From the New York Times bestselling authors of All the Bright Places and Every Day comes a story of hope, siblinghood, and finding your home in the people who matter the most.
Subject: You. Missing.
Ezra Ahern wakes up one day to find his older sister, Bea, gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Ezra never expected to be left behind with their abusive stepfather and their neglectful mother—how is he supposed to navigate life without Bea?
Bea Ahern already knew she needed to get as far away from home as possible But a message in her inbox changes everything, and she finds herself alone in a new city—without Ez, without a real plan—chasing someone who might not even want to be found.
As things unravel at home for Ezra, Bea will confront secrets about their past that will forever change the way they think about their family. Together and apart, broken by abuse but connected by love, this brother and sister must learn to trust themselves before they can find a way back to each other.
Two white siblings find themselves and each other in Levithan's (19 Love Songs) and Niven's (Breathless) tender collaboration. When 15-year-old high school freshman Ezra Ahern's 18-year-old senior sister Beatrix disappears from their Indiana hometown, he feels lost, left alone with their abusive mother and stepfather. As Bea starts a new life and uncovers hidden family history in St. Louis, Ezra struggles to leave his parents and be honest with his boyfriend Terrence, who is Black. Things reach a boiling point for each of the siblings until the only way for them to save themselves is to confront their fear and break their silence. Thoughtful observations and difficult truths abound in Bea's and Ez's story, which alternates between their viewpoints and is told entirely via their emails, as they grapple compellingly with their trauma. Bea is especially memorable naive and self-aware, callous and compassionate but withdrawn Ez's gradual opening up to others is also potent. If the delivery relies on philosophizing instead of letting the narrative speak for itself, the compassionate portrayal of the pain of childhood abuse and the difficulty of escaping it more than compensates. Ages 14 up. Agents: (for Levithan) Bill Clegg, Clegg Agency; (for Niven) Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.