New release! A teen girl looking for the truth about her missing mother forms a reluctant alliance with her former best friend...in exchange for hiding him from his cult-leading family.
Wil Greene's mom has been missing for over a year, and the police are ready to call the case closed--they claim she skipped town and you can't find a woman who wants to disappear. But she knows her mom wouldn't just leave...and she knows the family of her former best friend, Elwood Clarke, has something to do with it.
Elwood has been counting down the days until his 18th birthday--in dread. It marks leaving school and joining his pastor father in dedicating his life to their congregation, the Garden of Adam. But when he comes home after one night of after a final goodbye with his friends, already self-flagellating for the sins of drinking and disobeying his father, he discovers his path is not as virtuous as he thought. He's not his father's successor, but his sacrifice. For the woods he's grown up with are thirsty, and must be paid in blood.
Now on the run from a family that wants him dead, he turns to the only one who will believe him: Wil. Together, they form a reluctant partnership; she'll help him hide if he helps her find evidence that his family killed her mother. But in the end they dig up more secrets than they bargained for, unraveling decades of dark cult dealings in their town, led by the Clarke family.
And there's a reason they need Elwood's blood for their satanic rituals. Something inhuman is growing inside of him. Everywhere he goes, the plants come alive and the forest calls to him, and Wil isn't sure if she can save the boy she can't help but love.
By Skyla Arndt. Hardcover. 272 pages. Ages 13-17. Published by Viking Books, 2023.