Unable to recall what scarred her face a few months ago, a teen tries using documentary filmmaking to make sense of her life—and uncovers layers of horror.
Theo combs her hair in front of the scar left by a 4-inch gash on her jaw. Is it from an accident? An assault? She has no idea. Avoiding her friends, she sits in a cafe clandestinely filming a strange boy using a button cam and an iPhone. Theo and Andy—the unknowing documentary subject—meet and travel all around New York City, ostensibly trying to track down a girl he’s in love with yet somehow barely knows. In reality, they’re peeling off layer after layer of Theo’s own past. Theo and Andy both seem to be in trauma-induced fugue states, an unlikely coincidence; Theo’s confusion and desperation could also be coming from popping Lexapro at several times her prescribed dosage and barely sleeping. Her thoughts “riddle [her] head like machine-gun fire and zoom off in a trail of smoke before [she] can make sense of them”; her “shaky, electric, fuck-you energy” quivers with naiveté, her first-person narration as unreliable to herself as to readers. The horrific truth gets worse until the very end, when the puzzle pieces slam into place.
A page-turning mystery with a bit of hipsterism and an onion’s worth of layers. (Mystery. 14-17)