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If You're Out There

Review

If You're Out There

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.

Reviewed by Caitlin L., Teen Board Member on March 22, 2019

If You're Out There
by Katy Loutzenhiser