Girl Forgotten

Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano. Mar. 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316322591.
Gr 7 Up–Seventeen-year-old Piper Gray’s interest is piqued when she helps a boy corral his wayward dog while she is visiting Skyline Cemetery. Piper is new to the town of Firview and is adjusting to moving in with her dad, stepmom, and two young stepbrothers. The boy she helps turns out to be a senior at North High—just like Piper. She discovers his name is Jonas, and there is something mysterious from his past that has caused his limp. He seems a little standoffish until Piper is paired with him to create a podcast-themed senior passion project. Piper is fascinated with Layla Trello, a 17-year-old who disappeared from a Halloween party 17 years ago in their small Oregon town. Layla’s murdered body turned up two weeks later, but no one has ever been charged with the crime. As Jonas guides her in successful podcasting skills, he relaxes around Piper. Their friendship blossoms, and they peel back the layers of grief they have endured. The plot is an engaging mingling of twists and turns that will keep readers absorbed until the end. Not only will the fast pace keep readers invested but the characters are multidimensional and fascinating.
VERDICT This podcast-themed fusion of mystery and suspense that will arouse readers’ curiosity to the nail-biting end.

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