Title: You Were Never Here
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Genre: YA, Mystery
Published: October 20th, 2020 (HarperTeen)
Synopsis: Cat hasn’t been to Montgomery Falls, the town her family founded, since she was twelve years old. Since the summer she discovered she could do things that no normal twelve-year-old could do. Since she had her first kiss with Riley Fraser. Since she destroyed their friendship.
Now, five years later, she’s back and Riley has disappeared.
For the last three months no one has heard from or seen Riley. And while there are all sorts of conspiracy theories about where he went, neither the police nor his parents are any closer to finding him. When Noah, Riley’s brother, asks for help in discovering what happened, Cat is torn between wanting to learn the truth and protecting the secret that she’s been guarding ever since that summer she and Riley stopped speaking.
But then a girl is discovered floating in the river, barely alive with no knowledge of who attacked her or why. With the possibility that someone out there is hunting teens, Cat must make a choice: Use her unusual ability to discover the truth and find Riley or keep running away from a power she can’t control. Only one choice will put her in a killer’s sights…
Thank you to the publisher, Harper Collins Canada, and HCC Frenzy for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Cat Montgomery arrives in Montgomery Falls to visit her Aunt for the summer after some terrible events back home in New York, only to find out that her childhood friend, Riley Fraser, is missing. Even after three months, no one is any closer to finding him and he seems to have simply disappeared. Montgomery Falls hasn’t yet had its fill of mysterious events though, and when a girl is found floating in the river with no memories of who attacked her, it seems like Riley’s disappearance may not have been an isolated incident. When his brother Noah asks Cat to help him in discovering what exactly happened, Cat is torn: she wants to find out the truth, but to do that, she will have to use the ability she has spent most of her life running away from.
This was everything I like in a thriller and I found myself turning the pages late into the night, it was literally impossible to put down! The backdrop of a small town almost in the middle of nowhere was perfect to set the mood and the added touch of paranormal was a surprise, but one that worked very well. The mystery is a bit drawn out and there are several moments where the focus is on much more mundane happenings, but it is done in such a way that the plot remains engaging. In fact, I was so caught up in the story that I definitely did not see the reveal of the culprit coming at all. Cat was an interesting protagonist, and I liked that she was brave enough to walk into potentially dangerous situations, but never recklessly so. She struggles with controlling her ability of reading people’s secrets with a single touch, which has made her lonely over the past years, and it was nice to see her slowly making friends and opening up to them.
However, the book took way too long dancing around the issue of what exactly happened in New York due to which Cat was sent to live with her Aunt for the summer, not to mention the events of the one summer she spent with Riley. I thought the former turned out to be quite minor in the grander scheme of things, honestly. And of course, the one big question I had, about exactly Cat’s family ended up with this gift, was never answered. Her power was also left to vague descriptions that made it sound much less interesting than it should have been and she ends up using her detective skills to figure things out more than her ability anyway.
Overall, I enjoyed this mystery, and there were definitely moments that sent chills down my spine. This was my first time reading a book by this author, and I am definitely interested in checking out her other books now. Thank you once again to HCC Frenzy for the review copy, as I probably would not have come across this book otherwise and would have missed out on such a fun read! I would definitely recommend this book for fans of thrillers and mysteries.
You Were Never Here releases on October 20th, 2020.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!