Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m a huge true crime fan, and a podcast addict. As soon as I heard about Sadie, the story of a teenage girl on a journey of revenge, told via a serialised podcast in addition to her own POV, I knew I had to read it.

Not only that, but I chose to listen to the audio book for the full podcast experience, and if you take one thing from this review it’s that the audio book is the absolute best way to experience Sadie (in my humble opinion).

Review

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Sadie-Courtney-Summers-ebook/dp/B079DVQG97/

Rating: 5/5

Sadie is a relatively quick read, especially when you’re used to 800 page epic fantasies that convert into 30 hour audio books. At just under 8 hours, it’s definitely one of the quicker listens in my Audible library, but that might also be because it was so damn gripping and fast-paced, I found myself listening at all hours because I just needed to know what happened next.

The audio book is presented by not just one or two voice actors, but a full cast, so it genuinely felt like a podcast with every character/interviewee having their own voice. If I’m honest, I almost wish there had been more chapters from Sadie herself as I loved the voice Summers gave her titular character. And that’s without discussing the ending, which we’ll come to later. (No spoilers, but if you’ve heard anything about this book I’m sure it’s that the ending is a shocker).

We need to talk about trigger warnings, because Sadie touched on some of the darkest and most horrific things humans do to each other. If you’re at all triggered by child abuse, including sexual abuse, grooming, rape and molestation, then I wouldn’t recommend reading unless you’re prepared.

I would say that, as someone who has fortunately not experienced any of the above, it isn’t gratuitous and is handled with the seriousness that it deserves. But I wouldn’t want to tell you what someone who has been through those things would feel on reading this book, so I’ll just let you make the decision whether to read it for yourself.

The ending tore my heart out as I checked and rechecked that I hadn’t missed something and it was really, truly over. It wasn’t a happy or uplifting ending, it wasn’t even particularly hopeful, but it was real. And in the end, Sadie did what she set out, just perhaps not quite like she

Sadie is a book about revenge, about hunting monsters with human faces, and finding pure evil in some of the darkest and some of the brightest places. But beneath all of that, Sadie is a book about a girl who loved her sister with her whole, entire heart and only ever wanted to protect her. She didn’t always succeed, and sometimes she failed spectacularly, but she didn’t stop trying. Ever. Not until the very end.

If you like true crime, podcasts, really strong voice, quirky formats and stories about sibling relationships and unexpected endings, then you’ll love Sadie.

Lyndsey
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Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I’d heard The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware mentioned a few times before it popped up as the Audible Daily Deal, and it actually turned out my Mum read it on holiday last year! I love a good thriller/mystery so I downloaded it straight away for when I’d finished The Raven King and needed to dive straight into something easy-listening to stave off the book hangover. It definitely did the trick.

TL;DR Lo Blacklock is a travel journalist on a private, luxury cruise who thinks she witnesses a murder. The only problem is, cabin 10 was always supposed to be empty, and no one else saw the woman before she vanished. Is Lo losing her mind, or is something more sinister going on in the Fjords?

The Woman in Cabin 10 Ruth Ware

3.5 stars

As a big cruise fan I couldn’t wait to listen to this audio book and imagine myself on board the ship, cruising the Norwegian Fjords with the characters. I haven’t done a Fjords cruise yet, but my Mum’s been a few times and I’ve seen the photos, so I could picture the setting no problem. The ship was a little more difficult, as it’s only a ten cabin mini cruise ship, like a large yacht really, but with the same finery inside, just on a smaller scale. I don’t get claustrophobic on cruises, but I can imagine feeling really uncomfortable and panicky on a ship that small with the same ten other people every day, and that’s before the events of the story take place!

The overall feel of the story is very Agatha Christie – a small number of people in a remote location with nowhere to go and no escape from the murderer in their midst. Think And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express. There are also elements of The Girl on the Train, Lo is quite a heavy drinker to begin with and it’s her drinking that leads her to question what she saw and whether she imagined or dreamed the whole thing. It’s well paced and tense throughout, and there are a couple of really surprising twists that I didn’t see coming!

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At the beginning of the story, Lo’s flat is burgled while she’s sleeping, and when she gets up to see what’s going on the burglar slams the bedroom door in her face and locks her in. This encounter is pretty terrifying, especially for a woman who often sleeps alone when my husband is away with work (luckily we have a dog so I live in hope she’d scare off any potential attackers). I wanted the burglary at the beginning to have deeper implications than it did, but ultimately it served to put Lo on edge from the very beginning, seeing danger and threats everywhere and explaining some of her reactions later.

