Would you fake your own kidnapping to get into a good school?
Finn and Chloe have it all figured out. Their school guidance counselor has told everyone that it's not enough to get good grades or do community service anymore - kids like that are everywhere, and colleges are bored of them. So what do you do? Chloe decides they should get attention another way. She and Finn will stage her own disappearance - and then Finn will be the only who finds and saves her. What college wouldn't want them after that kind of attention? It seems like a good plan -- until things start going very wrong.
Corrigan delivers an addictive cautionary tale in this twisted unraveling of mean girl machinations. The surprisingly likable (if tragically duped) narrator, junior Finn Jacobs, acerbically reveals the inside story on how she and her best friend Chloe fake Chloe's disappearance, hiding her in Finn's grandmother's basement for 11 long days. "It started as a joke. A sick joke really, the kind that Chloe and I could only tell each other because anyone else would think we were terrible people." The goal of this deranged plot is to make both of them stand out in competitive college admissions; however, readers will suspect before Finn the extent of Chloe's ambitions. Tension mounts as Finn finds it easier to lie and simultaneously becomes isolated by her secrets, especially as the facade of her friendship with Chloe cracks. As Finn realizes the consequences of her role, Corrigan (Ordinary Ghosts) balances her guilt and remorse with realizations about the underlying power dynamic of the girls' relationship. This commentary on the fictions underlying celebrity culture and the cruelty and bravery of this memorable heroine are both haunting and provocative. Ages 12 up.