Thursday, November 21, 2019

Reading And Walking: Sadie

Welcome to Reading and Walking, where I go for a stroll and listen to an audiobook. I’m going to review the book and show you what I saw on my walk. Simple, right? For this adventure, I chose to listen to Sadie by Courtney Summers. I chose it because it’s been nominated for a bunch of awards, and I’ve seen good reviews of the audiobook. Also, it’s set in Colorado, so why not wander around Colorado while listening to it? (I actually didn’t know where the book was set until I started listening. This was a happy coincidence, but shhh. Pretend I planned it this way.)

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Genre: Young adult thriller
Pages: 308 (7hr 57min audiobook)
Publication date: September 2018
Content warning: Murder, drug addiction, sexual assault, disappearance, violence, child neglect, abandonment
Available at: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

I love fall. This is the first walk I’ve taken in months where I didn’t feel like I was boiling to death. I didn’t check the temperature before I left, but it was the first week of October: sunny, windy, and not ten billion degrees. I’m always thrilled when it’s not ten billion degrees.

When you think of fall landscapes, you usually picture forests turning red, orange, and gold. That doesn’t happen where I live. We don’t have enough trees to make a forest. The plants we do have tend to become vaguely yellowish for about a week. Then we get our first snow, which knocks the leaves off the trees and turns everything to brown slush. I did this walk a few days before the first snow, so here’s what I saw while listening to Sadie.

I can see why the Sadie audiobook gets so much hype. This book is a production. There are multiple voice actors, music, and sound effects. Part of the book is written as a podcast, and it really feels like you’re listening to a podcast. It’s an immersive experience. This is the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to.

The novel is divided into two perspectives. The first is Sadie, a nineteen-year-old girl who is determined to track down the man who murdered her younger sister. At the beginning of the book, the reader learns that Sadie disappeared while investigating the murder. The second perspective is a podcaster who is attempting to locate Sadie. I found both perspectives compelling, but I liked Sadie’s better because it has more action.

The plot unfolds in a fairly realistic way. Each person the podcaster interviews has a different opinion about Sadie and where she went. Sometimes the podcaster’s leads dry up. Sometimes he can’t puzzle out where Sadie went next. It feels real. When someone disappears, we rarely have all the answers.

And Sadie, if you’re out there, please let me know. Because I can’t take another dead girl.Sadie

I read, watch, and listen to a lot of crime stuff. One thing that bothers me about crime fiction (and nonfiction) is the focus on the murderer. The murder victims become props in the killer’s story. Should we really be giving that much attention to horrible people? Sadie takes the focus off the murderer and puts it on the victims. This is Sadie and Mattie’s story. Mattie’s killer barely makes an appearance on the page. That’s what I admire most about this book. It has all the drama of a crime thriller, but it skips the gory details and keeps the readers’ attention on the victims.

If you visit this blog often, then you might know that I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers. But, I finally found one I loved! Sadie is tense and innovative. The audiobook is riveting. I didn’t want to turn it off. If you haven’t listened to Sadie yet, what are you waiting for? Request it from your library and go walking.

Since the audiobook is nearly 8 hours long, I couldn’t walk for the whole thing. Most of my listening happened during a slow week at work. I only walked for the last 90 minutes of the book. I ended up walking 4 miles (6.4 km).

It’s November now, which makes walking difficult. Remember back in January, when I was slogging through snow? Well, prepare for more snow photos. They’re probably coming in the next Reading and Walking.

Brenn and Cam were two of my best friends when I was a kid. They defaced this sidewalk sometime in the 1990s. The purple arrows make me think the pavement is going to be torn up soon, so I snapped a photo of their long-ago vandalism.

This creepy beast was chillin' on the sidewalk.

What is your favorite audiobook?


  1. What a beautiful walk, I also love fall. The neighborhood I walk around in during my lunch breaks has so many beautiful trees that have been turning so many colors and leaving seas of leaves everywhere (it's almost difficult to walk through, but I don't mind!). I've also heard so many good things about the Sadie audiobook, it really does sound like a great one and I wonder if I'd enjoy it. I think I may have to look into it and find a good time to listen to it. :) Also, the 'vandalism' from your friends is so neat! Sad they might be tearing it up, but I'm glad you got a picture for memory.

