“A desert full of mystery. A girl who sees things she shouldn’t. Desperate to unlock the secrets of Twentynine Palms, I raced through this book!” —Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows
For fans of Stranger Things and Veronica Mars comes a new YA mystery about a girl whose desperate search for her missing friend unearths dark secrets, preternatural threats, and a truth that could ultimately tear her family, friends, and town apart.
Welcome to Twentynine Palms, where nothing is what it seems.
Rylie hasn't been back to the military base in Twentynine Palms since her father died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of all, her enigmatic grandfather, a man who cut ties with Rylie’s family before he passed away. But her mom’s new work assignment has sent their family to Twentynine Palms again, and now, Rylie’s in the one place she never wanted to return to.
At least her old friends are happy to welcome her home. Well, some of them, anyway. It turns out Lily is gone, vanished into the desert. To make matters worse, there are whispers around town of a mysterious killer on the loose.
But it isn’t just Twentynine Palms that feels frightening—there’s something wrong with Rylie, too. She’s seeing things she can’t explain. Visions of monstrous creatures that stalk the night.
Somehow, it all seems to be tied to her grandfather and the family cabin he left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Are the monsters in her head really out there? Or could it be that the deadliest thing in the desert . . . is Rylie herself?
When incoming high school senior Rylie Caruso, presumed white, returns to her late grandfather's house in the middle of the California desert after a several-year absence, she feels conflicted about the move. Though she looks forward to reconnecting with old friends, her mother's assignment at Marine Corps base Twentynine Palms also means reawakening memories of her deceased father and grandfather. But upon arrival, Rylie quickly learns that her friend Lily has been missing for the past year. Other things are amiss as well: a murderer is on the loose, and following a hiking trip gone awry, Rylie begins experiencing hallucinations and moments of amnesia, and noticing scratches that won't heal. After Rylie discovers evidence linking Lily's absence to that of other missing people, she's determined to find her friend and uncover the truth about whatever's going on. If the ending feels slightly abrupt, Goedjen (The Breathless) effectively plays with expectations in this unsettling genre-bender, slowly peeling away layers of ambiguity while skillfully keeping readers off-balance. Rylie's attempts to discern reality from nightmare are engaging, as is her genuine effort to emotionally reconnect with the people around her. Ages 12 up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management.