I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
It has been five years since a horrific murder happened in a small Vermont town: beautiful Summer Marks, on the verge of turning 13, was found in the woods, stabbed seven times--in what appeared to have been a ritualistic killing. Immediate suspects were Summer's two best friends, Mia and Brynn, and a male friend/love interest, Owen. Although the three were cleared of having committed the crime, the cloud of suspicion has never left them. Mia transferred to another school, but ultimately turned to homeschooling. Brynn stole some prescription pills, leading to rehab, which felt so much safer than home (and school), she got her cousin Wade to periodically smuggle in drug-positive urine to extend her stay. Owen went away to boarding school in Scotland.
The three girls had been obsessed with a fantasy novel, The Way into Lovelorn. The book maddeningly ended on an unfinished sentence, which inspired much speculation from fans. Did the author intend to finish the sentence in a sequel she never got to (the author has been dead for many years)? The three friends, along with "playing" Lovelorn, had been collaborating on a Lovelorn fan fiction. (Summer's death bore a resemblance to a scene in the fanfic.)
Going through old papers, Mia makes a discovery that raises new questions about her friend's death. Although they haven't spoken in years, Mia drives out to the rehab that Brynn is about to be discharged from, just as a freak storm prevents Wade from arriving with drug-positive urine to extend Brynn's stay again. Unwittingly, Mia becomes Brynn's ride, and soon they are warily considering whether to trust one another. And Owen (who is back, having graduated from the school in Scotland).
What can the old friends discover about the long-ago murder? What actually happened that day, and who is really responsible? Should they pursue these questions, or simply let the past go? (Well, you know that last won't be the chosen option!)
Lauren Oliver demonstrates a deep understanding of the contradictory sides of friendship and obsession, particularly the love-hate, push-pull the queen bee of a friendship-group can inspire.