Your Lonely Nights Are Over / Adam Sass / Book Review


Best friends Dearie and Cole don't exactly have the best reputation. They're judgy, mean, and exclusive, just two queer besties against the world. So when a killer tries to frame Cole, it's pretty hard to get anyone on his side.

Everyone is obsessed with Mr. Sandman, a serial killer from decades ago who was never caught. He had style. He had flair. And he just vanished. When a series of violet deaths strike Stone Grove High School, everyone fears that he might be back... or a copycat killer is taking inspiration from him, at least. Mr. Sandman had a type: sad, lonely, forever alone. And this new killer has that type, too, but with a new twist: queer as well.

As evidence and bodies start piling up, everything points to Cole. Dearie and Cole will need to work fast to unmask this killer if they want any of their friends to survive, but tracking him down might be exactly what Mr. Sandman wants.



This book is voicey. It's slasher-y. It's a nice escape, one that's fueled by a very real cultural obsession with serial killers and crime shows. It feels real in a lot of respects, even with the over-the-top gory death scenes the genre demands. I'm happy with what I got, even if I wanted more.


Hooked This is one of those rare books that hooked me right from the beginning. Dearie as a main character adds such a great voice. The opening pulled me in, and it didn't let me go. Everything from page one had me on the hook, and there's nothing better than that.

Splattered This book is splattered in blood--literally. Not only is the slasher aesthetic upheld in the blood-gushing, razor-wire-induced death scenes that feel so much like watching a horror film, but the book design itself reflect this, from the cover to the blood-splattered chapter endings. There's something so fitting about one part ending and another beginning with splatter across the page. This design choice is top notch.

Unreliability One of the best things a thriller author can do is plant the seeds of doubt when it comes to our protagonist(s), especially when that main character is also the narrator. There are some significant gaps in Dearie's recollection. He's sweet and innocent. Nobody suspects him, but... he's not been entirely honest with us. He can't quite remember (or says he can't quite remember) certain details of key moments... And it all just makes you wonder, right? No spoilers, of course!


There are certainly teenagers out there who are confident in themselves and their sexual abilities, but these boys felt a little bit too confident. They felt too experienced to be, you know, seventeen. It didn't make sense that they would be so savvy, able to navigate a whole landscape of hookups and hotties from other schools. Would they really have such a wide network of possible options in high school? It felt off. It felt like it was aspiring too much, leaning into sexual liberation at the cost of realism. Apt Teenagers

The biggest downfall in this book is that there's a lot of downtime. The voice is great. The characters are interesting. But everything takes too much time to develop. There's a lot of space between character deaths, and it really does feel like it. Pacing in a thriller is of the utmost importance, and this book never quite hit that thrilling level. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to like here. I just never hit that thriller high that I hoped for. Slow

Unfortunately, I don't mean "jumpy" in a spooky way. I mean there are time jumps here, gaps in the narrative that make the whole plot feel a little too extended. This adds to the slow factor. The timing of things was off. Everything in a thriller should be snappy, back-to-back-to-back, and that's not what I just here. I got poorly constructed jump cuts instead. Jumpy



Fans of Ripley Jones's Missing Clarissa will like this dynamic best friend duo. Those who enjoyed Kathryn Foxfield's Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are will like the campy, slasher feel to this thriller.


Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Date: September 12, 2023
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. This one is definitely not one for me (killing students, lots of blood) I appreciated your great review!

  2. This feels quite "Scream" to me, but with the queer twist. Maybe it's a movie waiting to happen!

  3. I feel like this would make a great movie. This is exactly the type of book I would have loved to read as a teenager.

    Corinne x

  4. This sounds fantastic! I normally don't like books that are too slow, but it sounds like it's worth the read. The idea sort of reminds me of Scream, how it fuelled by the obsession of serial killers. I'll definitely check this out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I think I have seen this cover before.. sounds like a good book..
    That's the problem with reading YA as an adult..

  6. This book looks really interesting with the serial killer and queer twist. Even with the poor pacing, it does sound intriguing!


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