cover image Last Seen Leaving

Last Seen Leaving

Caleb Roehrig. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-08563-4

Fifteen-year-old Flynn Doherty's competing desires to uncover the secrets behind his ex-girlfriend's disappearance and keep his own secrets hidden propel debut author Roehrig's powerful thriller. Flynn and January were happy enough when they both went to the same high school in Ann Arbor, Mich. Then January's mother married a wealthy state senator and whisked January away to a nearby private school. The couple drifted apart, and Flynn's reluctance to have sex drove a final wedge between them, leading January to break up with him just days before she vanished. Flynn's realistic%E2%80%94and desperate%E2%80%94attempts to keep his budding sexuality under wraps (he's gay) infuse an already tense plot with the added stress of coming out. The police initially think that January is a runaway, but Flynn refuses to believe that she would simply disappear, instincts that prove correct as the evidence points to something more violent. A compelling mystery and characters with fully developed strengths and flaws make Roehrig's novel an important addition in the world of queer young adult fiction. Ages 13%E2%80%93up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Oct.)