The Dark Place

Disney-Hyperion. Aug. 2023. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781368077736.
Gr 10 Up–Lewis’s sophomore novel at its premise sounds intriguing and scary, but unfortunately the book is not executed as expected. Seventeen-year-old Hylee moves in with her grandmother after she has an incident at her house where she disappeared from inside her house and showed up again on the porch. When she moves in with her grandmother, she starts to learn that when she disappears, she appears to be going back in time, to when her brother disappeared. There is a lot happening in this book. Hylee is dealing with her mysterious disappearing, her parents not wanting her in their home because of it, her meeting new kids at school, her old best friend ignoring her for disappearing, her romance with a boy she met at a party, the disappearance of her brother after her family home was broken into when she was young, and a creepy no-eyed version of her in the “other world” she goes to. Reading this novel often feels like there are multiple stories happening, but nothing ties together cohesively. Also, for a book pitched as horror, it is more sci-fi/time travel.
VERDICT Give to fans of Lewis’s first novel or those looking for a different twist on time travel.

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