Your Lonely Nights Are Over

Viking. Sept. 2023. 416p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593526583.
Gr 9 Up–Cole and Dearie are best friends. When they get a summons to the school’s Queer Club, they are intrigued enough to stop by and see what’s what. Nothing could have prepared them for what happens: two of the club members are brutally attacked in a hallway outside of the meeting, one of them murdered outright and the other wounded critically. Who could have done this? The attacks are very similar to the latest streaming sensation, a docuseries covering infamous lonely hearts killer Mr. Sandman, who decades ago targeted lonely, single people, but those victims were not queer, and the original murders happened halfway across the country. Could this be the work of the same killer, or is someone more local following in the original’s footsteps? Sass weaves an intricate thriller that will keep readers guessing until the last few chapters. A sense of urgency follows the story as Cole and Dearie are initial suspects in the first attack, then much of the evidence points towards Cole specifically as the story progresses. Chapters alternate between the two boys’ perspectives as they navigate the evidence and interview their classmates and teachers in an effort to try and clear their names. Sass’s language is colorful and risqué, which is how the pair of main characters are perceived by those around them. Some of the explicit language and sexual references may not be for younger readers, but many teenagers will appreciate the frank and honest depiction of queer sexuality from the admittedly entertaining protagonists.
VERDICT A highly recommended first purchase for teen collections looking to expand their thriller/fiction and LGBTQIA+ titles.

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