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Published by Scholastic on February 26, 2019
Genres: Young Adult
Format: ARC, Physical
Emily Lonergan's best friend died last year.
And Emily hasn't stopped grieving. Lizzie Porter was lively, loud, and fun -- Emily's better half. Emily can't accept that she's gone.
When Lizzie's parents and her sister come back to town to visit, Emily's heartened to see them. The Porters understand her pain. They miss Lizzie desperately, too.
Desperately enough to do something crazy.
Suddenly, Emily's life is hurtling toward a very dark place -- and she's not sure she'll ever be able to return to what she once knew was real.
From New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a breathless, unputdownable story of suspense, secrets -- and the strength that love gives us to survive even the most shocking of circumstances.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
I didn’t want to read Pretend She’s Here at first.
But as I read the synopsis, Luanne Rice’s latest book sounded dark and twisted and Pretend She’s Here sounded very much like a book up my alley.
I love a book that is dark.
I found myself pleasantly surprised… and disappointed at the same time.
There were a few things that worked well with Pretend She’s Here and a few things that didn’t, but some of it is a matter of my own personal tastes. 😅
1. Flashbacks work well here (for the most part).
As much as I’m not a huge fan of a ton of flashbacks, this worked really well! Although Emily Lonergan lost her best friend Lizzie Porter a year ago, she continues to grieve over Lizzie’s death. The flashbacks helped reinforce her friendship with Lizzie and how much the two meant to each other.
2. I love the family support.
Emily comes from a somewhat large family and she keeps her family in mind to help her survive each day she is stuck with the Porters, who returned to town to come and visit. Instead of coming and going, however, they take Emily away and have her live as Lizzie. Through the flashbacks, we find out Emily and her family are a close-knit group despite the size, and they’re supportive through the ups and downs.
3. Engaging storyline.
For my personal enjoyment of the book, I wasn’t a huge fan. I found myself interested in continuing Pretend She’s Here, but I also found myself putting a distance with the book. While there is a solid storyline that will keep readers interested in finding out what happens to Emily, everything comes together easily. However, I loved the ending when the characters reflect on everything that has happened, and I know full well younger me would have loved this book. I highly recommend Pretend She’s Here for fans of April Henry or for those who are interested in the bigger picture rather than the thrills and excitement.