cover image In Nightfall

In Nightfall

Suzanne Young. Delacorte, $12.99 paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-48758-7

Young (the Girls with Sharp Sticks series) spins an ethereal, if predictable, story of romance, strained family relationships, and healing in this darkly paranormal tale. After trashing their father’s house while throwing an end-of-the-year rager, Italian and Mexican American–cued teenage siblings Theo and Marco Maggione are sent to spend the summer with their grandmother, Nonna, in Nightfall, Ore. Nightfall, a usually quiet town, is teeming with tourists as residents prepare for the annual Midnight Dive, a festival featuring a late-night mermaid parade during which “everyone walks straight into the ocean.” The siblings chafe when Nonna imposes a curfew, especially after effortlessly cool Minnow, a Black local teen, invites them to join her friend group, offering Theo and Marco a welcome respite from dealing with their own mercurial emotions surrounding their parents’ recent divorce. Theo soon realizes, however, that something sinister lurks in Nightfall’s inky dark depths. Young unevenly touches on themes of violence and female empowerment through varying supernatural tropes. Theo’s tongue-in-cheek first-person narration is strongest while navigating mundane troubles such as peer pressure and social isolation, and her evolving relationships with Marco, her parents, and myriad Nightfall residents add emotional heft to this intense thriller. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lane Heymont, Tobias Literary. (Mar.)