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From Scholastic
Out 7/2/24

The Honeys  meets The Secret History in a work of dark academia like no other — a boarding school thriller about a queer teen from Mississippi who finds himself swept into a world of old money, privilege, and the secret society at the heart of it all.

When Cal Ware wins a scholarship to an elite New England boarding school, he’s thrilled to leave his past behind. Back home in Mississippi, he was the poor, queer kid who never fit in. But at Essex Academy, he’ll be able to reinvent himself. Or so he hopes… But at Essex, Cal’s classmates only see his cheap clothes and old iPhone.

They mock his accent, and can’t believe he’s never left the country, or heard of The Hamptons. Cal, at his breaking point, is about to give up and return to Mississippi when he learns about a secret society on campus — the key to becoming Essex royalty. Cal knows he’s not exactly secret society material, but to his surprise, he finds an unlikely champion in the handsome, charismatic, and slightly dangerous Luke Kim.

As they get swept up in the mystery and glamour of the Rush process, Cal finds himself falling in love for the first time. But as the initiation rituals grow riskier — and increasingly nefarious — Cal must decide how far he’s willing to go, and how much of himself he’s willing to sacrifice, to save everything and everyone he cherishes most. Because nothing at Essex — not even Cal’s first love — is quite what it seems.

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A fast-paced addictive thrill ride. 

Karen McManus, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of One of Us is Lying 

A tantalizing and addictive novel about identity, class, and first love wrapped in a thrilling, page-turning mystery. Milman's novel is sure to become a favourite for readers everywhere.

Kathleen Glasgow, NYT bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and The Agathas

Haunting but quietly romantic. Nearly every page sent a chill down my spine. 

Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You all the Best and The Feeling of Falling in Love

Twisted, enthralling dark academia.

Kirkus, ★Starred★ Review 

Milman has a singular gift for creating atmosphere that, with a twist of the sinister, is almost painfully vivid, as is his characterization.

Booklist, ★Starred★ Review

Riddles, break-ins, conspiracies, and strategically dropped clues about Cal's past successfully build abundant tension, making this a page-turner from the beginning. The romance is equally fraught and dramatic, which will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy toxic love stories...A first purchase for high school libraries.

School Library Journal

A Darker Mischief lovingly folds layers of classic country queer kid drama inside its many puzzle box mysteries. Cal won my heart - and had me hugging my dog for support until the last page! 

Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers 

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