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Editorial Content for If You're Out There

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Caitlin L., Teen Board Member

IF YOU’RE OUT THERE is a book that is part rom-com, part suspenseful mystery, by Katy Loutzenhiser, a current Brooklynite who is my kind of person. I, too, am probably eating a burrito right now --- you’ll never know. This is Loutzenhiser’s debut, and I also can’t really think of another book to compare it to. I mean, I have read many suspenseful thrillers/mysteries but nothing that had quite the punch that IF YOU’RE OUT THERE did.

At face value, IF YOU’RE OUT THERE is pretty simple. Zan, the main character, has a best friend named Priya who she’ has known since they were little. Priya moved to California and, while they had promised to keep in touch, Priya just ghosts Zan and doesn’t answer texts, emails and Instagram DMs. On top of that, Priya’s last paycheck keeps bouncing around in the mail, almost like she didn’t make it to her new apartment. Zan gets the feeling that something is going on after realizing that Priya’s posts don’t match her personality and comes to a startling conclusion; is Priya really the one posting? Going too deep is ALL spoilers because everything --- and I mean everything --- comes back to the solution of the main mystery, so that’s all you’re getting from me for the time being.

"I have read many suspenseful thrillers/mysteries but nothing that had quite the punch that IF YOU’RE OUT THERE did."

IF YOU’RE OUT THERE has lots of good bits that are just so dang cool --- such as, it gives you everything. What do I mean by that? IF you pay attention, you can solve the mystery before it tells you. Of course you have to put the pieces together yourself and if you’re like me, you kind of just watch the pieces float by without doing that until everything is told to you and then you realize that you could have found out the truth yourself and all you can do is cry yourself to sleep!

Moving on, the characters are delightful and while I wish some of them had had more page time I will live. Another thing about this book is that it gives you information from Priya’s perspective via journal pages that don’t make a whole lot of sense until you see one little sentence that makes you say: oh, oh no. Now this book has one thing that brought a small complaint from me; the mystery isn’t solved until there are 52 pages left. I won’t lie, I was panicking there when that happened but that’s fine --- I’m fine.

This book is good, hopefully everything I said alludes to that fact. I would recommend this book to those who haven’t read a lot of suspense because the stakes aren’t as high as you would be used to. It’s a good all-nighter book and I would highly recommend it to those new to YA fiction in general because it brings little new to the genre, however I enjoyed it and I am what would be considered a veteran. Put this on your shelf, I have no regrets and you won’t either.

Teaser

After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts and her social media has turned into a stream of posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all. Everyone tells Zan to let Priya do her thing and move on. Then she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, who's just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy. Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a disturbing possibility: Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails. Maybe she can’t.

Promo

After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts and her social media has turned into a stream of posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all. Everyone tells Zan to let Priya do her thing and move on. Then she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, who's just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy. Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a disturbing possibility: Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails. Maybe she can’t.

About the Book

Part whip-smart suspense tale, part touching story of friendship, this is an extraordinary debut about a determined teen trying to solve a mystery no one else believes in.

After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is baffled and crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts. Worse, Priya’s social media has turned into a stream of ungrammatical posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all.

Everyone tells Zan not to be an idiot: Let Priya do her reinvention thing and move on. But until Zan hears Priya say it, she won’t be able to admit that their friendship is finished.

It’s only when she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, that Zan begins to open up about her sadness, her insecurity, her sense of total betrayal. And he’s just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy.

Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a new, deeply disturbing possibility:

Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails.

Maybe she can’t.