Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: If You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser

Author: Katy Loutzenhiser
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Date of publication: March 2019

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.

As usual, I'm going to be honest.  I was a bit underwhelmed by this book. If You're Out There reminded me of Monday's Not Coming.  As in the book, the main character is sure that something has happened to her best friend, but no one else believes her.  The difference is that I liked that book a lot more than this one.

My main issue with the book is that I never really got any sense of urgency that I should have felt while Zan is looking for her friend Priya. Zan frustrated me in general. I could understand Zan's frustration about her best friend ghosting her.  However, when other girls try to reach out and befriend her, she didn't let them in.  I did like Logan though and didn't mind the romance between the two.  It ended up being cute.

As for the mystery, I called it fairly early on.  The author made a decision about how to slowly reveal what was going on and I'm not sure it worked for me.  It kind of ruined the excitement of watching Zan figure it out on her own.   It's a fairly quick read.  It's not a bad YA, I was just underwhelmed and wanted to like it a lot more than I did.

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