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THE GENESIS WARS

From the Infinity Courts series , Vol. 2

A fast-paced bridge leading toward higher stakes and more complications on the horizon.

Stung by betrayal and loss, one teenager is determined to make the afterlife a safer place for humans.

When Nami Miyamoto died, she found herself in Infinity—an afterlife controlled by malicious AI Ophelia and populated with beautiful, vicious AI Residents who hunt humans, using them as mindless servants—or worse. Nami’s attempt to destroy the Residents failed 10 months ago, leading to the loss of her friends, likely to one of Ophelia’s Four Courts, among them War and Death. Despite the skepticism of the remaining free humans, Nami is determined to save her friends and to make the afterlife a safer place for all those who have yet to die, including her younger sister. As Nami journeys through the courts looking for her friends, she learns that no alliance is certain, whether with Residents or her fellow humans. Nami is willing to be reckless if it means keeping her sister safe, but what will be the cost? While The Infinity Courts (2021) focused more on what it means to be human, aware, and capable of empathy, this sequel is packed with action, as Nami embraces her powers and fights back whenever she can. Though the stakes are higher here, the more complex ruminations of the earlier entry are missing. The previous work indicated that Nami is Japanese and White.

A fast-paced bridge leading toward higher stakes and more complications on the horizon. (map) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5654-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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