No Beauties or Monsters

Tara Goedjen. Delacorte, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1480-2
When incoming high school senior Rylie Caruso, presumed white, returns to her late grandfather’s house in the middle of the California desert after a several-year absence, she feels conflicted about the move. Though she looks forward to reconnecting with old friends, her mother’s assignment at Marine Corps base Twentynine Palms also means reawakening memories of her deceased father and grandfather. But upon arrival, Rylie quickly learns that her friend Lily has been missing for the past year. Other things are amiss as well: a murderer is on the loose, and following a hiking trip gone awry, Rylie begins experiencing hallucinations and moments of amnesia, and noticing scratches that won’t heal. After Rylie discovers evidence linking Lily’s absence to that of other missing people, she’s determined to find her friend and uncover the truth about whatever’s going on. If the ending feels slightly abrupt, Goedjen (The Breathless) effectively plays with expectations in this unsettling genre-bender, slowly peeling away layers of ambiguity while skillfully keeping readers off-balance. Rylie’s attempts to discern reality from nightmare are engaging, as is her genuine effort to emotionally reconnect with the people around her. Ages 12–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/21/2021
Release date: 12/07/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5247-1482-6
Library Binding - 368 pages - 978-1-5247-1481-9
Book - 978-1-5247-1483-3
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