In addition, Lo suffers from anxiety and takes medication, which has no bearing on her state of mind at the time of the incident, but is used against her by some of the other characters when they find out. I think this is quite a good representation of the stigma mental health issues can suffer, as well as showing that her mental illness doesn’t impact on the plot or make her an unreliable narrator.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 is a pretty easy read, perfect for holiday reading and anyone who likes a good murder mystery a la Christie and Hawkins. Lo isn’t always a very likeable character, she’s quite standoffish and rude, and coupled with her heavy drinking she did remind me of Rachel from The Girl on the Train. Ultimately though, I did find myself rooting for her, as I wanted to know what was really going on onboard the cruise ship and whether she was going to be the next victim, or if it was all an elaborate hoax.

I gave the book 3.5 stars, because I did enjoy it and got through it quite quickly, and the twists towards the end were surprising to me, but it wasn’t quite up to the standard of Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

Have you read The Woman in Cabin 10? What did you think? Am I the only one who obsessed over Judah? Please tell me I’m not alone!

 

Lyndsey

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Feeding my book addiction

I did it. I joined my local library. I was popping to Tesco, and the library is just round the corner, and I had something with my name and address on it in my handbag. Basically, the stars aligned, and I am now the proud owner of a library card and three – yes, three more! – books.

I can hear you shaking your head at me. It’s an addiction, I can’t help it. Fortunately, I get to borrow books for 3 weeks, and renew up to 3 times online, so I could technically keep them for 3 months and that’s plenty of time to read them…

Want to know what I got? It’s a pretty eclectic selection. To be honest, I was disappointed with the small YA section, but being a tiny, rural village library, I can’t really complain. Plus, I can order any book I want them to get in, reserve any book that is already on loan, and do everything online except picking up the actual physical book. But, they also have e-books and audiobooks for rent! So I could borrow books without every leaving my house! Winner.

Here’s what I picked up.

 

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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

If you saw my post about My growing TBR, you’ll know I recently acquired and ARC of Red Sister. Having never read anything by Mark Lawrence, I wanted to start at the beginning with Prince of Thorns. I saw the second book in the series on the shelf as well, so I’ll pick that up when I return this.

So, the book is about Jorg Ancrath, the titular Prince of Thorns, who sounds almost like a dark and murderous version of Robin Hood. He leads a band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities, and has the ability to master the living and the dead. But, he will have to face his nightmares and the ghosts of his past when he returns to his father’s castle.

It sounds like it’s set in the future, but after an unsubscribed catastrophe the world has regressed to a medieval style society. Similar to The Queen of the Tearling, perhaps, which I really enjoyed. Either way, this one should be good!

black-ice

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

This one is by the author of the Hush, Hush saga, which I loved, so I’ve had this on my radar for a while. It’s got very mixed reviews on Goodreads, it’s got almost 4 stars, but the top reviews are all very negative, so I’m going to give it a chance, but I don’t have the highest hopes. I think I’m less critical than some, so I’ll probably end up enjoying it.

It’s billed as a YA thriller, and I don’t think I’ve read many of those, plus it’s a standalone, and I definitely don’t read many of those (in YA) so it’ll be interesting.

It seems to be about a girl who has been training to climb a mountain, and before she sets off her ex-boyfriend asks if he can join her. They get separated by a blizzard and she takes refuge in a cabin, where two fugitives hold her hostage. She discovers evidence of a series of murders, and starts to wonder if she is next, but one of the fugitives shows her kindness. Could he be an ally?

I do love a good thriller, so I’ll let you know how I like this one.

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The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey

I remember hearing about this one a while ago, it has a really fascinating premise and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Mark Lawrence (of Prince of Thorns fame) has actually given if 5 stars on Goodreads, so I’m looking forward to this one.

I’m not sure if this is a spoiler, but I read a review that says it’s a zombie book, the little girl, Melanie, is infected and kept in a prison/science lab to be tested as they hope her blood will lead to a cure. I don’t know how far into the book you find this out, so I might have completely spoiled you – sorry! I’ll pop a review up of this one as well when I’m done, I have high hopes for it as it was quite widely publicised when it was released and has lots of positive reviews.

So, there you have it – my library book haul. Increasing my current TBR to 9 paperbacks and five audiobooks…excuse me while I go and build a fort in my spare bedroom and not come out for six months. I’m sure my husband will bring me food, and the dog will probably keep me company.

Have you read any of these? Loved them? Loathed them? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll be back with some reviews soon!

Lyndsey

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Current word count (second draft): 28,954