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Cover reveal! This Is Not a Dead Girl Story is a dark and powerful mystery perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and true crime podcasts, in which a teen girl must do whatever it takes to find her missing cousin—who everyone else thinks is dead.

Remy Green is missing. Eight days after the death of her boyfriend, River O’Dell, the magnetic, golden-haired girl disappeared in the dead of night.   

Jules Green, Remy’s cousin, is her opposite in every way: awkward, shy, and a bit strange, never feeling at home in the small town of Black Falls, NY. The only place she has ever belonged is with River and Remy. Now she’s on her own—and everyone around her believes that Remy is dead.

But Jules can still hear Remy’s voice in her head, urging her to keep looking. With the help of River’s cousin Sam, a troubled and mysterious boy, Jules starts untangling the truth of what exactly happened. Through her search, Jules must delve into the dark corners of her hometown—unearthing family secrets and hidden truths about the two people she thought she knew most. 

Who was Remy, really, behind the popular-girl façade she wore? What trouble was she involved in? And can Jules find a way to save her from it? Or is this a dead girl story after all?

Scroll down to see the cover and read a sneak peek. And remember to preorder your copy here!

Cover design by Kristie Radwilowicz

On the last Wednesday of the year, school is canceled. The diner on the corner of First and Third does not open and the parking lot of the IGA grocery store stays empty. No one is out walking their dogs or cutting the thick, fresh green grass. As Mom and I make our way down Main Street, it feels as though the whole town of Black Falls, New York—and everything in it—has been raptured.

My mother looks tired today. She always looks a little tired, but usually I can find some mischief in her face, a spark. Now her cheeks are pale and her eyes are glassy. Like she’s been raptured too.

She’s been up crying at night. She tries to be quiet, but I can hear the muffled sobs from her room as I curl up in my bed. I don’t cry, but I pile every blanket on top of myself, until I feel sure that there’s enough weight to me that I’m not going to disappear too.

When we finally pull into the parking lot of the Elks Lodge, I see them: the mayor, the principal, the moms and dads and kids and dogs and students and teachers and gas station attendants all milling around.

Someone has set up a table with giant coffee dispensers and powdered donuts. A big orange, hand-written poster perches crookedly on a metal stand next to the doors to the lodge: search party here.

Officer Kelly, the police chief, stands nearby, Styrofoam cup in hand, holding court with a group of younger officers. I see Zack White, Callie’s brother, who has been on the force for only six months, looking handsome and clean-cut in his brand-new uniform. I see Remy’s crew huddled at the edge of the parking lot. I watch them for a few moments, trying to tell them apart. They stand in a triangle, in color-coordinated, pastel jogging pants, oversize fleeces, and sports bras, like Easter-themed Bella Hadids. I study their faces, the sad downturn of Callie’s lips, Liliana’s delicate tears, and Kendall’s blank, distant stare. I wonder. Which Remy did they know?

Two days ago at lunch, Kendall said that Remy had better do it soon, in a voice that sounded sharp as a needle. Now, as I watch her drape an arm over Lili’s shoulders, I think, Do what?

Mom nudges me forward, breaking me out of my thoughts.

“Breathe, Jules,” she reminds me. We walk over to where the crowd is beginning to come together, and she holds my hand, like she used to when I was a kid.

Officer Kelly gives the instructions and then we split into teams. Each team is sent to a different area of Turnpike and the surrounding roads to walk through the woods in long lines. Remy would love this, I think. Her favorite hobby is consuming anything suspenseful and gory—horror movies, thrillers, true-crime podcasts.

“Look at all these stupid, stupid dead girls,” she would always say. “Taking the stairs when they should have gone for the front door.”

Then she would add, “Only a man would write it like this.”

Maybe this is all a joke. A show. Remy loves a twist, a spectacle, an elaborate plan. Maybe tomorrow she’ll show up at school with fake blood trickling out of her ears and laugh at us all.

Mom and I are partnered with the Whites. We are a picture of contrast, Mom and me with our messy ponytails and practical jackets, Callie’s family with their white teeth and clean shoes. The Whites look at us with pity and a little bit of fear. Because we have lost something precious to us. They don’t want to think about what that feels like.

The six of us have been assigned to search the area of woods next to Turnpike Road between Dogwood and Maple. The morning is cool and cloudy, casting the forest in an eerie darkness, as if the sun will not come out without her. As we walk into the forest, the air smells like wet earth, last year’s rotten leaves, this year’s flowers. Life. Death.

This is perfect, I hear Remy saying in my ear. Almost poetic.

She’s right. The chill in the air worms its way into my bones. Everything is quiet except the rustling of leaves under our feet.

Penguin Teen