cover image Places No One Knows

Places No One Knows

Brenna Yovanoff. Delacorte, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-52263-1

Yovanoff (Fiendish) weaves a sliver of the supernatural into this unlikely love story between Waverly Camdenmar, an increasingly disaffected mean girl, and Marshall Holt, a substance-abusing slacker trying to get his life on track. Waverly and her best friend Maribeth rule their high school, but Waverly's disenchantment with their ruthlessness surfaces as she starts spending time with her eccentric cross-country teammate Autumn, who challenges Waverly to be better, and Marshall, a loner classmate who doesn't apply himself because he's dealing with family problems. Yovanoff paints a dire, existential view of high school full of isolated, insecure characters secretly wondering "what is the point?" In an attempt to ward off recurring insomnia, Waverly takes to lighting a mysterious candle at night, entering a hypnotic state through which she physically visits Marshall, though only he can see her. Waverly and Marshall have distinct but equally perceptive narrative voices, and as Waverly struggles with the implications of bringing their secret relationship public, Yovanoff offers a multilayered exploration of human connections, particularly those that manifest in unpredictable ways. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (May)