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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Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

First Published: 2012

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Blurb:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (From Goodreads, 19th November 2013)

Review:

I was disappointed with ‘Gone Girl’ after everyone saying it was a fantastic mystery thriller, and it being voted for so many awards in 2012.

Nick’s wife has gone missing, and soon Nick becomes the main suspect. Nick initially seen as an amazing husband but soon this persona begins to unravel. But did Nick kill his wife?

The premise was one that enticed me, and from what everyone was saying I thought ‘yes, this is going to be a book that I will love’.

However, the first half of the novel bored me, but was saved with the twist in events during the second half. I am glad I kept going with ‘Gone Girl’ and would advise others who feel the same as me, just keep going! The second half is fantastic and a real page turner. There are a lot of shocks, and a lot of suspects. A psychological mind warp that makes you really wonder about the nature of people.

‘Gone Girl’ is a well planned and laid out thriller which does keep you guessing and shocking you throughout. But I cannot give ‘Gone Girl’ a high rating due to the slow first half, which nearly caused me to give up.

3 out of 5

A Cold and Lonely Place By Sara J. Henry

Title: A Cold and Lonely Place

Author: Sara J. Henry

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

UK Publication Date: 5th February 2013

Blurb:

Troy Chance returns in another riveting novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Learning to Swim

   Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body–a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy’s assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim’s sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it’s clear someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue. Troy doesn’t know who to trust, and what she ultimately finds out threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns. She must decide which family secrets should be exposed, what truths should remain hidden, and how far her own loyalty can reach.
   A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been. (From Goodreads, 22nd January 2013)

Review:

Firstly I will say this is the novel which follows ‘Learning to Swim’. I did not know this and thus have the answers to some of the questions that must come up in ‘Learning to Swim’ so I would advise you read that first. You do not need to read it first to understand ‘A Cold and Lonely Place’ but I think it would add extra understanding to some characters.

I read ‘A Cold and Lonely Place’ just as the weather turned from Autumn to Winter and that added to the atmosphere within the novel. Finding a body frozen in the lake of a small town brings a lot of questions that stir the small town. Troy is a freelance journalist who is caught in the story as her flatmates boyfriend is the body in the ice. She begins to investigate the life of the victim and tells his story through feature articles for the local newspaper. She is not investigating his death, but his life.

An interesting novel that shows the curiosity we have in others and the morals writers must decide to follow or ignore when dealing with others privet lives.

This novel brings a good amount of twists and turns without being too fast moving or too slow. It gripped me and the descriptions of the environment were beautiful. I enjoyed it and enjoyed the fact we were not investigating the murder but in fact the life.

A novel for those who are interested in mystery but want a slightly slower pace compared to many others in the genre.

4.5 out of 5.

Return to Middle C By Gregory Shultz

Ben Devenport is a rock star. He has a 6 year old son and a wife which he loves. He is looking forward to a break from touring with his band and spending time with his family. However, when they don’t appear at the venue he calls the taxi driver who was supposed to be picking them up. The driver is still waiting. The driver has tried to call and has knocked on the room door. They are not there. Ben tries to call Stella’s mobile – his wife – but he can’t get a hold of her.

Fast forward 5 years. Ben is in hiding, he is exhausted, he is broken. That day Ben lost his son Bryan. Ben lost his wife. But his wife wasn’t his. His wife cheated. Now Ben only has the company of stray cats in his large empty house. But when a women, Delora, moves into the house across from his and becomes preoccupied with him she ends up being his saving grace.

This is a book about the depths of depression, the strength it takes to return to the search that had previously taken everything away from you. The spark that one person can give you just by holding out a hand of friendship and allowing you to take your time to accept it.

A book which reminds you why you are alive. That no matter how bad things get there is a way to improve them. Even though Ben lost everything he is able to find himself again and reconnect with his musical past.

A fantastically written book with a great flow and a great plot. Please read this book and you will learn so much about pain but also so so much about healing.

This book has action, mystery, love, hate, joy, pain, thrills. This is a book for everyone and anyone.

4.5 out of 5

Before I go to Sleep By S. J. Watson

   Before I Go To Sleep took my attention as I am a Psychology student and am very interested in memory loss. It was featured on ‘The TV Book Club’ and after watching their reviews and hearing many good things I eventually got myself a copy on my Kindle.

Imagine waking up every morning and not knowing where you are. Not knowing the person lying next to you. Not recognizing the hands that are apparently yours. Looking in a mirror and realizing you are not as young as you should be. For many people this is a reality. Those who are unable to create new memories. Having someone, someone you don’t recognize having to show you pictures each morning and explain what happened and that they are in fact your husband, that you both love each other.

Christine, our protagonist, has to deal with this.

Christine’s husband has left for work and she hears a phone ringing, but it isn’t the mobile that her husband had left her with. It is a doctor. A doctor telling her she has a diary hidden. So she spends the day reading the entries and adding to it. Through these entries the story progresses. We learn more about Christine’s life and the truth behind the accident that caused her amnesia.

This is a well researched novel and you get a true insight into the destruction amnesia can cause to someones life. Along with this there is a thriller that speeds up the further through the novel you get. It is an excellent idea however what stops me saying it is fantastic is that it is slightly too repetitive (which is the problem with amnesia stories I guess) but if you look past this then it is an amazing story with great ideas and keeps you questioning until near the end!

4 out of 5