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by Sloan Harlow

Pub Date: May 28th, 2024
ISBN: 9780593855720
Publisher: Putnam

Ella Graham begins her senior year at North Davis High in a waking nightmare.

She’s trying to get by without best friend Hayley Miller, who died in a car accident last spring. Ella is besieged by not only grief but also guilt—she was the one driving drunk when their car hit a boulder above a rushing river, though she remembers nothing. Placed in a support group run by school psychologist Mr. Wilkens, Ella must confront fellow attendee Sawyer Hawkins—Hayley’s boyfriend, whom she’s sure blames her—as well as her growing feelings for him. As their relationship blooms, Ella’s guilt intensifies. When she helps Hayley’s mother with the painful task of cleaning out her late daughter’s bedroom, Ella discovers Hayley’s diary, and from its contents, she learns much more about her friend than she ever imagined. Harlow’s debut is full of angst, and readers will be enticed to tear through the novel, which contains surprising twists and quickens in pace toward the end. Ella’s grief and survivor’s guilt are palpable, permeating every page. Ella and Sawyer’s relationship is both fraught and steamy, and romance fans will enjoy the intrigue of their unfolding relationship; their alternating points of view provide glimpses into both their psyches. Ella’s mom is Filipina (her dad’s ethnicity is not mentioned); most other major characters read white.

A dark and romantic thriller for those who love sexy suspense.

(resources) (Thriller. 14-18)