Who We Were in the Dark
For fans of E. Lockhart, this atmospheric coming-of-age story asks, How do you find someone you never really knew?
“Perfect for those who reminisce on the melancholic feelings [of] John Green's Looking for Alaska.” —USA Today
"Will have you hooked from the start and guessing till the very end. Jessica Taylor aces it. I inhaled this one!" —Jennifer Mathieu, author of Moxie, now a Netflix Original Film.
Donner Lake is famous for its dazzling waters, dramatic mountains, and the travelers trapped there long ago who did unspeakable things to survive. But for lonely Nora Sharpe, Donner was where a girl named Grace glided into her life one night and exploded her world.
After that, every summer, winter, and spring break, Nora, her brother, Wesley, the enigmatic Grace, and their friend Rand left behind their real lives and reunited at Donner Lake. There, they traded truth and lies. They fell in love. They pushed each other too far. They came to know one another better than anyone in some ways, and not at all in others.
But two years later, something has happened to destroy them. Grace is missing. And Nora must find her way through the unspoken hurts and betrayals of the last two years—and find her way back to Wesley and Rand—to figure out what exactly happened to Grace, the girl she thought she knew.
“Eerily atmospheric.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Tense and mystery-laden [with] a strong emotional core." —Booklist
"Will keep readers turning pages long past bedtime." —Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos
"Character-driven . . . Arrestingly written.” —Publishers Weekly
"Recommended for fans of E. Lockhart." —SLJ
Told through alternating past and present perspectives, Taylor's (A Map for Wrecked Girls) character-driven mystery centers four teens who meet three times a year at a secluded vacation destination, until one of them mysteriously goes missing. After siblings Nora, 14, and Wesley Sharpe, 16, reunite with their long-absent father to spend a week at his lakeside vacation home on Donner Lake, they continue to visit during various school breaks over the next two years. During their first trip, they befriend idiosyncratic Grace Lombardi, 16, who lives next door, and acrophobic Rand Elliot, 15. Grace is the group's glue, effortlessly pulling them back together even after months apart, but her sudden disappearance causes tension, and the remaining teens struggle to maintain their relationships without her. Though the narrative, which begins after Grace goes missing, can jump confusingly between pre-disappearance and the present day, it's Grace's arrestingly written personality, and the years the protagonists spend together eating oysters at night on the roof of the local hotel, leaping off cliffs into the lake, breaking into a boathouse to sneak champagne, and watching outdoor movies under the stars, that serve as the heart and soul of this atmospheric read. All main characters read as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Melissa Sarver White, Folio Literary.