July 05, 2021

#BookReview: If You're Out There by @katyloutz

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review:  
Although this one was a little slow to start it really worked for this story.  I loved the characters and the twists and turns and wow that ending was insane.  I haven't read a thriller that I fell for this hard in a while. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—A fast-paced mystery wrapped inside a love story, Loutzenhiser's novel follows a month in the life of Zan, a teenage girl whose best friend Priya moves to California and ghosts her—ending their relationship by ceasing all communication. What makes matters worse is that all of Priya's social media posts show a change in her character. Zan believes Priya has become a shallow version of herself, someone her former best friend was not. She makes a new friend in Logan, and with him she shares her grief at the loss of her friendship with Priya. When Zan discovers something strange in Priya's latest selfie, she is worried that something more nefarious may have happened to her former best friend. Zan and Logan begin to investigate. Loutzenhiser's writing is compelling and will connect with readers who live a large part of their lives through social media and online culture. The novel features a diverse cast of characters and offers a realistic look at friendship in the digital age. VERDICT A great addition to high school library collections aiming to supply readable, engaging books for students navigating evolving relationships.—Kevin McGuire, Woodland Hills School District, PA --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


“Funny, engrossing, and one-of-a-kind. If You’re Out There completely swept me away.” -- Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leah on the Offbeat

“Part Holmesian mystery, part love story, and funny as hell, If You’re Out There is a true exploration of deep-rooted friendship that unfolds with pitch-perfect pacing. It’s my new obsession.” -- David Arnold, bestselling author of The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik 

“This fast-paced debut features a smart, deeply insecure heroine and is as much an examination of friendship as it is a light thriller. A mystery for the digital age.” -- ALA Booklist

“Loutzenhiser’s debut is an engaging puzzler anchored by well-realized and endearing characters with diverse family structures. A light, charming mystery and a heartfelt ode to female friendship.” -- Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Katy Loutzenhiser is a graduate of Bowdoin College who trained in comedy with the iO and Second City theaters in Chicago. If You’re Out There is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her online at www.katyloutzenhiser.com.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.


Engaging...anchored by well-realized and endearing characters with diverse family structures...A light, charming mystery and a heartfelt ode to female friendship.

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

This fast-paced debut features a smart, deeply insecure heroine and is as much an examination of friendship as it is a light thriller. A mystery for the digital age.

-- "Booklist"

Funny, engrossing, and one-of-a-kind. If You're Out There completely swept me away.

-- "Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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