After the death of her best friend, a high school girl is haunted by something: Whether it’s conscience, ghost or merely human demons is unclear.
When Brynna’s best friend, Erica, drowns, Brynna—who dared Erica into the night swim that led to her death—becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, culminating in a drunken driving arrest. Now in a new city and at a new school and seeing a court-appointed therapist, Brynna simply wants to skate through school unnoticed. Through no effort of her own, she’s immediately sucked into a clique of gregarious classmates, finding herself with friends and a boyfriend, hopeful despite herself, à la Bella Swan. But Brynna keeps seeing Erica on street corners, reliving the drowning in dreams and receiving text messages from her dead friend. Is she losing her mind? Is someone from her old town tormenting her? Or worse, is one of her new friends the source of this torture? So tightly wound is Brynna’s spiral into degenerating paranoia that the frankly ridiculous, scarcely foreshadowed reveal is barely a blip—her increasing terrors are believable and tension-racked. Her happy aftermath is less so, but nobody reads Cooney-style thrillers for the realistic resolution.
Brynna’s guilt-induced psychosis makes for a page-turner in the spirit of Lois Duncan’s classic I Know What You Did Last Summer; it will undoubtedly please the thriller-loving crowd. (Thriller. 13-15)