THE WEEKLY EDITION
by The Sourcerer
THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON
Imagine Lolita, told from Lolita’s point of view. Now also imagine that Lolita is an overweight, lonely, obsessive teenager who forms a curious attachment with a potential pedophile - until her schoolmate goes missing. Don´t you want to see a fat, maladjusted 13-year old girl struggle with a choice between Right and Belonging? We do.
Things We Have in Common is a crackerjack little thriller and anything but common. This is a smart reversal of the usual “tough-but-cute” teen actress routine.
Our heroine Yasmin hides Turkish Delights in a suitcase she keeps in her closet because her mother and her patronizing nutritionist want her to lose enough weight “so she can be normal” – but dessert is the least of the secrets Yasmin keeps. For one thing, she is totally obsessed with Alice Taylor, the most popular girl in school, squirrelling away Alice’s used candy wrappers and worn-down pencils in a shoebox stash, following Alice and her mean-girl friends around town.
One day Yasmin sees a stranger, Samuel Caldwell eyeing Alice in the schoolyard. Yasmin re-focuses all of her energy on Sam, fantasizing that the creeper will kidnap Alice so then Yasmin can swoop in and save her, a chubby knight whose cheeky wit is really her only armor. But when Yasmin actually contrives a half-baked plan to meet Sam, he’s nothing at all like she’s led us to suspect. Or is he? He offers her rum and Coke. He offers her candid conversation. Then one day, Alice Taylor disappears. Police launch an investigation, questioning everyone including Yasmin, who is drifting further and further down the dark rabbit hole of her growing fascination with Sam. Even when it might mean putting others in jeopardy, Yasmin is reluctant to voice her suspicions about Sam. Even we, the audience, can’t tell whether Yasmin is wildly intuitive, or wildly unreliable. When police arrest Yasmin’s unsympathetic stepfather Gary, claiming to have found evidence he had Alice in his van – evidence from Yasmin’s own collection of Alice souvenirs – Yasmin finds her loyalties torn.
In a shocker oh-hell-no ending, Yasmin (and her audience) discovers hard evidence from Alice in Sam’s backyard. And, in the end, whether it’s to save her own skin or because she really chooses him, Yasmin lets Sam know that his secret’s safe with her.
Already cinematic in its storytelling, this book yearns to be adapted for the screen. The plot is focused and streamlined, while remaining unpredictable – like all the great psychological thrillers. It’s got everything (mystery, pathos, humor, fear) and a “WTF?!“ twist on all of it. This is a story that gets under the skin, so its heat, like a sunburn, seethes there, even after The End.
WHY IT´S HOT
Writer Tasha Kavanagh is a former film-editor, with a keen sense for suspense and a gift transforming innocent details into Hitchcock-esque plot points. This is her debut novel.
Author: Tasha Kavanagh
Title: Things we have in common
Sub Genre: Psychological Thriller
Country of Origin: UK
Target Audience: 18-45
Publication Details: May 2015
Film Rep: Sam Greenwood
Agency: Curtis Brown UK