[As written for AllinLondon.co.uk]
The End Of Everything by Megan Abbott
Out: 19 August 2011
The phone snarls. It’s 10.30 at night. After she hangs up, she drops her arms to her sides and I can see her take a long breath. “Do you know anything about Evie not coming home from school today?”
From the time they were young, Evie and Lizzie have been the best of friends. Now, just starting their teenage years, the pair are closer than ever and share all their secrets – from which boys they fancy to learning about sex and love. They are close enough to spend night after night sharing a bed and talking about life, close enough to share clothes and close enough to feel it when the other is hurt.
But then one night, Lizzie’s mum gets a call. Evie hasn’t come home.
And so begins a story of pain, secrets and complete confusion as Lizzie takes the role of piece-finder in tracking down Evie. The police seem to be chasing their own tails. But Lizzie’s own search is different on every level; does she know Evie’s abductor? Why does it feel like Evie is still alive? And was her best friend actually taken or did Evie have her own secrets that she chose not to share? Where did the cigarette stubs left in the yard come from?
Megan Abbott sets her latest thrilling read in 1980s Midwest America. And this really isn’t just another coming-of-age story; it’s an intense, vulnerable tale of fear, helplessness and innocence lost combined with discovery, love and a sign of our ever-changing times. * * * * *