Release Date: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Add it: Goodreads
After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is baffled and crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts. Worse, Priya’s social media has turned into a stream of ungrammatical posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all.
Everyone tells Zan not to be an idiot: Let Priya do her reinvention thing and move on. But until Zan hears Priya say it, she won’t be able to admit that their friendship is finished.
It’s only when she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, that Zan begins to open up about her sadness, her insecurity, her sense of total betrayal. And he’s just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy.
Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a new, deeply disturbing possibility:
Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails.
Maybe she can’t.
If You’re Out There was kind of adorable! It was more of a low-key mystery than a full on thriller, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’m really glad I decided to pick it up, which I did because the ghosting thing seemed relatable and I was intrigued.
I feel like I have to talk about the relationship between Zan and Priya first, because really it’s the main point and the core of the book. The pair have been best friends for ages, and even though Priya wasn’t around for most of the novel, I loved it whenever Zan thought about her, even if it was quite painful. It was a lovely relationship, and it reminded me of a few of my own.
I found If You’re Out There to be very relatable, as something similar happened to me. I felt Zan’s pain when her friend drifted away and cut off all contact. It was emotional and raw, and Zan even fell into a slight depression there for a bit. It was written so well, and I have to applaud the author for that.
The other main relationships in If You’re Out There were between Zan and her family (yassss, I loved it), and Zan and the love interest. The romance didn’t detract from the story at all, and the whole thing was still about Zan finding Priya, but it was a nice addition. I’d have liked to have seen more of Logan’s problems, but I’m not complaining.
Something also worth noting was that Zan’s mother was in a relationship with another woman! And they’re raising Zan and her brother together! It’s not said whether or not she’s gay or bi or otherwise, but she does mention that sexuality is fluid.
The mystery itself was a bit meh, but at least it wasn’t bad? I just thought that the other parts of the book were more important, and the mystery was really just a way for the author to explore the many different relationships in this book.
I’d recommend picking this one up if you get the chance!