cover image This Is Our Story

This Is Our Story

Ashley Elston. Hyperion, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4847-3089-8

Grant Perkins is killed while on a hunting trip with his four best friends, who concoct a tale to keep themselves out of jail. As part of her internship with the district attorney’s office, senior Kate Marino is assigned to help unravel the boys’ lies, despite their connections to their Louisiana town’s most powerful citizens. However, Kate’s boss doesn’t know that she is harboring secrets that link her to the River Point Boys, and everyone—including Grant—has something to hide. Elston’s (The Rules for Disappearing) exploration of privilege, justice, and digital media unfolds through a combination of Kate’s Nancy Drew–like investigation, the anonymous shooter’s thoughts, and the mounting evidence; the narrative feels ripped from the headlines, a contemporary cautionary tale with enough wrinkles to make all four boys seem like likely suspects. A subplot involving a photo of three passed-out girls adds another layer of sordid small-town intrigue, and Kate’s efforts to solve the case highlights the duality of the human soul, the ways technology can twist the truth, and the difficulty of knowing who to trust. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Nov.)