When Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at Ventana Ranch boarding school, is found dead, Ellie Sokoloff is determined to figure out what happened to her. After all, Eliza was Ellie's childhood best friend.
Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her, calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie's claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie's suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect.
Can Ellie clear her name and solve the mystery behind Eliza's death? Her hunt for the truth will uncover secrets she never imagined, sending her deep into her own memories of her childhood with Eliza Hart.
New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel delivers a gripping mystery and a sensitive and moving examination of the secrets that can hold us back--and even destroy us.
In this tense boarding school mystery, Ellie Sokoloff, who conceals her debilitating claustrophobia from her fellow students, attempts to solve the mysterious death of her classmate and estranged childhood best friend, Eliza Hart. When Eliza's body is recovered from the cliffs outside the dormitories, Ellie becomes the prime suspect in her death. From their first days at Ventana Ranch, Eliza spread vicious rumors about Ellie, calling her a stalker and a compulsive liar and giving her a possible motive. Sheinmel (Faceless) writes mostly from Ellie's perspective, though intermittent chapters from Eliza's point of view add depth and clarity to their long history. No one wants to believe that attractive, wealthy, and popular Eliza might have committed suicide, but it becomes clear to Ellie, who has her own secrets, that "just because she didn't seem depressed doesn't mean she wasn't." Sheinmel's depiction of mental illness is intensely real, sending a lasting reminder that not all illnesses or struggles are visible from the outside and that there is no shame in seeking help. Ages 14 up.
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