Leah Greenblatt
July 27, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The End of Everything

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Megan Abbott
publisher
Reagan Arthur Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it an B-

Thirteen-year-old best friends Lizzie and Evie are so close, they’re nearly conjoined — until Lizzie steps through a hedgerow one day after school and never makes it home. Was she kidnapped, or did she go willingly? In The End of Everything, Abbott, largely known for writing genre noir like 2007’s Queenpin, works hard to evoke the furtive blossoming of adolescent sexuality and the murk that lies beneath the ice cream shops and sprinklered lawns of ’80s suburbia. Too often, though, she mistakes obliqueness for intrigue, padding her slim plot with the overtended prose of a creative-writing workshop. There is a haunting story here; it’s a shame readers have to wade through so much narrative fog to find it. B-

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