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Pretend She's Here

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Emily Lonergan's best friend died last year.

And Emily hasn't stopped grieving. Lizzie Porter was lively, loud, and fun -- Emily's better half. Emily can't accept that she's gone.

When Lizzie's parents and her sister come back to town to visit, Emily's heartened to see them. The Porters understand her pain. They miss Lizzie desperately, too.

Desperately enough to do something
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Emily Dean Yes! School Library Journal recommends Grade 9 and up.

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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book took off from the beginning. It's not one of those books that picks up half way. I did not however find the kidnapping appropriate for young adults. But the storyline was done very well and held my attention. I would say this book is more for almost adults.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I didn't want to read Pretend She's Here at first.
But as I read the synopsis, Luanne Rice's latest book sounded dark and twisted and Pretend She's Here sounded very much like a book up my alley. I love a book that is dark.

I found myself pleasantly surprised... and disappointed at the same time.
There were a few things that worked well with Pretend She'
Ms. Yingling
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once I started this book I just couldn't put it down. Luanne gives us a story of extreme grief and love. Emily loses her best friend to cancer and talks to her everyday as she misses her terribly. Lizzie's family is also grieving but their grief takes on a terrifying event. They kidnap Emily wanting her to become their daughter they love and miss so much. Each character is so true to life in their reactions and manipulations. What is terrifying about this story is that this may and has happened. ...more
Lilly  Queen
It was really good! It was good,sad and scary at the same time
Samantha (WLABB)
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs, contemporary, ya
Rating: 3.5 Stars

We all grieve in different ways, and this books shows that some ways are better than others.

I keep seeing people calling this a thriller. I am not sure this read as a thriller for me, since one of the most shocking things happens in the first chapter. I will concede, that there were quite a few tense and suspenseful moments, but overall, this book was more an exploration of grief for me.

Emily's best friend, Lizzie, died about a year ago after a short battle with cancer. We get
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**Nonspecific, general spoilers at the end**

5 Big Ugly Cry STARS

Emily mourns the death of her best friend Lizzie Porter, gone nearly a year. The Porters miss their daughter so much they try to replace her with Emily, literally not figuratively. Under threat of death to her mother, Emily must become Lizzie in order to survive.

I’ve enjoyed Luanne Rice books for years, particularly the ones focusing on family and friendship. I didn’t like Rice’s YA debut THE BEAUTIFUL LOST, but wanted to give PRET
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberlee Matsler
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emily's best friend, Lizzie died of cancer at age 13. Lizzie's parents come back to visit and end up kidnapping Emily. Mrs. Porter, Lizzie’s mother drugged a juice for Emily to drink. When Emily wakes up the next day, she is a replicated bedroom, made to look like Lizzie’s, in Maine. Emily wakes up, to find that her red-ish hair is died a “Lizzie Black” and has green colored contacts covering her once blue eyes. Mrs. Porter threatens Emily, that if she doesn't do what she is asked, she will kill ...more
Aly Wise
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I saw a tweet once that said "I've spent my whole life chasing the high of a Scholastic Book Fair." To me, this is SO true. I loved the book fair as a kid, I'd spend more money that I ought to and it was a joy. Now that I work at a school, I have the chance to feel that rush again. This book is that rush! I bought it on Thursday, started it on yesterday, and finished it this morning. I could. not. put. it. down. I was originally going to put this down as a free choice book, because while it is a ...more
Grace Stelpflug
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Too good my favorite part was at the end and I loved the way Casey and her had a connection between each other I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. The bad problem is I wanted to get to the end. Some paragraphs I skipped because some parts weren't as interesting as the main part. Don't get me wrong I loved the book it's just some parts were kinda dull. Other than that I like this book a lot I already read way too much. My head is still spinning from wh
Kate Waggoner
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
@kidlitexchange #partner
Thank you to the @kidlitexchange network for the advance copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

Emily's best friend, Lizzie, died suddenly of cancer. It's a year later and Emily is still grieving. She's not the only one having a hard time believing she's gone. While walking home from school, Emily sees Lizzie's little sister Chloe and discovers that the family is back in town to visit Lizzie's grave. Emily sees how much the family desperately misses Lizzie and agree
I received this book as part of the Scholastic Book Fair Spring 2019 Preview Pack. All opinions are my own.

This was a solid middle grade mystery/thriller. It reminded me of some of the best parts of an April Henry book with even better character development and insight. Emily's best friend died a year ago, from a short and vicious battle with cancer. Lizzie's family moved away after that, to start over, and Emily has lost contact with them. So when she sees Chloe, Lizzie's younger sister, and h
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a lot more terrifying to get through than a slasher or some other piece of horror. Because something like this could actually happen, and it wouldn't surprise me if the narrative was inspired by similar true stories. I was listening to the audio on this and felt so anxious for Emily the whole time. Sometimes I was smacking myself in the head or yelling at her to run/call for help/whatever, but it's easy to do that when you're an outside observer.

I hate to kick it right off with a c
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received this eARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

After a long illness, Emily’s best friend died last year. The unnatural death of a teenager and best friend made the whole world stop. Emily was lost to her grief and her best friend Lizzie’s family was barely functioning. After Lizzie’s family left town, she feels alone in school and in her grief. However, on the anniversary of Lizzie’s death Emily finds Lizzie’s family at her grave. When the family forces Emily into their
Elissa Nelson
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book started out really strong. Great introduction to the main character ‘Emily’ and you get a lot of her back story within the first 2 chapters. She’s a typical 15-16 year old, but she’s still dealing with the heavy tragic loss of her Best friend Lizzie. The parents of Lizzie are also having a hard time with the loss of their child that they decide to do something crazy, at the expense of Emily and her family. They kidnap Emily and force her to live as ‘Lizzie’.

