Thursday, June 17, 2021

If You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser


Over quarantine, my friends and I have been exchanging bags of books. IF YOU'RE OUT THERE was one of the titles I got in my bag. I am such a sucker for thrillers of all kinds and the premise of this one really hooked me. Zan and Priya are best friends, but when Priya moves from Chicago to California, she suddenly ghosts Zan on all of her accounts and starts Instagramming like she's Queen of the Basic Bitches, with captions like "live, laugh, love." It doesn't add up and it freaks Zan out, especially because all of the adults in her life seem totally unconcerned about it and tell Zan to just let her "reinvent."

The only person who seems to believe her at all is Logan, the new boy at her school with a mysterious past. He humors her Nancy Drew investigations, even when they turn to things like B&E, and suddenly, Priya's disappearance starts to look a little more sinister. Especially when certain clues pop up that suggest that maybe she never actually wanted to ghost Zan-- at least, not completely-- in the first place.

This was a pretty fun book, if I do say so myself. I loved the effortless diversity in the large cast of secondary characters. The family dynamics were interesting and I thought it was cool how the author explored parents who question their sexuality late in life and how that can effect their extant relationships. Logan is a great beta hero, the sort of love interest you could bring home to mom, and for most of the book I had no idea what was going to happen.

I dinged a few stars for this book because I personally felt the reveal was a little silly. Zan was also crazy obsessive. Granted, in this case, her hunch paid off, but when someone ghosts you, 99 times out of 100 you should probably move on. I know this is a tale of friendship (and quite a positive one) but it ended up coming across as a little weird. But hey, teen me was weird and obsessive and if one of my friends had just disappeared and started posting weird stuff on their socials, I'm not sure what I'd have done.

3 out of 5 stars

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