What Happened to Coco
Publication date: December 4th 2021
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
When a girl disappears, long-buried secrets resurface…
Coco is missing. Her room’s a mess, and her phone is left behind in her dorm at Lainsbury Hall School
Ella, Coco’s childhood best friend, is desperate for her to return, although she knows that if she ever sees Coco again, there’ll be a lot of explaining to do.
Bea knows that her new group of friends attracts drama, and she thinks she has the last shred of common sense between them all. Only, if that was true, she would leave Genevieve, her toxic ex, well alone.
Conrad is confident that Coco will return safe and well. Only, the way his secrets are unravelling, he’s worried he won’t be when this is all over.
Harrison and Coco are the perfect couple. Everyone knows that. But looks can be misleading. Even the smartest boy in school can make a terrible mistake.
In order to navigate the web of secrets and lies that Coco leaves behind, her circle of friends needs to unravel a few of their own.
But the question remains: What happened to Coco?
In the misty darkness lit only by a blue streetlamp, Ella knew that she was not alone. She turned and saw the faceless figure far down the drizzly street. It came towards her at speed. It didn’t seem to be moving, but she knew that it was gaining on her. She started to run, but her legs would not move. She was stuck, as though in quicksand.
When she dared check over her shoulder once again, the figure was only about five steps away, and she could see raspy breaths escape the black silhouette in a wispy white cloud. The scene whirred in front of Ella as she pulled on her legs, sobbing, begging them to move. But they would not. All she could hear was the breathing, slow and rattling, as though it was the figure’s very last. Four. Three. Two.
It was the skeletal hand on her shoulder that woke her. In the darkness of her room, she was alone. She turned her alarm off and felt uneasy in the silence. She was soaking wet, her back from sweat, her face from tears.
She washed her face, hardly daring to open her eyes and look into the mirror above the sink. She felt watched, hunted. As she brushed her teeth, she turned on all her lights and opened the dreary brown curtains that Lainsbury Hall School had placed in all the dorms. But even in her bright vanity lamps that took over her dressing table, drowning her in bright white light as she did her make up, her eyes darted around the corners of her mirrors, checking all angles of the room in the reflection for the faceless spectre. She was not herself today. Then again, she hadn’t been herself yesterday, either.
VB Furlong is a trainee lawyer and writer of young adult novels living in Berkshire, UK. She wrote her first “novel” at aged ten and has not stopped since then. Through her writing she aims to explore many of the issues she faced herself growing up, in the hopes that others facing the same issues feel some solidarity. Her friendships are a huge part of her life and consequently is a major theme in her writing, exploring the way in which we interact with each other, especially in difficult times.
Originally from Mumbles, Swansea, VB Furlong enjoys the sun and the sea, and walking her three dogs across the cliffs. These walks have offered her inspiration for many pieces of writing, including What Happened to Coco which she is excited to introduce as a coming of age boarding school thriller.