One of Us Is Lying meets Carrie in this suspenseful story of friendship, family, and revenge. Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day after her family self-destructed. The day her father ruined her mother's life. The day Magpie's sister, Eryn, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. The day of Brandon Phipp's party. Now Magpie is called a slut in the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won't speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who've all been as socially exiled as she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a magical place called Near. Near is perfect - a place where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie's own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. At first, Near is a peaceful escape, but soon it becomes something darker, somewhere nightmares lurk and hidden truths come to light. Soon it becomes a place where Magpie can do anything she wants...even get her revenge. You Must Not Miss is an intoxicating, twisted tale of magic, menace, and the monsters that live inside us all.
In this emotionally raw drama, a teenage girl escapes her abysmal home life by conjuring up a fantastical echo of the real world in which everything is perfect. Magpie Lewis's mother is an alcoholic, her father slept with her aunt, her older sister has left them all behind, and her former best friend no longer speaks to her. Haunted by the initially undisclosed incident that turned her into a social pariah, Mags drifts through life, slowly failing out of school and keeping her few remaining friends at arm's length. But after she somehow opens a door into the world she calls Near, a world she's been journaling about, she finds a place where she can finally be happy. In Near, she can have whatever she wants, from a loving family to revenge on those who have wronged her. Leno (Summer of Salt) portrays her traumatized heroine in a way that is both compelling and harrowing, especially as Mags pursues a self-destructive solution to her problems. Leno doesn't shy away from challenging themes including substance abuse, toxic friendships, rape, and suicide and she brings lyrically haunting language to a story filled with inherent darkness. Ages 14 up.