What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Summary: Allie, Juliet and Rob have XP—a deadly allergy to sunlight. They live like vampires, only venturing outside in the middle of the night. Juliet, the daredevil of the group, suggests that they begin to learn Parkour—a sport that is especially dangerous in the dark. But Allie and Rob are hooked, and the three friends spend their nights planning out elaborate stunt courses. One night, Allie sees something in the window of an apartment—something that looks like murder.
My thoughts: Jacquelyn Mitchard’s writing may be a bit dense for a YA novel, but she sure knows how to put together a thriller. What We Saw at Night is filled with many brief moments of breathlessness, culminating in a cliffhanger ending (curses!).
What We Saw at Night revolves around sick kids—one of my favorite types of protagonist. Jacquelyn Mitchard does a great job of humanizing them: she shows that whether or not you have a chronic illness, people are just people. I liked that Mitchard never put Allie or her friends on pedestals because of their situation.
It’s always interesting to learn about new illnesses, too, and XP is just as fascinating as it is horrible.
What We Saw at Night may be slow-moving, but it’s not the kind of book that’s easy to put down. That sounds contradictory, but hear me out: Mitchard places spikes of action in the middle of more character-focused stretches, forcing you to read on for answers. I stayed up far too late, telling myself, “just one more chapter!”
If What We Saw at Night is representative of what’s to come from Soho Teen, consider me excited. Jacquelyn Mitchard brings something new to the table with her first YA title, and she does it in style. Be prepared to throw your hands up in frustration at the end, though: What We Saw at Night is the first in a series.
For those who like: realistic fiction, mysteries
Comment question: If you could only go outside at night, how would you keep yourself busy?