Nick was driving the car with her sister, Dara, when they crashed. Months later, Nick (short for Nicole) cannot remember how it happened. All she knows is that the accident irreparably severed their once-close sisterly bond.
Nick’s best guy friend, Parker, has also been unreachable. But when Nick starts working at the local semi-decrepit amusement park called FanLand, she discovers that Parker also works there. Gradually, their friendship starts to seem normal. At the same time, a local girl, Madeline Snow, goes missing. This adds a spooky element to an already uneasy story, as Nick discovers clues that may link Dara with Madeline’s fate.
Readers unfamiliar with author Lauren Oliver’s deft hand may feel there is too much going on: Both Nick and Dara narrate sections before and after the accident, with a jumbled timeline often clarified only by date. At the same time, an “online” commentary traces the investigation of Madeline’s disappearance. However, a patient reading is rewarded with a big twist at the end. This is recommended for fans of the psychological intrigue in E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.
Diane Colson works at the Nashville Public Library. She has long been active in the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Association (YALSA), serving on selection committees such as the Morris Award, the Alex Award and the Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award.