“We Made It All Up” follows the story of Celeste, a high schooler in the small Montanan town of Kray’s Defile who becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. After a late-night party, her friend Joss is found dead and the killer’s identity is unknown. Unfortunately for Celeste, she was the last person to spend time with Joss and she has no memories of what happened while they were together. With others already suspecting her of being the murderer and it only being a matter of time before she is arrested by the police, Celeste must prove her innocence by identifying the person that truly committed the crime. Along the way, she unravels the sinister truths of the town and is forced to learn that no one can be trusted.
I found this book to be a rather compelling mystery overall. I changed my mind several times over which character I suspected of doing the crime as more information and possible motives were revealed during the events of the book. I also liked how the main character had a few significant faults, which made her feel more realistic. Furthermore, there were some parts in the book that were genuinely unsettling, but were so in a way that did not compromise the believability or realism of the story. A reoccurring idea of the book is the way that the line between what is real and what is imagined can be blurred. This really manifested in some situations, like how the main character sometimes seemed to be an unreliable narrator and how some characters directly contradicted each other but it was unclear which one was lying.
To my mind, one of the most memorable parts of the book was the way that the chapters alternated between the events of the past and the present. I found it interesting how the author used this technique to reveal information that was important to the mystery over the course of the story, instead of giving all of the background at once. This somewhat chaotic style also helped me empathize with the main character, whose thoughts were understandably jumbled due to the stressful situation she found herself in.
Reviewed by William H., Twin Hickory Area Library