  2. This audiobook sounds amazing! I didn't know anything about the production quality but I love the idea of part of it feeling like a podcast. I'm glad you had a nice walk too! Hurray for some nicer weather finally.

  3. I love your "reading and walking" and I recall visiting Cherry Creek reservoir. Is it the same? Close to Denver.... And I loved Sadie!!!!

  4. I've heard good things about that book, although the subject matter definitely sounds tough. Nice though that it focuses on the victims' stories, like you say. And great pics! I especially like the one with the stream and the rocks. Looks like a beautiful area.

  5. I dislike fall - it's pretty as hell, but the cold is getting worse and worse, and ugh, I really-really hate winter. Summer can be torture, but winter is worse, I think. Either way, your walk looks really nice, and I'm glad you got to enjoy Sadie during it. (Also, 6.4 kms is pretty freaking good!) I'm happy you enjoyed Sadie - I adored the book, and I'd love to reread it as an audio, because I originally read the print copy. Lovely post! :)

  6. I love this idea! It's one I should try because I really need more exercise and I can still read at the same time! Sadie sounds like a pretty good audiobook! Also our falls are usually pretty ugly around here sadly. It's just too hot all the time. This year though we've gotten some colds snaps and the leaves have changed color nicely!

  7. I love those Colorado landscapes! It's similar to where we are at the moment in southern Spain and not at all how I imagined Colorado to be!
    Like you, I'm frequently underwhelmed by crime thrillers so your enthusiasm for Sadie makes me feel as though I should give it a go. One excellent crime novel I recently read, which focused on the townspeople where a girl had vanished, was Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor.

  8. I love this type of post and great review. I love listening to an audiobook while walking, biking, or driving. Some of my favorite narrators are January LaVoy, Lorelei King, Fiona Hardingham, Arthur Darvill, David Tennant, Michael Page, and Simon Prebble.

  9. Those are some beautiful pictures. And I'm glad you enjoyed the audiobook. ;)

  10. I regretting reading this book, once I heard about the podcast. The format of this story really lent itself to audio. I remember feeling angry and sad, when I finished this book. It was quite dark for me, but so well written.

  11. A lovely walk—your book sounds almost like an old radio play. An nice praying mantis (last shot)

  12. I don't care for Thrillers either, but you made this one sound good. I will forego the audiobook, though, because I don't like dramatized books. I bought the audio dramatization of Neverwhere and the sound effects drove me crazy. Ha ha. 😁

    I think it's great you got a photo of the sidewalk. I love stuff like that. 👍✨

  13. Lovely pictures, as always! It stinks that you only get a short window for fall foliage, it's one of my favorite things about the season!

    It's really cool that this audiobook is a full-cast production - I don't come across those often, but they are so fun!

  14. The only audiobooks I've read are the Stephen Fry Harry Potter books! I have a small collection still to read-a couple of Philippa Gregory, a zombie trilogy, two Game of Thrones, IT, The Hunger Games Trilogy, the first Morganville Vampires book...I just can't find time to sit and listen to them! And you don't want to stroll around our streets or the junkies might mug you!

  15. Looks like you had a lovely walk. I did the audiobook for Sadie as well and thought it was an incredible read.

  16. For a moment, I thought that you had walked for this whole audiobook and I was frightened for you! 90 minutes is much more reasonable. :-)

    I own this book, but now I think I should listen to the audiobook. It sounds really fantastic!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Oh, and I meant to say that I love that you took a picture of your friends' cement writing before it was destroyed. :-)

  17. This is a lovely scene, and a wonderful review of Sadie! I liked it a lot too, though now I almost wish I'd listened to it, because I bet it makes the podcast part extra fabulous! I wholly agree with you about the focus on the victim, not the murderer. And I love love love that you took a picture of your friends' vandalism hahha. I really hope it doesn't go away, tbh.

  18. I really do enjoy these reading and walking post - books & nature are THE best combination. I have heard really good things about Sadie, and in particular the audiobook... Sadly my library doesn't seem to have the audio, and I definitely feel like that is the format to go with this book. Great to hear you enjoyed it, especially as the genre is a little outside your comfort zone. Thanks for sharing!