cover image With Malice

With Malice

Eileen Cook. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-544-80509-5

A tragedy during a senior class trip to Italy shatters the lives of two best friends in Cook’s engrossing tale of innocent lies and intentional deception. Jill Charron and Simone McIvory have been friends since fourth grade—Jill is the studious one from a wealthy family, while Simone is the natural leader with the infectious personality. Yale-bound Jill saw the Italian adventure as a way to experience the world with Simone at her side, but when she wakes up in a hospital bed, the last six weeks have been erased from her memory: the trip, the car crash that caused her injuries, and, worst of all, Simone’s death. Whisked back from Montepulciano to the U.S., Jill is in the middle of a complicated criminal case and a psychological minefield where her lost memories are concerned. As her rehabilitation progresses, the Italian authorities threaten deportation, and questions of false memories and outside motivations loom. Cook (Remember) believably portrays the struggles of girl who had it all and is left to pick up the pieces of a life she isn’t sure is hers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Barbara Poole, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (June)