We Made It All Up

Little, Brown. Jul. 2022. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316275767.
Gr 9 Up–Celeste moves to Montana with her dad for a fresh start and to get away from a troublesome person in Montreal. At her new school, she meets Vivvy and together they discover their mutual interest of writing fan fiction. The line between fantasy and reality begins to blur however when one of the real-life people they are writing about is murdered. Celeste was with the teen right before he died but doesn’t remember what happened. Piecing together events becomes a challenge as she navigates through a web of secrets. As she attempts to uncover the truth, Celeste reflects on her fan fiction writing and how she put more of herself into her stories than she realized. The mystery comes together in a “Then” and “Now” structure, which leaves readers guessing as the time lines come together. Harrison provides a multitude of twists throughout the story but fails to fully develop her characters. Celeste’s backstory is never clearly explained or resolved, leaving it feeling disjointed from the rest of the narrative. The concept of using fan fiction to help deal with trauma is unique and intriguing but can be uncomfortable at times. The race of the characters is not stated, but they cue white.
VERDICT Readers looking for a mystery with deep subject matter would be better served reading works of authors like Tiffany D. Jackson.

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