I wasn’t a fan of the way t
Phyllis Krall
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emily Longeran is a a typical teenager from a large, close knit Irish family. She is still mourning the death of her best friend, Lizzie Porter , who died a year ago. Emily is very close with Lizzie’s family and is surprised to see them one day on their way to Luzzie’s grave. They offer her a ride but drug mans kidnap her , taking her from Connecticut to Maine, where they have moved into a new home. Mrs. Porter is delusional and makes Emily pretend to be Lizzie, totally against her will. Terrifi ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophia Schuster
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book had a lot of mystery and a fantastic, flowing plot. Everything I read in the book surprised me and it all linked together in the end. I just loved how the author made the plot. It went in order and nothing was ever confusing to me. Also, I really liked the main character, Emily. She could've escaped from the house of the people that kidnapped her, but she stayed to protect her family. She shows true loyalty and trustworthiness to the people that she loves. The only time ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, a3e, a2, scholastic, usa
Emily has been grieving her best friend, dead for almost a year. Lizzie's family moved away just after her death, but she's not surprised to see them back a few days before the anniversary; naturally they'd want to visit Lizzie's grave. She accepts an invitation to go with them without thinking too much about it.

She wakes up in a replica of Lizzie's room, wearing Lizzie's clothes, hair styled and coloured like Lizzie. Lizzie's mother has decided that she needs a daughter, and since she can't hav
Morgan G.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretend She's Here is a wonderfully spun story of tragedy, love, and family. When Emily Lonergan's best friend, Lizzie Porter, dies, Lizzie's parents and Emily can't stop grieving. A year later, Lizzie's parents are desperate enough -- and crazy enough -- to kidnap Emily. They attempt to turn her into their daughter. As Emily struggles to keep her true identity, she meets Casey and promptly falls in love. Held hostage by her best friend's family, Emily is forced to say terrible things. Sometimes ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Near the end of freshman year, Emily Lonergan’s best friend, Lizzie Porter died of cancer. Her heartbroken family moved to Maine to start over and Emily’s life continued as the youngest in a family with 7 children. When she sees Lizzie’s younger sister Chloe on the anniversary of Lizzie’s death she embraces her not realizing that this was going to be the beginning of a long difficult time. After the Porters drug and kidnap her, Mrs. Porter forces her to be Lizzie. While the premise of the book i ...more
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2.5 Rating: This book had a good premises but it got muddled down in trying to have too many plot lines. The characters and their motivations were never really developed and the resolution felt rushed. There are readers who may enjoy this book but the cover and the description will most likely keep them away.

We received eARCs of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss and Scholastic for the advance Kindle copy of this 2.26.19 release. All opinions are my own.

⭐⭐⭐/5 - Almost a year after Emily’s best friend Lizzie’s death, Emily decides to walk home from school alone. She sees Lizzie’s family, who have since moved away. Their offer to take her to visit Lizzie’s grave turns insane, as Emily finds herself a hostage in their home. Forced to play the part of “Lizzie” with the threat of harm to her family, Emily has to plot her way out. My stude
Robin McCann
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Appropriate for any of our middle school readers that like suspense type novels. Crush with a kiss as far as the romance gets. Language is fine. Content could be scary as this is a story that is suspenseful and realistically could happen.

I wanted to keep reading it once I started and only skimmed a few paragraphs here and there. For the most part it kept my attention and I think the story was good. I recommend it to girls in middle school who like thriller/realistic with a bit of romance.
Amy Jacobs
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
*ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Not what I was expecting!
I knew this book was going to have a mysterious element to it just by the summary. Each chapter sucked me into the story and refused to let me go until the last page. Let me just say that I won't be visiting a grave with a sad family anytime soon. Age appropriate recommendation given for 12 and up. This is great for middle school and high school kids to read. (my personal opinion on age recommendation is my own. Always
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Emily Lonergan's best friend died last year. And Emily hasn't stopped grieving.

Lizzie Porter was lively, loud, and fun -- Emily's better half. Emily can't accept that she's gone.

When Lizzie's parents and her sister come back to town to visit, Emily's heartened to see them. The Porters understand her pain. They miss Lizzie desperately, too.

Desperately enough to do something crazy. Something unthinkable.

Suddenly, Emily's life is hurtling toward a very dark place -- and she's not sure she'll ever
Kayla Edwards
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-novels
This one opens up and jumps straight into the action - great for reluctant readers who don't have the patience to wait for a story to get warmed up. It is pretty twisted and definitely headed in a more young adult direction but never actually crosses the line fully. Might be a little much for the younger/less mature middle grade crowd. Not the greatest, but definitely an entertaining thriller that will keep you reading. Recommended for any upper middle graders, especially for those who enjoy Apr ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story has a dark side and Emily goes through experiences we can hardly begin to imagine. She is betrayed by people she once considered to be family. The relationship between Emily and Casey is a redeeming factor in this narrative. Without Casey in the story I could not have finished. Reading all the way to the end reveals the power of redemption and forgiveness.

Thank you, Scholastic and Edelweiss for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-two novels including THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, her first YA novel. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.