I Will Find You Again

S. & S. Mar. 2023. 304p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534465152.
Gr 9 Up–Chase O’Hara is driven, ambitious, athletic, and deemed most likely to succeed by her peers. But the mask she wears is slipping and she knows she isn’t what people believe. She takes amphetamines to stay focused for marathon study sessions and rarely sleeps, plagued by debilitating migraines. Now her relationships are imploding under the stress of it all. After a brutal break-up, her ex-girlfriend Lia goes missing, showing up dead a few days later. Chase crumbles, desperate to find out how this happened and who is to blame. Promoted as a romantic thriller, this novel takes readers on a dramatic journey through the eyes of teens struggling with serious mental health issues, incredible academic pressure, and dysfunctional family lives. Ultimately, Chase must face her inner demons, her addiction, and her grief in order to survive. Much less a mystery or thriller, this is realistic fiction drama dealing with mental health and its serious, sometimes deadly, impact. Readers expecting an actual murder mystery or romantic thriller will be disappointed. The heavy focus on suicidal ideation is problematic and could be very triggering. Definite trigger warnings for suicide, severe depression, and parental neglect. The author provides great resources at the end for those seeking mental health help including phone numbers for suicide hotlines. The main characters are Asian American.
VERDICT Purchase only where additional realistic fiction covering depression and suicide is needed.

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