Ally Condie has been writing characters and worlds that capture the imagination of young adult readers for over 10 years. This fall she will add a contemporary YA novel to her celebrated bookshelf. THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN (Dutton Books for Young Readers; on sale September 19, 2023) is a biting and breathless story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Matched series.
For July Fielding, nothing has been the same since that summer before senior year. Once, she had Alex to be her loyal best friend, the one who always had her back. She had Sydney, who pushed her during every cross country run, and who sometimes seemed to know July better than she knew herself. And she had Sam. Sam, who told her she was everything and left her breathless with his touch.
Now, July is alone. Every single person in her small town of Lithia has disappeared. No family. No Alex or Sydney. No Sam. July’s only chance at unraveling the mystery of their disappearance is a series of objects, each a reminder of the people she loved most. And a mysterious message: GET TH3M BACK.
A searingly candid reckoning with both love and loneliness, #1 bestselling author Ally Condie’s THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN perfectly distills the messy, beautiful realities of growing up, growing apart, and the courageous act of self-discovery.
Ally Condie, the award-winning author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched series, has crafted a brilliant new novel that hones the sharpest edges of her always captivating writing style. THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN is bold and different, but with the same heart and craft that have made her a reader favorite for more than a decade.
While THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN is contemporary YA, it wouldn’t be an Ally Condie book without a twist of the fractured reality. Condie showcases her gift for world-bending in July’s empty—or is it?—town of Lithia. The ghostly, subtly dystopian hollowness feels both pervasively uneasy and increasingly desperate.
July’s story unfolds across two timelines, juxtaposing the lonely Now in her empty town against the unravelling Once of her past. In THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN, Condie paints an intimate portrait of what it’s like to be on the cusp of growing up, when everyone and everything in your life is changing—including you.
Though never named outright as depression, it’s clear from the journey through her recent history that July is struggling with loneliness, loss, and a sense of isolation that has left her feeling like an outsider and separate from others. Condie’s descriptions of July’s mental health are visceral. With each turn of the page you can feel July’s desperation to find an equilibrium and her frustration with her inability to return to the “normal” she knew before that summer. THE ONLY GIRL IN TOWN is sure to resonate with readers struggling with their own mental health and those who are looking for human connection in a continually more isolated world.