Seventeen-year-old Ryan Poitier Sharpe is a gutsy, outgoing girl who spends her summer days hurling herself out of planes at her parents’ skydiving center in the Mojave Desert. Fiercely independent and willing to take risks, she challenges those around her to live life fully. But after a brush with death, Ryan is severely altered—she’s not the same thrill-seeking girl she once was and seems to be teetering on the edge of psychosis. As her relationships crumble and her life unravels, Ryan must fight the girl she’s become—or lose herself forever—in this eerie and atmospheric thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Sharpe has successfully jumped out of an airplane more than 250 times: she loves the adrenaline rush, and it helps that her ex-Army father owns a skydiving business in the Mojave Desert. But Ryan can't garner his approval no matter how well she jumps, so she attempts to get her high elsewhere by trying LSD, only to wind up in the hospital. Now a pair of eyes haunts her in mirrored surfaces. Has death come to collect? Has the hallucinogenic drug made her schizophrenic? Is something supernatural to blame? First-person narration lends immediacy and intimacy to Ryan's story as her struggles to regain her sanity and former life only lead her to alienate everyone around her. Clark's diverse cast (Ryan is biracial, her best friend is gay) and descriptive language add depth to this psychological thriller, though Clark (the Light Key trilogy) tends to overemphasize both. While the otherworldly elements build suspense, their presence in an otherwise realistic story downplays the dangerous side effects of using psychedelic drugs. Ages 14 up.