Publishing Date: March 22, 2016
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "A heart-wrenching novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world from Amy Zhang, the critically acclaimed Indies Introduce and Indie Next author of Falling into Place. Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt" (HarperCollins).
My overall thoughts and review: I've heard so many good things about Zhang's previous book (which I plan on purchasing very soon) and when HCCFrenzy presented this book at their Frenzy Presents event, I was really intrigued. The premise sounded like a mixture of Paper Towns and The Perks of Being a Wallflower coming together. Zhang utilizes the dual-perspective really well and the transition was seamless from Janie's perspective to Micah's. I did brace myself for a dark ending because of the title and I was constantly on the edge of my seat wanting to know more about everything. I really enjoyed Janie's perspectives especially because of how much of Virginia Woolf was included (I wrote my MA on Woolf, so I'm a big fan). I liked that the novel tackled issues of friendship, unrequited love, anxiety and more. Zhang included "journal entries" from Janie's POV which moved alongside the narrative and worked nicely for the reader to learn more about Janie. I will say, I wish there was more developed regarding Dewey and his relationship with Micah. Overall, I think that this is a chilling and dark young adult contemporary novel that allows the reader to contemplate questions of life or death. I think fans of Ned Vizzini would particularly enjoy this book!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)