WORD LISTS

"Sadie" by Courtney Summers, List 1

May 29, 2019
After her sister is murdered, 19-year-old Sadie is determined to track down the killer. In the meantime, a popular podcast focuses on Sadie herself.

This list covers pages 1–45 in the 2018 Wednesday Books edition.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4
preempt
Today, we're pre-empting your regularly scheduled episode of Always Out There to launch the first episode of our new serialized podcast, The Girls.
gainful
Cold Creek's luckiest—the gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas station and a few other staple businesses along the strip.
staple
Cold Creek's luckiest—the gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas station and a few other staple businesses along the strip.
dilapidated
The highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated houses or trailer parks in even worse shape.
subsidize
In the summertime, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until school resumes, where they are guaranteed at least two subsidized meals a day.
sheer
The sheer amount of space is humbling, almost divine.
humble
The sheer amount of space is humbling, almost divine.
aspire
Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we're raised to aspire beyond, if we're born privileged enough to have the choice.
petty
Here, everyone's working so hard to care for their families and keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to define small towns in our nation's imagination, they would not survive.
respite
There's almost something romantic about it, something that feels like respite from the rest of the world.
mar
He'd barely begun his commute when he noticed black smoke marring the early morning horizon.
compel
I'm still not sure what compelled me to stick around because I couldn't afford to miss the work, but I stayed 'til the cops and the firemen came.
surrogate
Mattie left behind a nineteen-year-old sister, Sadie; a surrogate grandmother, May Beth; and her mother, Claire; but Claire's been out of the picture for a while.
grisly
The grisly facts didn't inspire me to stick around.
effects
They'd found a 2007 black Chevy parked on the side of the road and inside of it, a green bag full of personal effects belonging to Mattie's older sister, Sadie Hunter, who had disappeared that June.
cursory
After a cursory investigation, Sadie was declared a runaway by local law enforcement, and, having exhausted all possible avenues available to her, May Beth Foster reached out to me.
riddle
It was offered up in a hastily written ad in a sea of hastily written ads, but this one riddled with spelling errors that suggested a special kind of desperation.
inherent
“Jesus,” Becki says and I know it’s not because of the inherent sadness of what I’ve just told her, it’s because of the broken way it came out of my mouth.
subtle
“Should you—I mean, can you drive?”
It’s one of the more subtle ways someone has asked me if I’m stupid, but that doesn’t make it any less maddening coming from a woman who can’t even spell the word please.
affront
The bugs find me an affront to their territory and make a feast of my pale white, freckled skin.
kismet
It seemed a little kismet, he thought, that I was in the area when Mattie died.
dismay
He expresses dismay over the lack of leads, but given the circumstances, he's not necessarily surprised there are so few.
heinous
It's impossible for residents of Cold Creek to accept that a crime so heinously and chaotically executed would go unsolved.
compromise
We got a call about a fire and unfortunately, much of the crime scene was compromised by the fire department's efforts to put it out.
inconclusive
WEST McCRAY: The DNA evidence they've recovered has been inconclusive and in need of a match. So far, there's no real suspect pool to pull from.
spare
I don't know what I'm expecting when I step inside, but the place is spare and clean.
cynical
Mattie was scrawny in a way that was underdeveloped and awkward, but there’s a special kind of softness that goes along with that, something less visually cynical compared to my makings.
askew
I head for the diner, Ray’s written in cursive paint on a sign that’s too small for the building it rests atop, making everything appear dizzyingly askew.
nostalgia
Bobby Vinton plays on an honest-to-God jukebox in the corner and I stand there, absorbing the nostalgia, the gravy-and-potatoes smell of it all, before I make my way to the counter at the back.
spectacle
I have talking to do here but I don’t want to waste a possible spectacle on someone I’m not sure will give me what I need, so I clear my throat and grab the small, laminated menu next to a basket of napkins and skim it for something cheap.
coax
I remember that day, how hot and uncomfortable it was, and how I could not be coaxed to pose alongside them until my mom finally said, Fine, we’ll do it without you, and that didn’t feel right to me either so I crept into the frame and became the moment’s blurry edges.
saccharine
She slides the photo back to me, the tone of her voice taking a saccharine turn.
contour
He’s leaned against one of them, contoured by darkness that, for one moment, almost gives him extra dimension until my eyes adjust and I see how pathetically built he really is.
incredulous
“Gotta say, kid, I don’t see much of a resemblance.” I raise my chin and he chuffs softly, slightly incredulous as his gaze returns to the photo.
tentatively
He tilts his head to the side, his eyes drifting over me and then—a little more tentatively than he did the last time—he puts his hand on my arm and walks me farther into the darkness.
supersede
Claire's addiction superseded all affection, and left her daughter attention-starved.
reconcile
The pictures of Mattie are difficult to look at. She had shiny, stick-straight blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and Claire's heart-shaped face. It's nearly impossible to reconcile with that kind of vitality knowing how her story ends.
vitality
She had shiny, stick-straight blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and Claire's heart-shaped face. It's nearly impossible to reconcile with that kind of vitality knowing how her story ends.
reverence
WEST McCRAY [TO MAY BETH]: I can't help but notice Mattie doesn't look at Sadie with quite the same reverence.
sprawl
WEST McCRAY [STUDIO]: She turns the album to me. On one side is a photo of the girls. They're sprawled on May Beth's plastic-covered couch, a red-and-orange knitted blanket shared between them.

Rate this wordlist:

Do you have a comment?

Share it with the Visual Thesaurus community.

Your comments:

Sign in to post a comment!

We're sorry, you must be a subscriber to comment.

Click here to subscribe today.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login.

Create a new Word List