cover image We Made It All Up

We Made It All Up

Margot Harrison. Little, Brown, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-3162-7576-7

Harrison (The Glare) artfully weaves subtle fantasy with contemporary psychological terror in a disconcerting thriller. High school junior Celeste Bergstein, who is Jewish, has moved with her divorced father from Montreal to Defile, Mont. She’s happy to be out of Montreal and far away from her drama workshop director, who stalked and abused her. Celeste eventually meets and befriends eccentric teen and town pariah Vivienne Kray, and the two spend their days writing fantastical love stories starring their combative classmates, hockey star Joss Thorsenn and local weed dealer Seth Larkin. Alternating between the present and two and a half months prior, the narrative culminates in a night of Celeste, Joss, Seth, and Vivvy drinking and playing spin the bottle at Kray Cave, a secluded hangout spot in the woods. At school the next day, they discover that Joss is dead, and Celeste, who cannot recall anything beyond kissing him, worries that she is somehow responsible for his death. Harrison thoughtfully explores themes of self-harm, psychological manipulation, and sexual violence using atmospheric writing, convincing dialogue, and a clever narrative structure in this eerie tale. Characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jessica Sinsheimer, Context Literary. (July)