She’s Gone

Sourcebooks/Fire. Nov. 2022. 384p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728254203.
Gr 9 Up–Despite his best efforts, Hunter cannot remember the events of Homecoming night—how he ended up in the hospital, why he and Chloe left the dance early, or even where she is now. Missing memories don’t change an essential truth, though: Chloe is gone, and no one knows what happened to her. As the last person to see her, all eyes are on Hunter and fingers are quick to point. It’s always the boyfriend, right? As Hunter sets out to restore his memories of what happened, readers get to know him better and find a likable enough lead in a well-meaning, vanilla sort of way. Other characters check off the other obligatory boxes: protective best friend, quirky sister, socially distant father. Despite several bland characters, the book is a page-turner with short chapters and a simple writing style, propelling readers on at a rapid clip. Large swaths of the central mystery are predictable by anyone familiar with the genre, but layers to the plot twists still provide surprises. There is diversity in terms of race and sexual orientation among the cast, though some awkward dialogue is given to the characters of color.
VERDICT A solid if not spectacular mystery, this is a worthwhile read for students in need of their next plot-twist fix, but also one that will fade from memory almost as soon as it is over.

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