Author: Lorie Langdon
Author Lorie Langdon steps away from the fun and fantasy of her Doon Series to a darker who-done-it mystery in Gilt Hollow. Gilt Hollow is the name of a quirky little town in Ohio that embraces artistic, creative types, but still has the well-known suburban markers that govern teenage life. Four years before the story begins, five friends on a camping trip dare each other to jump from a cliff into the river below. One of them gets pushed, but the one who went to jail for the murder, Ashton Keller, wasn’t the one who did the pushing…or was he?
As the story opens, Ashton comes back from years in juvenile lock-up a changed young man. No longer the innocent boy who was taken away by police all those years ago, he’s determined to clear his name. Ashton appeared to be a broody stereotype, but was in reality a sympathetic character. I liked him and cared about the choices he was making.
Willow Lamott is Ashton’s best friend, maybe only friend, in the whole wide world—and that includes his parents. She just wants to be ordinary, go on a date, attend football games, get good grades, and not be the best friend of a murderer. There’s still a soft spot in her heart for Ashton though and when he comes back, he turns her world upside-down. Willow reads as smart, but not inappropriately so for her age. She’s believable as teenager girl and comes across as entirely normal rather than a caricature of the geek that doesn’t know she’s beautiful. Langdon successfully writes teenage longing without annoying teenage angst. That is no small feat!
The story moves at medium pace, not overly rushed at the expense of humanizing details or too slow at the risk of boring readers so that they don’t finish. The result is an intimate, interesting book. I can’t wait to see what Langdon writes next.
Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Genre: YA romantic thriller
Format(s): hardcover (352 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author