Book Reviews

Review: If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser

If You’re Out There is one of those books that pulls you in. I enjoyed it up until the halfway mark, but then after that I could not stop reading.

Summary

After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is baffled and crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts. Worse, Priya’s social media has turned into a stream of ungrammatical posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all.

Everyone tells Zan not to be an idiot: Let Priya do her reinvention thing and move on. But until Zan hears Priya say it, she won’t be able to admit that their friendship is finished.

It’s only when she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, that Zan begins to open up about her sadness, her insecurity, her sense of total betrayal. And he’s just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy.

Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a new, deeply disturbing possibility:

Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails.

Maybe she can’t.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

You know those books that are just utter and complete delightful surprises? Well If You’re Out There just hit me at the right spot. Talk about a story about friendship, detective work, budding romance, complex families, and a gay mom. All of those things make it onto my list of favorite things. While I was reading If You’re Out There I was enjoying it a lot, but after about halfway through the book become gripping and I couldn’t put it down.

Zan and Priya

I really loved Zan and Priya’s relationship. If You’re Out There is firmly rooted in Zan’s story, but it’s about her deep loneliness and yearning. Her best friend is magically and suddenly just gone and, worst of all, she cannot reach her anymore. Because I’ve been ghosted on before similarly to Zan. It’s horribly when you have all those moments where you think, “Was it just me? Was I just so delusional to think I mattered to someone?” And that makes you question everything. What you thought you liked about yourself, all those good memories. In those moments, your mind rushes to all the millions of reasons they could be not answering.

And Zan is just such a relatable character for me. The way she sees through those social games of convention, to her job at this vegan cafe. Throughout the whole book, you’re really asking yourself, “Is Priya really ignoring Zan or?” and that or question remains pretty much unanswered until the end.

But even more so, If You’re Out There is a story about opening your heart, complex family relationships, and friendship that may or may not span miles.

Overall,

If You’re Out There made me laugh aloud. I don’t normally do this when reading, but it was one of those short bursts of laughter and every time the rest of the evening I thought about it, I’d laugh again. Which just goes to prove how much I related to Zan and her comments – all of them. If you saw, and liked, ‘Searching’ then you have to try out this YA story about friendship, family, and love.

Find If You’re Out There on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.

Discussion

Have you ever been ghosted? Did it have a happy ending?


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