Scream meets Happy Death Day in this terrifying stand-alone horror novel from YA scream queen Danielle Valentine.
"This terrifying book reads like a horror movie. No, wait. It has the suspense and shocks and screams of TEN horror movies in one. Great nasty fun!" —R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street
Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial.
And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart. Her parents have gotten divorced, she’s moved into an apartment that smells like bologna, and she is being forced to face her sister’s killer and a courtroom full of people who doubt what she saw in the corn maze a year prior.
Claire was an all-American girl, beautiful and bubbly, and a theater star. Alice was a nerd who dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist and would rather stay at home to watch her favorite horror movies than party. Despite their differences, they were bonded by sisterhood and were each other’s best friends.
Until Claire was taken away from her.
On the first day of the murder trial, as Alice prepares to give her testimony, she is knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike in the courthouse bathroom. When she wakes up, it is Halloween night a year earlier, the same day Claire was murdered. Alice has until midnight to save her sister and find the real killer before he claims another victim.
Like most of the characters in Valentine's gruesome horror debut, academically gifted Omaha East High School junior Alice Lawrence is a true-crime and slasher-film enthusiast. Alice and her older sister, Claire, 18, are invited to Chloe Bree's Halloween party at a corn maze, and they're excited to immerse themselves in the holiday's eerie ambiance, until things turn deadly. Chloe appears in the middle of the maze with her arm cut off, and Alice stumbles upon a wounded Owen Maddox, who subsequently murders Claire in front of her. A year later, Alice no longer talks to her surviving friends, and her parents have split up. While attending Owen's murder trial, she's accidentally knocked unconscious and catapulted a year into the past. Suddenly, Claire is alive again, and this time around, Alice is determined to keep last Halloween from repeating itself. An intriguingly meta plot shift makes for an ambiguous resolution. Nevertheless, Valentine successfully imbues this slasher-flick-worthy novel, grounded by a propulsive mystery and fierce heroine, with ample amounts of ghastly gore, foreboding atmosphere, and plenty of scares. Alice and Claire read as white, and there is racial diversity throughout. Ages 12–up. Agent: Hillary Jacobson, ICM Partners.