Two teens from opposite sides of the tracks have their worlds rocked by a threatening stalker.
Frick (See All the Stars, 2018, etc.) returns with an intricate, page-ripping psychological thriller involving dual—at times dueling—white protagonist narrators. Seventeen-year-old Amanda Kelly and Rosalie Bell are classic foils. Upper-class, pretty, straight Amanda is used to being the center of attention, a queen bee and steady girlfriend of Carter Shaw—the blond, athletic senior class president who is heir to his father’s real estate empire. By contrast, Rosalie hails from a working-class suburb of Amanda and Carter’s posh West Virginia town. She sports a casual style and prefers to keep a low profile ever since her fundamentalist Christian family subjected her to conversion therapy to try to “cure” her lesbian orientation. Frick initially brings the lives of her intriguing first-person narrators together through Carter, who is cheating on Amanda by seeing Rosalie. She is using Carter as a beard to mask her intimate relationship with her girlfriend from her parents. Later, Amanda and Rosalie find their fates intertwining when an anonymous texter threatens physical harm and exposure of their darkest secrets. Though largely plot-driven, Frick’s narrative challenges all sorts of social and class conventions, encouraging teens to examine critical assumptions about haves and have-nots and the sacrifices one might be asked to make on the road to self-acceptance.
A captivating page-turner enriched by probing social commentary. (Thriller. 15-adult)