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WHAT WE LOST IN THE DARK by Jacquelyn Mitchard


by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Age Range: 14 - 18

Pub Date: Dec. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-61695-143-6
Publisher: Soho Teen

Two teens afflicted with a rare medical disorder continue unraveling the mystery begun in What We Saw at Night (2013).

Rob and Allie, bound together since childhood due to their diagnoses with a life-threatening allergy to sunlight called Xeroderma Pigmentosum, are deeply in love. They are also both convincingly bereft as they mourn the death of Juliet, the former third of their trio. Less believably, Allie is convinced that Juliet’s suicide was actually a murder perpetrated by an undetected serial killer, who she suspects is a member of the wealthy, powerful family that founded the clinic in her town that treats XP. When Rob introduces Allie to free diving—which involves descending under water to great depths with no oxygen source—she discovers bodies the killer has hidden in Lake Superior. While each of these plot points is fascinating, their combination strains credulity and eventually weighs down the narrative. Unlikely coincidences also abound, including the fact that the land that bears the den of horrors and burial ground of the villain was originally owned by Allie’s pal Gideon, so he’s able to give her plenty of tips about it.

A wild cliffhanger ended the first, so readers will definitely want to get their hands on this sequel, but the suspension of disbelief it demands is mammoth. (Thriller. 14 & up)