"The dead? They lie. Just like the rest of us."
I read this book in one afternoon because I could not put it down! This is going in my top ten reads of 2021.
Deliciously creepy and atmospheric, this book brings the Louisiana bayou to life. Brimming with supernatural phenomena, the small, swampy island town of La Cachette, Louisiana, is the kind of place where you can't necessarily trust your own eyes and ears.
The last time Grey saw her best friend, they got into a huge fight, but then Elora disappears before they can make up. When Grey returns to La Cachette the next summer, the missing posters all over town may have begun to fade, but the pain of not knowing what happened hasn't. Even with all the town's supernatural gifts, which they play up for tourists, no one seems to have many clues. Grey's determined to spend her summer with her psychic grandmother solving the mystery, even as her own newly emerging gift gives her scary flashes. But the tiny town is hiding big secrets, and the deeper Grey digs, the more confusing everything gets.
Grey spends her winters in Little Rock with her dad, but summers in La Cachette with her grandmother Honey feel like her true life. In between selling salt lamps and mystical stones to tourists arriving on the boat every day, Grey reunites with the Summer Children - ten babies born in the same year who grew up together. Only two died long ago, and now Elora's disappearance fractures the group further. Grey's long-time crush, Hart, is heading into troubled waters as he struggles to deal with his grief, while Elora's boyfriend, Case, is persona non grata until he clears his name. The town is haunted by its past and its present, and each person holds a different piece of the puzzle. Each twist and turn builds a deeper mystery, and I loved how the author incorporated some of Louisiana's French legends, such as the rougarou, which is similar to a werewolf, and the fifolet, mysterious ghost lights that appear in the swamp. Grey ends up with two romantic possibilities, and the chemistry with both is fire.
This is one that I will definitely reread!
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Teen for the Advance Review Copy of this book.