In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?
Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…
I’ve never read this author before, but when the book description mentioned a small town with secrets, and suspense with a sci-fi edge, I knew it was time to become acquainted with her work.
This book grabbed me right away. Araceli feels a presence in the attic, and actually sees the string attached to a light bulb turn on by itself – I was all in. Mysterious lights in the forest, loads of people missing, a box that transports letters to a recipient decades earlier – it just got better. A lot goes on in this novel, and that’s something I enjoyed about it. It’s also an usual blend of contemporary, romance, suspense, and sci-fi, something that should attract readers of several genres.
Traveling with her journalist parents for most of her life, Araceli has experienced things most teens can’t imagine, so it’s understandable that she dives into these mysteries head first. While I admire her bravery and determination, she also comes across as selfish and headstrong, since she doesn’t always consider the consequences of her actions – especially when they involve the lives of other people. Then again, these are the actions of a teenager.
I don’t generally read YA contemporary, but with sci-fi, suspense, and time travel tossed into the mix, I plowed through this book in a couple of days.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.