Nobody Knows But You

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Sept. 2020. 224p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062685315.
Gr 8 Up–Kayla is a wallflower—she prefers to spend her time alone at home, sleeping in, and avoiding other people. The summer before her junior year of high school, her parents send her off to Camp Cavernick for eight weeks, much to her dismay. There she meets Lainie, who she clicks with immediately, and they are inseparable. They sneak out of their cabin every night and Lainie tells everyone lofty tales about their adventures. Others envy their friendship and want to be a part of their inside jokes. Kayla is overjoyed with the situation until Jackson enters the picture and starts hooking up with Lainie. Then she becomes the third wheel. On the last night of camp, Lainie sneaks out alone with Jackson and he is found dead on the shore of the lake the next morning. While the story is told through a variety of media—letters, texts, statements, and articles—the story is a lot of tell and no show. Kayla’s unreliable storytelling lends itself well to this murder mystery, but her voice doesn’t feel authentic. Her letters come across as if she’s writing to an audience outside of Lainie and trying too hard to be funny. Lainie and Jackson are white and other characters are of various races.
VERDICT A secondary purchase for larger collections.

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