The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester


Author: Maya MacGregor



In this queer contemporary YA mystery, a nonbinary teen with autism realizes they must not only solve a 30-year-old mystery but also face the demons lurking in their past in order to live a satisfying life.

Sam Sylvester is not overly optimistic about their recent move to the small town of Astoria, Oregon - especially not after what happened in the last small town they lived in, in the rural Midwest.

But once they get to Astoria, Sam’s life seems to be on the upswing. Making new friends and having a really cute queer next door neighbor is way better than being bullied. Especially when that neighbor, Shep, is just as drawn to the mystery behind Sam's new house as they are. 30 years ago, a boy who lived in the house, Billy Clement died. The town chalked it up to a tragic accident, but Sam’s convinced he was murdered – especially once Sam’s investigation seems to resurrect some ghosts in the town.

Threatening notes and figures hidden in shadows begin to disrupt Sam’s life. but Sam continues to search for the truth. When Sam discovers that they may be closer to a killer than previously known, Sam has a difficult decision to make. Would they risk their new life for a half-lived one?

"A top-notch blend of contemporary fiction and mystery...a thrilling debut."

- Kirkus Starred Review

Look no further for your next favorite read, because The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester has it all: a gripping murder mystery that will keep you turning pages, ghosts, romance, and a treasure trove of queer characters with depth and heart. Here’s something rare—a suspenseful story that also feels like a hug.”

Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the Reign of the Fallen series