"Sadie" was a surprisingly emotional and difficult read- even more than I expected based on the description. The book is told in two ways- through a radio series investigating Sadie's disappearance and through some chapters which tell of Sadie's activities in the present. Sadie disappeared after her sister, Mattie, was missing and then found dead. Sadie is six years older than Mattie and raised her like a daughter rather than a sister. Their mother was a heroin addict who was barely present at the best of times. She didn't seem to care much for Sadie, but she adored Mattie, as did Sadie.
The two girls lived in a trailer park in a rural town and were somewhat looked after by a grandmother figure, May Beth, who contacted the radio show to have them search for Sadie. After their mother disappeared for a final time, Sadie kept Mattie together and kept things going, same as she had before. Now that Mattie is dead, Sadie is searching for a man who had once dated their mother. We pick up small clues and tidbits along the way as we piece together why she wants to find him and who he really is.
Sadie has been torn apart by Mattie's death and all the reasons why (aside from their relationship) develop as the story is told. West McCray speaks to people she encountered along the way for his serial podcast investigating the events and her disappearance. Through this and Sadie's own chapters, she fully develops into a three-dimensional and incredibly strong character.
What I didn't expect was how hard this book would be to read- it's a very emotional ride. I want to put a warning on this book that there is pedophilia (not described in detail) plus sexual assault, but it makes it quite a difficult book to read, and considering targeted to a young adult audience, might be better for older teens. The ending was the most frustrating for me- it does not deliver the closure I was hoping for. Maybe that's for the best, but I do prefer my books to have a lot of closure. It looks like this will be a stand-alone so we may never know for certain what happened. However, I do not regret reading it- I think it's a book that will stick with me for a while.
Overall, this is an intense YA thriller with an interesting format (mostly podcast transcripts) that gripped me from the get-go and was quite an emotional ride.
Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.