A touching end to a tale about cursed bloodlines, politics, and love.

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ALL THE TIDES OF FATE

From the All the Stars and Teeth series , Vol. 2

Amora and her lovable crew are back in a dramatic duology closer.

After the life-changing events at the end of All the Stars and Teeth (2020), the recently crowned Queen Amora sees her kingdom of Visidia in turmoil, her authority questioned, and her ideals put in check by the secrets kept by her family over centuries. Now unable to wield her powerful magic and with half of her soul trapped inside the dashing pirate Bastian, Amora and her friends sail all over the kingdom to find a legendary artifact that may break her curse and finally allow her to make things right for her people. This powerful sequel effectively resolves wider political and societal issues and thoughtfully engages with Amora’s inner struggles with regard to her power, accountability for mistakes made in the past, her romantic feelings for Bastian, and her ongoing PTSD after witnessing the death of her father. The book is at its best when focusing on the captivating found family formed by Amora’s close friends and their fierce loyalty to one another, although some of the drama within the crew is unnecessarily and frustratingly protracted due to Amora’s unconvincing resolve to keep secrets from them. The denouement may feel rushed, but the book ultimately sticks the landing. In a world featuring characters with diverse physical appearances, Amora has brown skin.

A touching end to a tale about cursed bloodlines, politics, and love. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-30781-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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A resounding success.

CONCRETE ROSE

This literary DeLorean transports readers into the past, where they hope, dream, and struggle alongside beloved characters from Thomas’ The Hate U Give (2017).

The tale begins in 1998 Garden Heights, when Starr’s parents, Maverick and Lisa, are high school seniors in love and planning for the future. Thomas proves Game of Thrones–esque in her worldbuilding ability, deepening her landscape without sacrificing intimacy or heart. Garden Heights doesn’t contain dragons or sorcerers, but it’s nevertheless a kingdom under siege, and the contemporary pressures its royalty faces are graver for the realness that no magic spell can alleviate. Mav’s a prince whose family prospects are diminished due to his father’s federally mandated absence. He and his best friend, King, are “li’l homies,” lower in status and with everything to prove, especially after Mav becomes a father. In a world where masculinity and violence are inextricably linked to power, the boys’ very identities are tied to the fathers whose names they bear and with whose legacies they must contend. Mav laments, “I ain’t as hard as my pops, ain’t as street as my pops,” but measuring up to that legacy ends in jail or the grave. Worthy prequels make readers invest as though meeting characters for the first time; here they learn more about the intricate hierarchies and alliances within the King Lord gang and gain deeper insight into former ancillary characters, particularly Mav’s parents, King, and Iesha. Characters are Black.

A resounding success. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-284671-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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