One year ago, I began writing a book that stole my heart. Woven into it are some of my deepest fears and fondest memories. The heartbeat of my teenage years growing up on Long Island, my summers working at the beach, Hollywood prom night, endless late night trips to the diner. The moment, years later, when I read, stunned, about the body found on the strip of beaches my friends and I had combed, hauled trash, scrubbed toilets, and traded playlists and mixtapes under the boardwalk in the relentless summer sun. The odd moment of reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in years to try to puzzle how and why and were we ever really safe at all.
Every place mentioned in this book is an X on the map of my memory, a wave to the friends and family I wrote it for. Because despite the plot, the mystery, the murder and betrayals, the thing I love about this book, the thing that makes it matter at all, is the fictional town of Amity, arguably the most important character, and maybe the most complex. Authors often say they wrote this book or that as a love letter, but this one was more of a playlist.
The playlist is the love letter.
As usual, if the embedded player is glitchy, here’s the link.