I Will Find You Again by Sarah Lyu
I Will Find You Again will mesmerize readers from start to finish.
Chase Ohara has been driven to excel her entire life. Her dream is to attend Stanford University, and now, in her senior year of high school, that dream is almost within reach if she can improve her less-than-stellar SAT scores when she retakes the test in December. But if the pressure isn't already enough, she and her girlfriend, Lia, broke up at the end of junior year, and Chase is still grieving the loss of her best friend, confidant, and love. Not only that, Lia has a new girlfriend, and Chase is witness to her newfound happiness at school every day.
Chase and Lia had grown up living across from each other in the exclusive Meadowlark area and had been best friends before their relationship progressed to the next level. Their breakup had been devastating, and the incident of the split itself had been particularly brutal, with each girl knowing exactly how to hurt the other the most. To cope with all that was going on, Chase had turned to the little pink pills hidden in an Altoid's tin. In fact, she was relying on the drug so much that even her supplier questioned her usage. Then came the text from Lia's mom, Jo; Lia was missing. Chase's life, already teetering on the edge, was about to go completely off the rails.
I Will Find You Again by author Sarah Lyu is a brilliant contemporary young adult novel that will mesmerize readers from start to finish. What starts out as a well-told tale of the stresses and rigors of the senior year of high school, deciding a path for the future and nailing down final details, is revealed to be so much more. It was like watching a duck paddling on a pond, calm on top but a flurry of motion under the water.
Chase is a driven soul, trying to live up and surpass her parents' expectations, and doesn't understand her friend Lia's attitude toward life, her future, or her family. She sees what Lia has and thinks she's got it made. It seems that resentment and envy have been bubbling below the surface of their relationship from the start. When Lia goes missing, readers watch as Chase tries to find out what happened to her friend, not realizing that Part One of the book isn't the beginning of the story. That's when suspicions about Chase's involvement in Lia's disappearance take a big left turn.
The writing is smooth, and every aspect of the story is realistic. I liked that the girls' relationship felt accepted. This isn't about their love being challenged, picked apart, or the girls being ostracized. Finally. Excellent descriptions, natural dialogue, and clever twists and turns move the story forward in one direction, only for the reader to realize that wasn't where things were headed after all. The tension in the story is there from the beginning and builds with every turn of the page. I couldn't put the book down, and I was completely invested.
With its engaging, sympathetic main characters and riveting plot, I recommend I WILL FIND YOU AGAIN to readers who enjoy contemporary young adult fiction with an LGBTQ+ storyline.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author or publisher through TBR and Beyond Book Tours.