Our Little World by Karen Winn, 5 Stars

July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, on evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and on Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. There’s also the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes. 

But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up—and apart—in the wake of an innocence lost too soon. 

Perfect for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told YouOur Little World is a powerful and lyrical coming-of-age story that examines the complicated bond of sisterhood, the corrosive power of envy, and how the traumas of our youths can shape our identities for a lifetime.

My Review:

It’s 1985 and Bee is basically living the parallel to my own 1980’s childhood. She spends all her summer days and nights running with the kids in the neighborhood, going swimming and dealing with her annoying older sister. It’s all so normal and so reminiscent of that magical childhood time, but we know from the beginning, the magic isn’t going to last forever. And it all comes to a startling halt the day Sally goes missing.

Wow, just wow. Our Little World was all the 80’s nostalgia, drama, sadness and mystery for this true crime/mystery junkie. It was a book that really has an atmosphere about it, if that’s the right word. Winn did an amazing job portraying the true emotions that live inside every 12-year-old girl. This one was a true treat to read, I almost wish I could go back and read it again for the first time.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group Dutton for an advanced egalley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now.

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