Debut Review: If You’re Out There – Katy Loutzenhiser

Debut Review: If You’re Out There – Katy LoutzenhiserIf You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser
Published by Balzer + Bray
Published: March 5, 2019
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four-stars

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m a sucker for a book with a good friendship aspect. I under the draw of writing the frienemy, but I love a good female friendship that has its ups and downs but still can withstand the test of time. And I love a story that deals with the possibility of losing that friendship and how that affects one or both parties. If You’re Out There is a book that explores but with a twist and it was done remarkably well.

In If You’re Out There Zan is starting the year off without her best friend, Priya, who just moved to California. As if that isn’t bad enough Priya appears to have ghosted her, only showing up on social media to post pictures of how wonderful her new life is. While trying to figure out how to navigate her Priya-less world, Zan meets the new guy at school, Logan. He isn’t anything Zan is looking for, but he is there for her when she needs him, especially after she starts to notice something strange in Priya’s photos that makes her think…maybe she wasn’t ghosted after all. Maybe Priya is actually in trouble.

What I loved most about If You’re Out There was the focus on how friendships are hard and tricky. Like all relationships they take work and when one person isn’t there the work feel harder and not worth it. It showed how easy it is to let go of a friendship if you don’t fight for it when there is something to fight for. Zan refused to believe that her friend would just ghost her. She knew her better than anyone else and she fought for that feeling, even when she seemed crazy to everyone around her and felt crazy to herself. She fought and fought for her friendship because she believed her friend would fight for it too if she could. To me that showed what true friendship is about and why I loved the book.

I also really loved the mystery aspect of the story. Was Priya really ghosting Zan or was she in trouble? I was never really certain to be honest. I never knew which way the story was going to go because both options seemed plausible. I also liked that Logan was there to listen to Zan when no one else would. That was another huge highlight. Also helped that he was adorable.

All in all I highly recommend this debut by Katy Loutzenhiser. It hits all the right notes and will keep you reading until the end. Definitely a need to read book to add to your TBR.

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What I’ve Read – Debut Authors

I’ve mentioned recently that I am going to be working with some debut authors from the Class of 2k19 over the next few months. In preparation for them guest posting on my blog I have been trying to read their books. So far I have finished 3 and have started the 4th and 5th of a list of 6 books I currently have access to. Why am I telling you this? Because the 3 that I have read I have given 4-5 stars! These debuts are awesome guys and I want to make sure you know that and get them on your TBR!

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What I’ve Read – Debut AuthorsMatch Me If You Can by Tiana Smith
Published by Swoon Reads
Published: January 8, 2019
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four-stars

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

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What I’ve Read – Debut AuthorsJust For Clicks by Kara McDowell
Published by Amberjack
Published: January 29, 2019
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five-stars

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

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What I’ve Read – Debut AuthorsIf You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser
Published by Balzer + Bray
Published: March 5, 2019
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four-stars

“Funny, engrossing, and one-of-a-kind. If You’re Out There completely swept me away.” —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Leah on the Offbeat

Part whip-smart suspense tale, part touching story of friendship, this is an extraordinary debut about a determined teen trying to solve a mystery no one else believes in.

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read – Debut AuthorsThe Fever King by Victoria Lee
Published by Skyscape
Published: March 1, 2019
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In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

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What I’ve Read – Debut AuthorsThe Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess
Published by Flux
Published: March 5, 2019
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Victoria Parker knew her dad's behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won't stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can't stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won't leave you alone?

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I’ll be back with reviews of these closer to their publication dates and there is definitely more to come from these amazing authors so stay tuned to Andi’s ABCs over the next few months!

Are there any debuts you are excited for? 

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