She swore she’d always put “ladies before mateys,” then she ghosts on her best friend? That’s just shady.
Zan Martini and Priya Patel are inseparable. They share a nickname game, a wealth of inside jokes, and years of happy memories. Zan knows she’ll miss Priya when she moves to California. But when Priya ignores all her texts, phone calls, and emails, Zan is devastated. All she has left is Instagram, but Priya’s inane, pseudo-motivational posts sound nothing like her smart, articulate self. Nearly everyone in Zan’s life counsels her to move on—including her therapist mom, the dad she sees every week, the police officer who once coached her in self-defense, even their manager at the restaurant, whose paychecks keep bouncing from Priya’s new address. The only one willing to listen to Zan and assist her amateur sleuthing is Logan, the handsome new kid in school. But Zan’s not sure she’s ready to trust someone else with her heart, and even Logan seems to harbor a dark secret. Loutzenhiser’s debut is an engaging (although not impenetrable) puzzler anchored by well-realized and endearing characters with diverse family structures. Zan, Logan, and their birth families are white. Priya’s mother is Indian, and her stepfather white. Zan’s mother has a live-in girlfriend with brown skin. The supporting cast includes Latinx and Korean characters.
A light, charming mystery and a heartfelt ode to female friendship. (Fiction. 12-18)