Book Review: If You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser

Title: If You're Out There
Author: Katy Loutzenhiser
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Pages: 320
Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery

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.

I am always looking for something new to read that will capture my attention. I had been on this recent fantasy kick and was looking outward for something different. And who could go wrong with a good mystery. However, a mystery with a strong female protagonist sounds even better. Katy Loutzenhiser wrote a compelling story the depicts the strength of true friendship. 

Zan and Pyria are best friends. Or it seems so until Pryia's move to California results in their friendship in upheaval. With grammatically mistaken posts and constant belief that Pryia has a new life, Zan struggles to accept it. When a new boy takes interest a new turn in Pryia's mysterious ghosting makes it seem that there is something else that could be going on.  

What was really enjoyable was reading a story with such a strong female friendship. With flashbacks depicting earlier moments of their early friendship to emotional moments where you can really get a sense of how important Pryia means to Zan. This is something that I feel we tend to miss in some stories but Loutzenhiser was really good in emphasizing here. 

Although the story does focus on the mystery aspect of the two girl's friendship, there was humor and   love. With Zan and Logan there was this strong bond between them as well. With a ever so often banter between the two and this slight if not ever growing romantic appeal between them as well, these two characters personalities when combined added depth to the story. 

Overall, I was really impressed with the story that Katy wrote. It was a story that drew out different emotions that readers may not often get but are needed to feel more connected with what they are reading. I was looking for something new to read and I found it here. 

Happy Reading! 


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