In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of view that unravels a friendship . . . forevermore. Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Truly Devious!
Tress Montor’s family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo.”
Felicity Turnado has it all: looks, money, and a secret. One misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is . . . only that she can’t look at Tress without feeling shame and guilt.
But Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity—brick by brick—as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. Tress will have her answers—or settle for revenge.
Two girls recall the major events that forced them apart in an intricate, duology-opening story of mystery and revenge by McGinnis (Be Not Far from Here). Seven years ago in Amontillado, Ohio, Tress Montor's parents disappeared and her former best friend, Felicity Turnado, was found shivering by the river. Tress has lived with her grandfather in a trailer at his dodgy animal attraction ever since, and Felicity, the last to see Tress's folks, claims to remember nothing from that night and has distanced herself from Tress except to buy drugs. With significant nods to Edgar Allan Poe's macabre work, everything comes to a head on Halloween night at the last party at the old Usher estate, which the town council plans to tear down. Alternating between the perspectives of Tress, Felicity, and a panther that escaped from the attraction, McGinnis succeeds in crafting an engaging tale, but the reasoning behind the girls' taking things to extremes feels underestablished, and poetic interludes from the panther fail to cohere with the overall narrative. Ages 14 up. \n