Sunday, April 21, 2019

"If You're Out There"

Katy Loutzenhiser grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, dabbling in many art forms and watching age-inappropriate movies. After graduating from Bowdoin College, she found an unlikely home in the Chicago comedy scene and regularly sang improvised musicals in public. These days she writes YA books in Brooklyn, where she lives with her husband. She is probably eating a burrito right now.

Loutzenhiser applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, If You're Out There, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I cover my face with my throw pillow. After a moment, I peek out at him. “Am I crazy for not letting this go?”

“Does it matter?”

“I mean, a little. But hey, my mom’s a therapist. Hopefully she can fix whatever damage I’m doing here.”

Logan laughs lightly. “Do you want me to write back?”

I take the phone and push through the weepy feeling, scrolling until I find a picture of her face. It’s an enthusiastic selfie with a homemade BLT from a few months back. I remember I was right outside the frame when she took this, probably telling her she was ridiculous. Her bright smile takes up the bulk of her face, her skin a warm brown. Her big eyes shine back at me—happy and direct. I want her to hear me. What is up with you out there??

I feel a hand on my shoulder and flinch.

“Sorry,” says Logan, pulling back. “You looked ... sad.”

“Yeah.” I can’t quite meet his eyes. “I guess it was naive, but I really thought we would always be friends. Like pregnant-at-the-same-time kind of friends. Not that we were those girls. But we could have been. A version of them anyway.”

“Hey,” he says after a minute. “You wanna get out of here?”

I pause. “What’d you have in mind?”
So... I think the test worked? Page 69 captures quite a lot about If You're Out There. As you might be able to guess, the story follows a girl who's been ghosted by her best friend in the world--the kind of person she thought would be in her life forever. It's been months of radio silence since Priya moved to California, and even though everyone keeps telling Zan to move on, she's still fixated on the loss, clinging pathetically to her old friend's every Instagram post. Logan, the new kid at her school, has taken an interest in the whole weird situation. And he's the first person to make Zan feel like her instincts might be worth listening to. This just isn't normal. What if something is up with Priya out there?
Visit Katy Loutzenhiser's website.

My Book, The Movie: If You're Out There.

Writers Read: Katy Loutzenhiser.

--Marshal Zeringue