Listening to Sadie on audio was absolutely the best way to experience this book and it deserves all the stars!
The story is told from two alternating viewpoints- nineteen-year-old Sadie and West McCray, a journalist who creates a radio podcast around the mystery of Sadie and her sister Mattie. Sadie’s beloved younger sister is found murdered on the outskirts of their small depressed town and Sadie leaves their hometown to track down who she feels murdered her. When the police can’t solve the mystery of Mattie’s death or find Sadie, the girl’s surrogate grandmother contacts West to see if he can help. What follows was an achingly real journey of discovery as Sadie desperately tracks down every clue that leads her closer and closer to who she feels is responsible. West follows the crumbs of clues afterward but is often weeks or months behind Sadie’s travels. A heartbreaking picture develops, as the girls had had the cards stacked against them from the beginning- with a drug-addicted mother, no known fathers and a town with little resources to help them.
Sadie, West and the whole cast of characters became alive in the audio narration. Sadie’s stutter and desperate need for revenge are heartbreaking, West’s caring demeanor shines through, while all the others truly seem like people you’d meet in everyday life. People on the outer margins are life are realistically rendered and the sad realities of child sexual abuse are addressed. The ending will gut you- while you don’t truly know what happens to Sadie, this unflinching story will make you guess what the likely outcome is. I highly recommend this story, not only to the intended YA audience but to anyone who enjoys gritty thrillers.