We begin to understand the complexities of growing up in the forest away from society and being plucked out and thrown back into society. Lets us understand the mixed feelings that comes so often in abuse cases. I would highly recommend this novel to young adults, and view it as the young adults version of Room By Emma Donoghue.

4 out of 5

Somebody Else’s Kids By Torey Hayden

Title: Somebody Else’s Kids

Author: Torey Hayden

Publisher: Harper Element

UK Publication Date: First Published 1981

Blurb:

“Were all just somebody else’s kids…”

A small seven-year-old boy who couldn’t speak except to repeat weather forecasts and other people’s words…A beautiful little girl of seven who had been brain damaged by terrible parental beatings and was so ashamed because she couldn’t learn to read…A violently angry ten-year-old who had seen his stepmother murder his father and had been sent from one foster home to another …A shy twelve-year-old from a Catholic school which put her out when she became pregnant…

“What do we matter?”
“Why do you care?”

They were four problem children-put in Torey Hayden’s class because no one else knew what to do with them. Together, with the help of a remarkable teacher who cared too much to ever give up, they became almost a family, able to give each other the love and understanding they had found nowhere else. (From Goodreads, 17th February 2013)

Review:

I have read several Torey Hayden books and have enjoyed them all! In this story we meet several children all with their unique problems. You learn to love them and frantically go through the pages to see what happens next. One of the things though is you don’t always know what happens. Torey was a real teacher, the children real. And after the year is over life goes on and her class moves on too. These novels are filled with heart and understanding. You will be touched by them and once you have read one of Torey’s novels you will be hungry for more.

An author I highly recommend. And this book is yet another fantastic novel. Invest in Torey Hayden!

4 out of 5!

Perfect Picture By Jodi Picoult

  Cassie (Cassandra) wakes up in a graveyard, she does not remember her past or anything about herself.

When Cassie is identified by her husband – world famous Actor Alex Rivers – she returns to her life of luxury. But trying to uncover her memories she remembers what led her to that graveyard where she woke up. Her life, though appearing ‘Picture Perfect’ it was far from it. Living on the edge waiting for Alex’s next rage Cassie had decided to bolt. When Cassie remembers about this she flees again. But will she return? Why did she keep to this ‘Picture Perfect’ Image?

A novel about abuse. About why many stay in such relationships. Breaking the usual misconception that it is the lower social classes which this problem effects.

This was my first Jodi Picoult novel which I have read. And after looking at other reviews it is one that many didn’t enjoy and therefore maybe not the best starting novel from Jodi Picoult. I felt the stories from ‘The People’ a tribal group present in the novel just detracted from the issue of abuse. There was really nothing to keep reading on for. I don’t know what else I could say because I didn’t really enjoy it but ploughed through it. It is a long novel and one I would only suggest to people who are a – interested in tribal groups – and b – interested in the issue of abuse. It was not a story that helped you through, you had to push yourself through.

Only 2 out of 5