Clarion Books, 2023
Agent: Thao Le
From Sarah Hollowell, author of A Dark and Starless Forest, comes a spine-tingling, deliriously creepy YA speculative thriller about two best friends trapped in a corn maze with corpses that look just like them.
Best friends and high school seniors Sadie and Logan make their first mistake when they ditch their end-of-year field trip to the amusement park in favor of exploring some old, forgotten backroads. The last thing they expect to come across is a giant, abandoned corn maze.
But with a whole day of playing hooking unspooling before them, they make their second mistake. Or perhaps their third? Maybe even their fourth. Because Sadie and Logan have definitely entered this maze before. And again before that.
When they stumble on the corpses in the maze, identical to them in every way (if you can ignore the stab and gunshot wounds)—from their clothes to their hidden scars to their dyed hair, to that one missing tooth—they quickly realize they’ve not only entered this maze before, they’ve died in it too. A lot. And no matter what they try, they can’t figure out what—or who—is hunting them.
Deeply unnerving, clever, and atmospheric, this time-bending, mind-bending speculative horror is a poignant meditation on the lasting effects of trauma and the healing powers of connection and forgiveness—all while delivering more surprise twists and turns than a haunted corn maze.
“Via Sadie’s insightful first-person narration, Hollowell (A Dark and Starless Forest) skillfully entwines atmospheric prose bursting with 2010s pop-culture references, and disturbing scenes of body horror with sensitive explorations of neurodivergence, misogyny, internalized anti-fat bias, and emotional abuse. Sadie and Logan’s friendship serves as a strong and passionate anchor, giving heft to both the physical and interpersonal stakes of this twisted ma(i)ze of surreal psychological horror.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A trippy supernatural thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A horrific read sure to hook many with its sinister setting, sickening mystery, strong friendship, and teen introspection.” —School Library Journal
“Hollowell takes great care in representing anxiety, fatness, and poverty as normal and matter-of-fact aspects of her characters’ lives in this thoughtful and emotional horror novel.” —Booklist