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WE MADE IT ALL UP by Margot Harrison


by Margot Harrison

Pub Date: July 12th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-316-27576-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

Kray’s Defile is a place with charm. Just don’t look too closely.

When her father moves them to small-town Montana from Montreal so he can study bats in the nearby caves, high schooler Celeste Bergstein wants only to blend into the background. It’s an opportunity to start over, free from a frightening and abusive relationship with the director of her drama workshop. With her new friend, fey orphan Vivvy Kray, Celeste starts writing stories about a steamy romance between two of their classmates—presumably straight golden boy Joss Thorssen and gay weed dealer Seth Larkin. The lines between fantasy and reality soon begin to blur, and Vivvy arranges for the four of them to get drunk in the woods near the caves. The next day, Joss is found murdered. With no memory of that night, Celeste has to figure out what happened before she ends up taking the fall for the crime. While investigating the caves with Vivvy’s twin brother, Bram, they discover evidence of a long history of sinister activities by a group called the Defilers. Implicit sexual abuse is a recurring theme, as are psychological manipulation and self-harm. A reference to historical crimes against Indigenous people and accusations that undocumented workers at a meatpacking plant were responsible for Joss’ murder contrast with the presumably White cast. The unreliable characters are well drawn, and the dialogue masterfully replicates the teenage voice.

A polished tale that is twisted and disturbing.

(Thriller. 14-18)