When a local teen celebrity goes missing, her ex-boyfriend becomes the prime suspect.
White teens Tony Gardner and Hope Jensen have just broken up, and everyone at school is on Hope’s side. Hope is the rich, beautiful daughter of the local morning show anchors, while Tony is just a poor nobody. Licking his wounds, Tony spends the night signing Hope up for every dating app and free-sample delivery he can find, plastering her picture and address all over the internet. The next day Hope calls, begging him to take it all down, and during the call Tony hears Hope abducted. While the town searches for Hope, Tony does his best to avoid suspicion, to no avail. Fairly early on, Hope is revealed to have Gone Girl–ed Tony, faking her kidnapping to get even. But things go terribly awry. The novel’s hook raises interest, but the characters quickly scuttle it. Hope is a shallow, vindictive person with little going for her, and self-centered Tony continually makes staggeringly bad decisions. The author effectively crafts a town coming together to search for a missing person and the paranoid atmosphere that emerges, but the center doesn’t hold. These two teens are just too inert to engage readers. A last-minute turn lands with a thud.
A decent hook ruined by shoddy characters and limp plotting. (Thriller. 12-16)