Micah and Janie have been best friends since elementary school… Not that anyone would ever suspect, though, because their friendship has been one of their best-kept secrets. After all, Janie is one of the popular girls and Micah is a bit of a social outcast. They seem to be opposites in every way, but it “works” for them. I found it strange to see how confident Micah was that Janie would always be there for him even though he knew better than to even try to talk to her at school. Ack! Talk about a terrible friendship. I will say, though, that there are probably plenty of so-called friendships like this, since adolescents are often willing to compromise their own feelings and integrity for the sake of fitting in and/or feeling wanted. The biggest problem with this arrangement, nevertheless, was when Micah woke up in the hospital with no recollection of how or why Janie went missing. All he seemed to remember was a big party and a bonfire… But where did Janie go, and why won’t she even answer his texts?
I recommend this story to readers who enjoyed the Jennifer Hubbard’s The Secret Year, John Green’s Paper Towns, and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars. Though these stories are all unique, there is just a little something about Zhang’s characters, plot, and/or storytelling methodology that reminded me of these books.